After keeping Trina awake for the past eight to ten nights with my constant coughing and hacking she finally just could not stand it any longer. When I got up she announced that she had made a doctor’s appointment. I immediately began to protest between fits of coughing which did nothing to lead credibility to my case that I didn’t need a doctor. Trina of course decided to take this opportunity to twist the knife in my back just a little more when she said, “this is why you didn’t get to go to Fantasy Camp, I knew you would be sick.” That is just about the meanest thing she has ever said to me. For a brief moment I thought about running up to her and coughing all over her letting my legion of germs do the voodoo they do so well. But I didn’t want to stoop to her level. Besides, if I stopped to think about it I probably did need to see a doctor since this cold just seems to be sticking with me. So I resigned myself to the fact that I was indeed sick. I hate admitting that, it just seems like such a defeatist attitude. And hey, not all doctors want to immediately schedule you for surgery right?

About the only thing worse than seeing a doctor is hanging out in the waiting room while you wait to see a doctor. That is probably one of the most depressing places in the world. First of the occupants of that waiting room would all rather be somewhere else so they definitely not going to be cheerful. Second, these people are sick; I mean really sick. It is like walking into the middle of a pack from Night of the Living Dead. I always look around to plan an escape root in case these zombies decided to attack. But I do have to admit, that is the most appropriately named space on the planet. With a name like “waiting room” your expectations are pretty much set that you are going to be there for a while. After what seems like an eternity your name is called by the nurse and you are rescued from the waiting area. Whenever that happens I have an almost uncontrollable urge to jump up and yell “BINGO!” then dance around like one of those crazed football players in the end zone. I’m always afraid that if I do that they might take me to a different room to see a completely different kind of doctor and frankly I don’t think psycho-therapy would be a good thing for me or the doctor. So instead I celebrated on the inside as I followed the nurse to the “examination room”. What exactly is it about the medical industry that requires them to state the obvious when naming a room? They should rename it to the much smaller isolation waiting room since that is the primary use of that room. Finally the doctor comes in and asks how you are doing. Hello, I am sick hence how do you think I am? I’m curious, does anyone ever wake up one morning and say, hey I feel great I should go to the doctor’s office and tell him how great I feel? Instead I decided to be as honest as possible. I’m worried that Randy Johnson may not be able to hold up for an entire season. I think not having Tony Clark on the bench and in the clubhouse is going to be a much bigger deal than we think. I don’t think Chad Tracy will be ready for Opening Day and even if he were I am not sure the Diamondbacks aren’t better off with Mark Reynolds on third. I am nervous that Orlando Hudson is going to play out this season and declare himself a free agent and I don’t have the confidence that the Diamondbacks have the personnel to fill in should that happen. And I am just a little depressed that Spring Training games don’t start for another 35 days 23 hours and 56 minutes. The doctor just stared at me then said, uh huh. For the next several minutes he prodded and probed me looking in my mouth, up my nose, in my ears. I wondered if he had perhaps lost his car keys and I was about to tell him he was getting colder but before I could say anything he pronounced his diagnosis.

“You’re sick.” He said. We gee there’s a revelation I would never have guessed. I wondered whether he was the same guy that named the rooms or what. He then reached into his pocket and retrieved a pad of paper. He then began writing. I use the word writing in only the broadest sense since it was impossible to recognize what the paper said. I’ve seen cave drawings that made more sense than the scribbles on that pad. All the time he was talking to me in some sort of code that was completely incomprehensible. He tore off the sheets and handed them to me. I finally decided I had to ask, what exactly is written on the page? He stated they were prescriptions that I needed to take. I was most interested in whether any of them were cherry flavored since that would probably be the closest to Sedona Red as I was going to get. I learned from the last time I was at the doctor that they don’t speak in Sedona Red or at least the lady who took my blood had no idea whether I actually bleed Sedona Red as Trina always suggests. The doctor proceeded to explain that I had some malady that I can’t pronounce and have even less of a chance to spell correctly. Let’s just leave it as I am sick. I didn’t understand much of what the doctor told me until he got to the point that two of the medications he was prescribing were steroids.

Wait, what did he just say? I made him repeat that last part and sure enough he said the “S” word. For months I have been giving Barry Bonds grief and now within 30 minutes I was being prescribed steroids. I first had to ask if the doctor was going to give me some Human Growth Hormone and maybe some amphetamines too. After all if I am going to violate the Baseball Collective Bargaining Agreement I may as well just blow it out of the water. Now granted I am not a baseball player but I am a baseball fan so I am just one or two levels removed. I didn’t want to go to Opening Day and have people staring at me and whispering behind my back. I could just hear them, “Look at that guy keep score, he is obviously juiced. No one can write down balls and strikes like that without some kind of performance enhancing substance”. Next thing you know I would start looking buff and my head would grow to gargantuan sizes and I would have an urge to dress up like Paula Abdul. No this was definitely bad. I tried to explain my plight to the doctor. I had always been clean at every game I attended. How could I possibly go to the dark side now? Granted I am getting older and I have lost a step or two but I am not sure I am willing to supplement my natural abilities with chemical substances. I further asked if I would have to get other baseball fans to inject these steroids into my buttocks in a bathroom stall since I understood from Jose Canseco’s book that is how it is done. The doctor just stared at me then said, “one is a pill and the other is an inhaler”. Now I consider myself to have some talent but I was not sure I could get my buttocks to inhale anything and quite frankly the idea of pills in that general area made me shudder. So I had to ask if it would be ok if I just took these things orally instead. Again the blank stare. I was beginning to think perhaps the doctor needed a drug test because he didn’t seem coherent to any of my questions. He then excused himself and left me to my own devices to find the exit. After a trip to the pharmacy and another series of blank stares this time from the pharmacist I arrived home with what looked like more steroids than a Balco raid. I am just praying that I am not going to get a call from Congress asking that I fly to Washington DC to give a deposition. I’d end up looking like Raphael Palmeiro waving my finger saying I was against steroids while I had a whole stash back at my house in Arizona. I am not sure how I am ever going to face the other fans. I just feel so dirty, and sick.

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