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A Second Opinion
by Michael C. Keith

Elliot felt he knew things about his health that his primary care physician did not, and this disturbed him. What if he’s missing something? he wondered, recalling his erratic heartbeat when he slumped down on the couch. If he wired me up for an EKG when it did that, it sure wouldn’t look normal. How could it? Something has to be wrong with my ticker to do all that fluttering and bouncing around. Maybe I better go to a heart doctor.

Elliot searched online for a cardiac specialist, deciding not to ask his personal physician for a referral. He might think I question his ability, he thought. It wouldn’t be good to give him that idea. It might piss him off, and then who knows how he’d be the next time I see him. These guys don’t like to be questioned. They have a God complex.

After locating a possible cardiologist in his area, Elliot probed the Internet to see how his patients and former patients rated him. Jeez, the guy is some kind of super doc. Nothing but great comments about him. Wonder if he’ll take on new patients? Probably not . . . damn. This dude’s a star. His practice has to be closed.

Despite his doubts, Elliot dialed the specialist’s office. To his great surprise, he was told to come in the following week.

By the time the date arrived, Elliot was so filled with a sense of foreboding about the results of his heart exam that he cancelled the appointment. Probably got nothing wrong with me anyway. After all, my doctor said the EKG looked normal, so why should I doubt him? I’m no expert. Besides the web says it’s not uncommon for a heart to sputter and skip beats sometimes, he reasoned.

That evening while Elliot was kicking back and watching MTV, he suddenly realized that his heart was thumping in sync with the latest Juicy J video, and he freaked out.

“Oh, my God, I hate him!” he screamed, leaping for the remote.