Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It Was Something You Ate

Pinkas Lebovits, my new dermatologist, walked in and took a quick look at my arms.

"It was something you ate."


"Yes. What did you eat last night? Pork?"


"Seafood, shellfish?"


"No? Fish? No?"


"Spicy foods? Tomatoes?"

He broke off to take a call in Polish. The black cord hung across the door as he stood at the counter and faced the glass cabinets. Dobrze, dobrze, he said. Dobrze. Finally he hung up and turned around.

"So are you sure that's what it is? It's what I ate?"

"Yes. It comes from the inside."

He took his pad out of his lab coat pocket and began to scrawl.

"It will go away. Eat simple foods, simple."


"No spicy foods, no pork. No fish."


"The poison is leaving your system. No shellfish."

"No shellfish."

"Sometimes maybe you feel uncomfortable, but you don't worry." He made a circular gesture with his hand. "You gonna be fine."


"Come see me in two weeks. It goes away already, cancel."


"If you cannot breathe, you call the emergency room."


"No shellfish."


"No pork, no fish. No red wine."


"No eggs."


He turned to open the door.

"Thank you," I said.

"You're welcome," he said.

"Thanks," I said.

He walked ahead of me back down the hall.

"My name is Dr. Lebovits," he said. He didn't turn his head.