†††Itís possible I suffer from iatrophobia, or fear of doctors. The only way to be certain is to be diagnosed by mental health professionals, and they tend to be doctors.


†††† I make it a point not to see a doctor unless I have been shot, stabbed, or assailed by a vehicle larger than a Mini Cooper. Life is a chronic illness. Sooner or later, I will die from it. I donít need to pay a doctor to tell me as much.


†††† There exists a universal truth that when visiting a doctor, you must endure the humiliation of stepping on a scale, usually located in a busy office thoroughfare. Even if your malady is unrelated to girth, medical professionals will not pass up a chance to tell you you are fat.


†††† I recall a male doctor berating me for gaining three pounds. I reminded him that a human being was gestating in my uterus. Apparently, the fetus had not had a chance to study the growth chart and develop according to schedule.


†††† The act of procreation subjects women to a barrage of visits to the OB/GYN, short for Oh Baby Get Your Nickersoff. This is necessary in order to justify charging $18,000 for the twelve minute task of catching the infant as it is expelled from the birth canal.


†††† The epidural anesthesiologist, on the other hand, is worth every penny. Although I can tell you from experience that the best method to deal with pain during childbirth is the use of a surrogate.


†††† Despite reaching a lifetime quota of medical consults during my fecund years, upon entering my fifth decade, I visited the doctor for routine maintenance and received a colonoscopy for my trouble.


†††† In an effort to mitigate the overuse of expensive diagnostic procedures, my health care plan promotes a self-help approach to medicine: tell us your diagnosis, and we will tell you whatís wrong with you.


†††† I frequently consult the symptom checker on Mayo Clinicís Web site, which advises you to consult a doctor for leg pain if you see bone or tendon flapping around outside the epidermis. If Mayo Clinic doesnít work, I watch the news hour commercials so that a handsome cowboy can diagnose the source of my suffering as brittle bones, shingles, or impotence.


†††† There is much national debate regarding the decriminalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Ancient Egyptians used cannabis to provide relief from hemorrhoids by using hemp in suppository form. This is more efficacious than trying to sit on a bong. It would take the edge off the revolution and save a lot of lives if all of those angsty Egyptian men would heed ancient wisdom and insert a bit of pot up their sphinxes.††


††††† There are ways to cope with the impuissance of an aging body other than seeing a doctor. I have long argued for the medicinal use of tequila. And you donít need a nurse practitioner or drug dealer to prescribe it.