Dr. Patient self-diagnoses by Richard Weaver

an enviable array of illnesses, specializing in syndromes, from AHS
(Alien Hand Syndrome) to ZES (Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome), certain
of his skill in the way that certain people always are and have no choice
and must certainly be. He has always been wildly allergic to doubt,
never second guesses a decision, and has no Plan B. Even for someone

such as himself with an advanced case of logorrhea there is no such
phrase as Plan B. He doesn’t consider his gynecomastia problematic,
though his nipples are often painfully erect. By any measure he
manages his untrained mammaries. As for Tourettes, he considers it
a necessary first line of defense against all marketeers.

Dr. Patient is a case study of case studies. The rarest of rare.
The most sublime and impenetrable. He presents symptoms from the bed
of a dump truck in karaoke (pronounced Karah Okay he insists) fashion,
without orchestra but with increased endorphins, and occasionally with OCD,
a backup grunge band he also manages on his off days.

Progeria, aka HGPS (you had to know it was yet another syndrome),
has recently appeared on his chart. In his defense, although he is too old
for premature aging, he plays the odds and respects statistics, especially
deviations from the norm. Quick to quote, he will say, the trouble with
normal is it only gets worse.* Hard to argue with such hard core logic.

To date he has an allergy to water, seen his hands as aliens, spoken with
uncontrollable foreign accents, suffered himself to constant and inconstant
pulling of hair, become a nostril hair braider and collector of the world’s
largest earwax ball, performed off-Broadway as Alex in Wonderland,
grown fish scales and tree bark skin, had a single buttock suddenly enlarge,
and delighted in the assumption of another’s body. With a petrified
stiff upper lip he has met and matched them all.

Sad to say he never fell under the singular eye of Oliver Wolf Sacks, CBE, FRBC.
*Bruce Cockburn

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