Thursday, January 23, 2014

When Words Change

It's amazing how definitions change over time.   Follow me on this.  

I recently had my annual check-up with my urologist.   I've been dutifully doing this every year now for a long time.  Having a father who died from prostate cancer will do that to you.

Well, my doctor is a wonderful guy, who's retired once and came back to a practice because he missed seeing people every day.  Okay, think about how he sees patients every day and you'll know that he must really, really hate golf.

So, I have the usual urology exam that involves way too much information to share here.  Once done with that, my doctor and I sit down to chat.  And he explains to me why I won't be giving blood today for the traditional PSA test.

As my doctor tells me, PSA scores are now not considered vital indicators of prostate cancer.   They have fallen out of favor and, as a result, he is sparing his patients the inconvenience of having their arm poked for blood.

Okay, I'm fine with this.

My doctor goes to tell me that the only truly accurate assessment of a healthy or diseased prostate cancer is done with a digital exam.

Oh, I think.  I ask him when we are going to schedule that.

Holding up his finger, my doctor responds triumphantly.

"You just had it."

Oh, again.

The 1958 definition of the word "digital."

You hear that same word today and you think of all sorts of technological wonders.  But, indeed, if you look it up in a dictionary, you'll see what "digital" really means.

"Pertaining to a digit or a finger."

I left the office amazed.  I was deemed squeaky clean for one more year.  And I learned something as well.

The more words change, the more they stay the same.

Dinner last night:  Stir fry vegetables.


Anonymous said...

Glad you got a thumbs up or rather,...never mind..glad your little bean is fine.
I am uncertain as to what caused your amazement. Glad your are well.

Anonymous said...

"What symetrical digits." W.C. Fields to Mae West