When I started high school at Stuart Robinson School in 1951, I was amazed at the quantity of books in the library. I started checking them out and reading them.
I found out that I didn’t know some of the words in the books. I made up my mind to learn one new word every school day using the encyclopedias.
For four years in high school, four years in college, and three years in graduate school, I learned a lot of words.
Then I kept on learning new words. After about the age of 50 new words started showing up in my life, and I had to learn more of them.
The first word I learned was hemorrhoids. Then came EKG, cholesterol, and blood enzymes.
As I got older new words had to be learned. Biopsy, glucose, electrocardiogram, lipids, ultrasound, lithium, stress test, barium swallow, and bone scan.
Then the words I had to learn got more complicated. Triglycerides, hemoglobin, gamma globulin, sleep apnea, radiogram and sonogram.
Some words were so complicated, they just made up letters for the words. PSA, EKG, MRI, EEG, and CSI, but I learned them just the same.
As I got older still, the doctors started cutting out and off parts of my body, and I had to learn more worlds. Arthroscopy, cytoscopy, endoscopy, esophagoscopy, and worst of all, colonoscopy.
And now I’m nearing 83 years old, and I’ve just learned a new word in the last week — transurethral prostatectomy. That word sounds painful to me.
I’m beginning to think that doctors these days, in their spare time, think up new tests for us, give them big names that we don’t understand, just to get more money from our health insurance so they can go on vacation to Hawaii instead of Florida every year.