So I reached the seventh grade and was somehow fifty pounds lighter. Okay, not somehow, I had stopped eating. But no one recognized that as the true reason.
The parents took me to the hospital to visit the doctor that had been my pediatrician since birth. Unfortunately, he was on some sort of sabbatical. So I was forced to see the new guy. This doctor must have been fresh out of medical school, 'cause he sort of had that deer-in-the-headlights kind of look the whole time he was examining me and running his tests.
And he ran some tests. Lots and lots of tests. You name the potential disease, I was tested for it.
During my initial visit, the doctor asked me, "Why do you think you're not hungry?"
"I think it's all psychological," was my response.
The doctor, completely serious, just looked at me and asked, "Aaron, what does psychological mean?"
In my mind, I was thinking Aren't you the doctor? Did they not explain psychology to you in medical school? I really wanted to see his degrees just to get some proof that he wasn't some wacko.
I like to think that he really just wanted to make sure a 12-year-old kid knew what he was saying. I must have surprised him with just how brilliant I really was.
A few weeks into our doctor/patient relationship he brought me and the family into his office and sat us down. "Well, we don't think it's Leukemia but we don't want to rule it out."
Really dude? That's what you say to a 12-year-old kid? Even the ones who know what psychological means can crap their pants when you use the word Leukemia.
It wasn't Leukemia.
It wasn't long after that that we decided to wait for my regular doctor to get back to town. We definitely needed a second opinion.
Dr. Keagy examined me himself, then came up with his own possibility. One that no one had considered, mostly because I was a boy.
"Aaron may have an eating disorder called anorexia nervosa."
See, it was all psychological.