All Quack, No Heart.

“Hi Hon.” Stacking groceries on the counter I grab the carton of Cherry Garcia. “Want ice cream?”

Rob’s face creases with worry. “I might need a heart valve transplant.”

“Oh really, and the quack told you this?”

“He did a test.”

“Of course, he did a test. He’s run off most of his patients. He’s a quack.” My voice rises as the dog crawls onto Rob’s lap to lick his chin. I ignore the muscle twitching beneath my left eye and calm my voice. “Okay, tell me about your appointment.”

“Well, I went in to have my blood work done and he said he’d like to do a stress test.”

Rob is a stress test but I bite my lip. “Was the office busy?”

“No, that’s why he suggested I have a stress test.”

I grunt. “And you’re worried?”

“Well, yeah.”

And he is worried. “Listen Honey,” I say, as patiently as I can, “the man is a quack.” Rob opens his mouth but I plow on. “He showed me his brand-new sonogram machine, swiped the wand over my abdomen, and decided I had bladder cancer.” I stab a finger against the tic. “I had to see a Urologist who told me I was fine, go home.”

“But …”

“No buts Rob, the man is a quack.”

“But I have to see a specialist.”

“Good.” I wrench the lid off the carton and shove a spoon into the melting ice cream. “Someone needs to tell you that you’re going to live.”


“We’ll, are you going to live?”

His face falls, “They didn’t tell me.”

“But you did a stress test?” He nods. “Okay.” I close the laptop and give Rob my attention. “Tell me everything.”

“Well, they put me on the treadmill.”

“And?” I prompt.

“Well, they kept increasing the speed and then the elevation and after twenty minutes, a doctor came out and asked if I was a marathon runner. I told him no, but I walk my seventeen-year-old dog around the block every day.”

“So,” I say, “that’s good.” But Rob doesn’t look convinced. I heave a sigh. “You’re fine.”

He shakes his head. “They didn’t tell me the results.”

“Uh huh.” The tic is back.


Parking my rollaboard by the front door I turn to give Rob a hug, and stop. “What the hell is that?”

The worried look is back as Rob fingers the blue box hanging over his chest. “A heart monitor.”


He opens his mouth, but I start to quack, and after a moment he laughs.

“So, do you think you’ll live?” I ask, as I uncork a bottle of Merlot. Usually, I peel off the uniform two seconds after I cross the threshold, but I’m distracted by Rob and his damned blue box.

“I have to wear this for twenty-four hours, so I’ve decided to sleep on the couch where I won’t bother you.”

“Good idea.”


“Hi Honey.” I greet Rob at the door. “How was your appointment.”

“I’m fine.” He shrugs, but the sheepish expression gives him away. 

“And?” I ask.

“Well,” he says, “there were seven of us in the waiting room and we all wore heart monitors.”

We laugh for a moment and then I point a finger in his face. “The day you have a serious problem, is the day you go to my physician.”

“But I like this guy.”

“I’m just sayin.”

11 Replies to “All Quack, No Heart.”

  1. Loved this. As a worry wart, the wife is almost shocking in her dismissal of the doctor, even if he is a quack. She has no heart. I guess that was your point. Glad she was right and it was a trip to read.

    1. That was me. I have great respect for medical practitioners and have been fortunate to interact with professionals. Except this guy. He was a trip. (So’s my husband, but that’s a another story!)
      The Secrets of Winter is a beautiful poem! Enjoy your Sunday.

      1. Oops! I put my whole foot in it. I am sorry. I am a fanatic worry wart when it comes to my husband. Thanks for liking my poem and have a great Sunday yourself!

      2. No, no no! You did not put your foot in it. I worry way less than I should and I lack patience. There is not a patient bone in my body, and I know Rob – he kept going to the Quack because they liked to talk stocks.

  2. I wish I could be a little more like that but lately I worry SO much… well I adore my husband and we are old. Tears come nearly daily.

  3. Haha, too funny. I relate to this so much as my husband and I banter all the time about the doctors. Well done on somehow putting all the varieties and occasions of that scene into words. Really enjoyed it. Thanks.

    1. Thank you. Rob is definitely a character and every idea he has is a good idea – according to him! But he’s like my sister Brat, they love it when I write about them. Go figure!

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