Put a scotch on it.


One of my favorite and longtime patients was in the office this past week. He is in his late seventies and he and I were discussing his prostate cancer. His PSA was very slowly rising after about 15 years after I had removed his prostate. He was very hesitant to do anything, such as radiation, that might alter his otherwise excellent quality of live. We mutually agreed that at his age, we would just watch his PSA every three months and do something if the change in the value occurred more rapidly. He said,”Dr. McHugh if it keeps going up we’ll just put a scotch on it.” This remark took me aback for a minute considering his age and what I knew about him. I from time to time enjoy scotch and began to think that many times I too had “put a scotch on it” in certain situations in the past. “Really, Mr. Taylor? What kind of scotch do you like? Are you a single malt scotch purist?” Puzzled he said,”I don’t drink, Dr. McHugh. I said put a scotch on it. Like putting a block on a car wheel on hill to keep it from moving.” He, his wife and I took a good laugh, but I felt I had disclosed a little bit more about myself to them than I preferred. I love sayings and never heard that one. It originated with railroad tracks and placing a “scotch” to keep the railroad car from moving.

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