Clinicians throughout the Washington-Baltimore Statistical Metropolitan Area know that Michael Rolnick is a superlative clinical diagnostician of the old school. This reputation for lightening and bull’s-eye accurate diagnosis of ailments comes from his innate ability to “read” a patient, mentally and physically, then synthesize his observations, hands-on tests and the patient’s stated complaints (and, most importantly, a patient’s “hidden agenda”) and deliver the correct diagnosis before most physicians can figure out which new-fangled diagnostic machine or test to order.
Alas, his Sherlockian skills do not always extend to his own person. Case in point: notice I used the phrase “bull’s-eye.” Late on the night before we were leaving for the Netherlands, Michael descended the stairs in his boxers, announcing, “I think I have Lyme’s Disease. Look at this rash – it’s the classic bull’s-eye rash of Lyme’s. I wonder how I got it?”
I looked at the Superman of Diagnosticians and said, “You’ve GOT to be kidding. I told you several days ago that I’d found a tick on me and you made me immediately take an antibiotic prophylactically. Didn’t you check for ticks on yourself?” I also pointed out that in the last fortnight we’d spent a week in Wyoming-Colorado, gone biking and walking in the woods, and he’d played golf just a few days previously. “How could you miss a tick Why would you not look for ticks?”
(A few words of defense here: the rash was on the back of Michael’s upper thigh and rather difficult to spot on yourself – unless you were a yoga master or another sort of contortionist. Having hairy legs didn’t help his powers of observation!)
Meanwhile, Tim, examining the ugly rash, noted, “Pop, the tick’s still on you.”
Yup, right in the center of the bull’s-eye rash was a deer tick – a rather fat little deer tick.
Michael’s response?? “I thought that was a scab. Well, I guess it’s definite: I’ve got Lyme’s Disease.”
Like I said, bull’s-eye accurate, but this time a bit slow on the uptake. Michael went to order an antibiotic. Tim and I killed the tick.
There is some humor to be gained from all this: in addition to his numerous appellations (Gramps, The Rawls, Marco Rococo [don’t ask] and Swaggy [you really don’t want to know]), we can now all add the nickname “Tick Magnet.”
But he won’t be called a “cheese head” any time soon. Even though we are now in The Netherlands (a.k.a., The Land of Happy Cows) which produces the world’s best cheese, Michael cannot partake of this bounty because dairy products interfere with the antibiotic he’s (finally) taking.
So, dare I say it….
THE CHEESE STANDS ALONE!!!