We’ve been kind of binge watching the drama series called “The Good Doctor” on Hulu. It’s about a young surgeon named Shaun Murphy. He is on the very functional end of the autistic scale. He is also a savant meaning he is high on the genius scale in his knowledge of the human body and what makes it work well and what makes it work badly. We find it fascinating and will keep at it through however many seasons it runs. The Good Doctor on Hulu. Today I’m talking about my own good doctors. But first -

I mentioned a couple weeks back that I had completed eight decades of traveling around the sun; economy class mind you. Mostly these annual circuit rides have been pleasant and generally at a leisurely pace. There were a very few that were anni horribiles to quote the late queen. But for the most part they were anni mirabiles or wonderful years.

What makes a wonderful year? Good health I would say. When we are healthy, we take for granted that we are unimpeded in whatever we may wish to do. Have good legs? Take a hike or even a trot along pretty country forested trails that are tunneled over by the Hoosier hardwoods in the fall. Strong and straight back? Lift that barge or tote that bale or more likely move the sofa for spring cleaning or haul in firewood in preparation for winter. Agile hands? Plant the spring flowers and our row crops taters and peas.

Good health makes a good life.

Used to be I would open my medicine cabinet for three purposes only. First to lift my tooth brush out of that little hole in the second shelf left hand side. Second pull out and prep my razor to scrape my face bald. And third to awkwardly try to twist off the aspirin bottle cap on those rare occasions when I had a headache. And they really were rare. Still are.

But that was then and now is not then. Each morning now I pull out a segmented, seven lidded box containing medicinal pills. Two containers actually; one marked AM the other PM. I flip open one lid each morning before breakfast and the other in the evening before dinner unless I “forget.” I don’t mind taking them it’s just that nearly each time I flip open a lid I recall that I didn’t used have to do such a thing. Now I take some pills that are round, others oblong, some ovally and the smallest I have to cut in two and take a half daily. All different colors so I don’t mix up them up.

Most of this pill taking goes back to 2004 which was an annus horribulus year. It was also a Leap Year. Leap Year Day, Sunday, Feb. 29 was the day I had a heart attack. It could have been a mild heart attack except that to the one having a “mild” heart attack it seemed more majorly than mildly. At least that was my layperson’s estimation.

I had just returned from taking the trash over to the dump station and we were headed to town for some shopping reason when I said, “I don’t feel well.”

“Like how don’t you feel well?”

“Like I have this trapped bird in my chest and it’s fluttering hard to get free kind of I don’t feel well.”

It’s about 15 miles from Windsong Farm to the Paoli Hospital or as my driver did it that day about 14 minutes. Once there, a couple of strong and ungentle men got me out of the car and into a room that was in a spin cycle. After that people mumbled so I wouldn’t understand why they were injecting fluids in me and sticking needles filled with what in any other circumstances would have been considered illegal drugs.

That was the day I got my first helicopter ride. After the aborted take-off (they forgot to close my door) we got up, up and away. We headed north to Bloomington. I guess it was a fun ride but the next thing I knew I was in a very clean white room with a doctor who was firm but kind and really gentle in the way he invaded my innards and tubed a stent toward my cardio region. I got to watch on the TV. Black and white though.

Then I thought I should intrude on his concentration and asked if I should be itchy all over. Apparently not. Next thing I opened my eyes and looked up at a couple of strong and ungentle men holding me flat on the workstation while the doctor finished up with his balloon placement business.

Seems I was allergic to the contrast dye they used which helped the doc to push the stent into where it was needed. They didn’t apologize for the bit of rather rough handling to keep me from scratching my itch. Neither did I thank them for keeping something bad from possibly happening.

No matter, life changed after that. I added pills to my medicine cabinet, and I take them every day, every week for every year since.

That was in February. Not a good start for any year, horrible or wonderful. Spring and summer went well. Did things planned and unplanned. Worked for pay and enjoyed it. Traveled too much but planes were on time, mostly. Time for vacation. In October off to New Mexico, Land of Enchantment, truly enchanting. But realized my body was not on my regular schedule.

Got home and went to my favorite good Doctor T. As usual he spent more time with me than I thought I deserved. He asked questions and I answered them to the best of my ability, so help me God. Enough talk. He left. Nurse Vampira entered with needles unsheathed. One vial, two vials, three vials not more. Wait a while. Play with my phone. Wait a bit more. Knock, knock. Enter good doctor.

A normal blood sugar count for man of my then age would be around 130 or so. I won! I scored close to 400! Oops not like basketball, more like golf. I entered the game at Type II. Yes, my paternal grandfather had diabetes. Is that important? Maybe, maybe not. No matter, life changed after that. I added more pills to my medicine cabinet, and I take them very day, every week for every year since.

Then years later there was another good doctor who was into making movies. Only these were silent movies taken in dark places in human caves. Some movies entered from one place while another movie gained entrance elsewhere. Euphemistically the good doctor spoke of upper and lower movies. Far as I can tell neither movie had much of a plot. Mine had only a little drama which I was told is good, pretty good in fact. But no matter, life changed after that. I added more pills to my medicine cabinet, and I take them very day, every week for every year since.

I’ll skip over the skin doctor and the foot doctor. They are in different towns and unless I contract leprosy likely they will not meet. More importantly I do not have to add pills to my medicine cabinet after I visit them.

Does any of this mean anything to anyone besides myself? Not really. I just wanted to say that I am so privileged to live in a place that has good doctors. We all are privileged to live in a time when we are prescribed pills and not bloodletting. When movies reveal what’s happening in our innards and it’s not some shaman/shawoman checking our tea leaves before saying, “Oh my!”

I believe in science. I believe my good doctors when they advise me to get my booster shot. I believe I am on my 81st trip around ol’ Sol because I have good doctors. Possibly without them I would not be able to

Keep the Faith — Do the Job — And Ask for Help.