Ever since COVID, I’ve gotten a lot of my health care through the internet. The doctor will see me now, as long as I have a camera on my laptop. I get phone appointments. I type messages and order drugs and promptly get messages and drugs back. My medical care has become mostly digital. I’m not complaining–it’s actually pretty slick.
A Routine Screening
Sure, some of my medical care was kind of digital before, but as far as I know they can’t yet stick their fingers in you through your computer. But I’m older now and my need to have fingers stuck in me has waned. The parts that used to be thus probed have retired, or declined in some other way, or possibly nobody really cares about them as much anymore, because they can’t get into as much mischief.
So at this point most of my complaints can be resolved without me getting out of my chair. I can take a photo of a festering sore and upload it to my dermatologist and I’m pretty sure he likes it better that way, too. I used to go in person and show him my festering sore, and he’d wince at some quarter-inch patch and take care of it, and then say “Was there anything else you wanted me to check?” That always threw me for a loop. Yes. Fuck. You’re a dermatologist, and it took me three months to get an appointment with you. Look at my entire body–that’s why I brought it with me. It’s not that big, and I can’t see half of it. If you need to shove anything to the side to see underneath, you go ahead on.
The rest of my Medical Care Team is stellar. You can do so much online! Yesterday I decided to book my mammogram. I picked a date and time and then it said “Almost there! First, just a couple questions.”
“A couple,” in my book, is two.
They wanted to know if I’ve had a mastectomy. Breast implants. If I needed an interpreter. Was hard of hearing. Needed a wheelchair. Was afraid of anybody at home. Could enable my device camera. Was doing anything Saturday night. Liked long walks on the beach. By the time I got to the SUBMIT button, I wasn’t sure I wanted to.
But I did, and then the site complained I’d left something blank that was required. It was the box that said “What would you like to have addressed in this visit?”
I’d left it blank because it was a mammogram appointment. It should be painfully obvious what I wanted addressed. I wondered: if I typed in that I wanted my chakras aligned, or my portfolio rebalanced, would it allow me to go on to the next step? Probably. Instead I typed in “I would like my breasts addressed. You may call them Lefty and Junior. Don’t mix them up–they’re not the same, they just live together.”
Apparently that did the trick. SUBMIT.
That’s when it occurred to me. The latest in online medicine! I’ve put on a few pounds. Already my laptop is mostly on my lap, but some of my lap-adjacent portions are now encroaching on the trackpad, and tacking toward the keyboard. I’m not super proud of this. But it made me think: could I just shlorp my jugs onto the laptop and slam the screen down and get a reading?
I gave it some thought and abandoned the idea. I might be able to get a good picture of Junior. For Lefty, I’m going to need a bigger laptop.