I have a confession to make…
For about a year I’ve been seeing a wellness doctor for “healthy aging.” About three years ago when my wife was going through menopause she consulted a similar doctor about her hormones and the difference in her was night and day. “I don’t feel like I’m going crazy anymore,” she said.
My son is a fitness guy, so when I mentioned to him I was feeling a bit run-down he said, “Dad, you’re a certain age and you’ve probably got low testosterone.”
I asked how I might get it tested by somebody who knew what they were doing and he said, “Those places are all around. They’re just hidden. It’s the biggest open secret there is. Any guy your age who looks great is probably doing it.”
I found the doctor with the best reputation in the area…
…(I’ll call him Dr. X), located right outside the gates of the ritziest country club in our area, and made an appointment. I liked him from the start. He had that perfect combination of intelligence (graduating from a top medical school) and confidence. “How did you get into this?” I asked in our first appointment.
“I got tired of seeing three hundred pound patients with diabetes and telling them again and again they needed to lose weight and stop smoking. In this practice I’m treating people who want to be pro-active with their health.”
I did the tests, my testosterone was low, and we did some treatments to triple my levels.
Now I feel as good and energetic as I did in my twenties, but I’ve got an additional thirty years of living and wisdom than I did then.
Dr. X and I had some good talks about the medical system, but I withheld some of my more controversial views. In February I did tell him I had a new book coming out and he might find it interesting.
When my wife went to see him in June her appointment went forty-five minutes longer than scheduled because Dr. X and his wife wanted to know all about our new book, PLAGUE OF CORRUPTION, and the videos of Dr. Mikovits.
“Babe, it’s like I was a celebrity because I was married to you,” she said. “When you go in July be prepared to spend a lot of time talking to him.”
“Why didn’t you tell me what you were writing about?” Dr. X asked when I appeared for my appointment.
I sheepishly said, “I knew you were smart, and somewhat rebellious, but I didn’t know if my work would be too much for you. Honestly, I was worried you might kick me out of your practice. Then where would I go to feel so good?”
He laughed. “You didn’t need to worry about me.” He’d already read my book and for the first time since I’d known him, he actually seemed a little insecure, as if some balance of power had shifted between us. “You know, I have to do what they tell me or they’ll shut me down,” he said, referring to the office mask policy. (Coincidentally the subject of my next book!)
“Hey, doc, no criticism of you. You need to keep the lights on. And you’re keeping me in top shape for the fight.”
Then he launched into an unexpected topic. “Did you see Trump’s July 3rd speech?”
“I don’t know if you’re a Trump supporter or not, and I really don’t give a shit if you are. But that speech was so patriotic, and the news media is out there calling it dark and divisive. These times are so scary.”
I said I was generally a supporter.
“You know, about 70% of the patients who come to see me are conservative, so I figured you probably were. The conservatives are the ones who want change, who aren’t satisfied with the status quo, in healthcare or anything.”
“It’s like the conservatives of today are the ones with liberal values of yesterday, not the liberals,” I said. “Whatever happened to free and open debate? Disagreeing on ideas, but believing your opponent to be a person of good moral character? Not a deplorable or an enemy of the state?“
“My grandfather came over here from Hungary, after the 1956 revolution,” Dr. X continued. “He knows how important freedom is. But now he’s scared. He keeps telling me, ‘I fled a country without freedom. Now I worried my grandchildren are going to grow up in a country that’s lost its freedom as well.’ And I can’t tell him he’s wrong.”
Maybe these interactions shouldn’t affect me as deeply as they do…
…but I can’t help it. Many years ago I was told by the teacher of a writing class, “If you ever become a writer of importance, don’t expect your family or friends to appreciate what you do.” He explained it’s simply too much of a mental leap for them to go from knowing you as a stupid teenager to that mythical writer who influences the thinking of a nation. That’s especially compounded by my work in which I take on what is arguably the most powerful and respected sector of our society, the medical profession.
I have the bonehead friends and family members who think negative things about me privately, and then the most they can bring themselves to say through gritted teeth is, “Wow, New York Times bestseller, how many books does that mean? Are you’re going to retire from teaching, now?”
No, I’m staying in teaching. And besides, I like teaching.
I really don’t mind people disagreeing with me, but my critics are without exception people who haven’t done their homework.
For all of the bonehead friends and family members who have actually said they consider me a threat to the population, I long for them to ask an informed question, such as “On page 125 you make an assertion about the vaccine court. Can you provide me the source?”
Even though they’d probably just need to go to the footnote (I am relentless with my footnoting), I’d cheerfully give it to them, then suggest after they read it, we have a discussion.
But perhaps my old writing teacher would have foreseen this as well. In fact, I remember him saying, “Even though your friends and family probably won’t appreciate what you’re doing, look for those people who are one step removed. Somebody who knows your family, or the friend of a friend. You’ll still be something mysterious to them, a half-formed impression, so when they find you’re a writer, and they read you, they’ll see you for the person you’ve become.”
And so I’m a hero to my doctor, but not my best friends, or the family members who live practically next door. I am guarded around close friends and at family gatherings. And yet I am most relaxed, loose and funny, with those I meet at rallies, or book-signings.
And I’m a hero to my wife…
Maybe that should be enough. Maybe I shouldn’t expect those closest to me to understand what I’m doing. But it would be nice.
Opinion by Kent Heckenlively, JD
Be sure to order Kent Heckenlively’s new book with Dr. Judy Mikovits, PLAGUE OF CORRUPTION from Amazon which you can do RIGHT NOW!