To Tell the Truth

Isn't it funny how we go to a doctor for an honest assessment of our health, but when asked basic questions about our everyday practices, we can't help but lie? We want to believe we're treating our bodies right, so we say, "Yeah, I drink socially, occasionally, and exercise 4-5 times per week," even though in reality those activities' frequencies are probably switched. It must be interesting for doctors to have to go through this pointless charade day in and day out.

When one of my friends went for an appointment, a doctor-in-training ran the examination. For some reason, my friend felt too guilty to give false responses to the personal health questions because he didn't want to mislead someone who was still learning the ropes. So he wound up going for broke, rattling off a whole bunch of recreational drugs he had used in the past, as well as some other questionable health practices. The doctors present were amazed, unaccustomed to such candidness without there being a clear problem that would necessitate this sharing. Rather than chastising his unhealthy lifestyle, the doctors actually just thanked him for his refreshing honesty.

His story has now inspired some of my other friends to get real with their own doctors. "When they ask about my drinking habits, I'm going to tell them the truth: 30-40 a week," one said. "And at least two or three pizzas," another chimed in. On second thought, I'm not sure whether all doctors are prepared to hear the brutal truth of the way many twenty-somethings treat their bodies.

As for me, I don't even have to worry about this dilemma because I don't have healthcare. Bullshitting a doctor would require me going to a doctor. I'd actually like to thank all of those who fight to keep me uninsured, as it helps me to stay an honest man.

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