I was really starting to think it was never going to happen for me. After wasting four years in college, another four years in medical school, three more years in residency, and the last fourteen in this strip mall urgent care clinic, I was beginning to think that the dream was dead. The Lord never gave me a son to carry on the Boltschmidt name. It seemed so cruel that He might also deny me an incapacitating disease to call my own.
But then you walked into this clinic and into my life. The world sure works in mysterious ways, doesn’t it? You thought you were going into a Quiznos for a turkey sub that brilliant June day, but your heretofore-unknown symptom complex came through my doors instead. Suddenly, I had a reason to keep getting up in the morning.
I say this with the utmost sincerity and gratitude: I truly believe that your terrible disease is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me.
Hold still a sec, let me take a quick photo of you… excellent.
I mean, it’s like God smiled down upon me when he gave you this crippling illness. The other night, after I finished off a second celebratory bottle of champagne, I tried to imagine what it would be like to walk in your shoes. That is, if you were still able to walk. Or wear shoes, what with the swelling and blistering and all. Could you tell that something magical was happening the first time you passed eyeball blood? What about when your perineal skin spontaneously combusted? Or that time you made mouth urine?
When I write the journal article, I’ll need to come up with a more medical term than “mouth urine.”
At first I thought that we could name the disease after both of us, but Boltschmidt-Smith disease just sounds awkward. Plus I figured, why would you want to be forever tied to the chromosomal abnormality that led to your disfiguring anal migration? So I’ll take one for the team and shoulder this glorious burden on my own. From now on, any time a healthy college student in the prime of life is stricken with fever, fatigue, and tongue pus, people will have to say, “Looks like the poor bastard has Boltschmidt’s.”
I’ll probably get my own Wikipedia page!
Just turn on your side if you can. Great. OK, one… two… three… say “cheese”… fantastic!
Oh, right, you probably noticed all the news vans and reporters outside. I guess that is what happens when a physician faxes pictures of a patient’s scrotal leprosy to every media outlet in a 500-mile radius, especially when that physician defines “media outlet” loosely enough to include bloggers, high school newspapers, and the Thrifty Nickel. You have every right to expect me to be your advocate, so let me assure you that your privacy is of the utmost importance. So, with the exception of faxing photos of your explosively bulbous testicles to hundreds of strangers and then alerting them to your appointment time, I plan to keep the doctor-patient relationship sacred. I won’t even tell them that you have syphilis.
By the way, the lab results came back: you have syphilis.
While you’re here, there’s something else we should discuss. I’m sure that when Hollywood hears about this, there’s going to be interest in making a movie based on our story. Actually, Hollywood has already heard about this since I mailed out some spec scripts last week. If I may say, it’s really beautiful how I tie things together at the end, with the climax cutting between scenes of your tortured death in the throes of uncontrollable pain and diffuse nipple melt, and scenes of my triumphant acceptance of the Nobel Prize. Of course, neither of those events has actually happened yet, but I’m sure you’ll agree that both are just a matter of time. Just think: every big-name Hollywood hunk will be itching to play you. Literally, because to win the part they’ll have to really sell the intestinal eczema.
Anyway, I have to run. Need to post these new pics of you on my Tumblr. Feel free to hang out here until your mouth stops peeing. Oh man, my career is gonna blow up any minute now. I can feel it!