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Spellcaster's Disease - Chapter 5

Spellcaster's Disease - Chapter 5

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Published by Timothy Hui
Magic might change the job for better or worse, but perhaps it brings even greater changes.
Magic might change the job for better or worse, but perhaps it brings even greater changes.

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Published by: Timothy Hui on May 05, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Chapter 5 – Work 
Every time I go to a mixer, when people meet for the first time, they usually ask each other, “So, what do you do?”At my last mixer, people asked, “So, what can you do?”Despite everything out there, people still think of magic like some kind of superpower. Oh, you can do magic? What’s your superpower? Flight? Strength? Canyou leap tall buildings in a single bound? But magic is reality, not a comic books. Youcan cast any spell, provided you know how. Or, well, the term spell isn’t exactly righteither. A better way of putting it is, if you can do it, you can do it. People will alwayshave things they’re better at, but if someone can do a little magic, there’s a chance thatthey can be taught at least a little more. That’s what I tell people everyday.It hasn’t sunk in yet.As for me, I used to do sports medicine. Kinda. Say, you sprained your ankle.Yeah, you could eat Advil and ice it, and you’ll be better in weeks. Or, you could comesee me and speed things along a lot faster, like weeks become days. I never had a cool buzzword to describe what I did. People think, Chiropractor, you crack my back. Or maybe physical therapy, you’ll show me some exercises. Not exactly and not exactly.Those were the good days. After my article, the one calling me Dr. Doolittle, people called me all the time to check out their pets. I’d tell them, hey, I’m not a vet.They didn’t care. They offered me cash, lots of it too. And after a few weeks andmounting bills, I said, fine, I’ll see what I can do.
The owner was a well-dressed lady. The patient was her slobbering GermanShepherd. The problem was a limp.Somehow, the dog knew I could help, and laid his 100-pound gut on my foot.“Alright, what can I do for you.”The dog rolled over, showing me his hip. Now people ask me how I know how totreat animals, but the truth is, everything works about the same as it does in humans.What I do is get inflammation out of muscles and joints, and maybe break up somescarring. For a dog with a bum hip, that’s exactly what the doctor ordered. Yeah, I know big dogs like that have history of hip dysplasia and other conditions like that, but I toldthe owner that it was something I couldn’t fix.“No problem, just do what you can,” was my reply.I did my thing, and the dog walked a little better. That made the dog happy. Thatmade the owner crazy happy. “I’ll bring him every week,” she said as she cut me a check for two hundred dollars.“You know, you don’t really need to bring him that much. He really doesn’t needit.”“Yeah, but I would feel better if I brought him each week. I don’t want him tosuffer.”Well, what could I do? Her dog seemed to like it, and I got 200 bucks a week. Iremember another patient about this time. He got some shoulder tendonitis, which took acouple treatments to finish. We billed his insurance, but it got applied to his deductible.“So I owe you 150 dollars?” He didn’t sound happy. I don’t blame him.
“I’m sorry, but your insurance has a 1000 dollar deductible. So you’reresponsible for the first 1000 dollars a year. We’ve adjusted you down to a lower rate,however you still owe us the balance on your account.”“What the hell? I have coverage for this on my policy.”“Yes, but that only covers certain in-network providers, which we are not. Wetold you that on the first day.”“Why aren’t you in network? Shouldn’t you join up with the system.”“I’m not sure what kind of care you’ll get in network, but they pay 28 a visit. For the amount of work we do, we cannot afford such a low payment. You recovered after that one treatment, right?”“Yeah, but. You should give me a discount.”“You’re already receiving a discount. Full price would be 200.”“That’s just too much. I’m not paying.”
He hung up on us. We ended up having to use collections to get themoney. And he wasn’t alone. Most people would just complain and argue, but payeventually. The weird thing was that the pet owners wouldn’t bat an eyelash about paying us, but the people would fight us with everything they had. If they were in pain,maybe I could understand. But their treatment worked. They came in, they got well.“And that’s why I treat dogs,” I said to Ryan and Kevin. It was after a long day atwork for me, and for them too. They were dressed in their superhero idiot disguises.andlooked bored after another meaningless patrol.“But you could do so much more. A lot of people need your help.” Ryan still hadhis superhero vision.

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