Mother Nature is trying to seduce me into staying in Salem.
Or so it would seem.
This is March. But we have had almost a full week of clear, sunny skies. March is supposed to be the lion month -- seeking whom he may destroy. Instead, we have been getting a series of lamb chops.
The beauty of clear nights is the promise of frost in the morning. That ephemeral dusting of dew that spends a brief moments as a barrier on the windshield before reverting to a flimsy film.
An errand sent me out into Jack Frost land. The lanscape was poetic. The task prosaic. I needed some smaller bills from the local ATM to pay the taxi for my visit to the doctor.
There is nothing wrong with me. I merely needed to get the prescription for my blood pressure medicine renewed. And, because it was a year since my doctor had last tapped my wallet, I was required to set an office visit.
You may remember my rant last year on this same topic -- tossing my pills. Nothing has changed. If anything, this visit was more senseless than the last visit.
I like my doctor. I like her staff. But they are prisoners of the American medical mindset. If you are in the doctor's office, you are going to leave far less healthy than when you entered. And certainly poorer.
In this case, my doctor wanted me to undergo a series of laboratory tests. When I asked why, she responded that there may be something wrong and we wouldn't know until tests were conducted.
Asked I: "And what if the tests are bad?" She: "Then I can prescribe medication." Me: "I won't take it. In fact, I'm not certain I want to take the blood pressure medicine any more."
Her look of horror was only exacerbated as we exchanged opposing philosophies about medicine, death, and other topics that were beginning to make her feel very uneasy. Uneasy enough to declare: "This is a terrible way to begin a Monday."
I left feeling much better than when I walked in. I had my prescription and I had dodged the pharmaceutical bullet that makes American medicine so prohibitively expensive. To little effect.
I will not attribute bad motives to my doctor. But once I buy into the current medical scheme, I will end up with more medications that require more monitoring and a never-ending series of lab tests. All at a staggering cost.
Because my doctor knows her stuff, I am not going to ignore her suggestion. When I return to Mexico, I will ask my Melaque doctor if she sees any reason for lab tests. If she does, I will comply -- at a fraction of the cost I would pay in Salem.
And the chances are very good that a Mexican doctor will tell me medications simply are not required. Her suggestion will be that I need to drop the weight I acquired during my last three months in Salem. And she will be correct.
In the late afternoon, I felt like the weather. The frost was gone. So, was the dew. And the sun was setting in a clear sky -- casting a golden glow through the windows of my almost-empty living room.
I sat there thinking about what I like in Salem -- and what I will not miss in the American system. Primarily health care.
And I smiled. Because life is pretty good.