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“So is it a boy or a girl?” I joked with my ultrasound technician.

“You wouldn’t believe how many times a day people say that to me,” she told me with a smile.

I was lying in a high-tech chair with sticky goo on my belly and a sci-fi scanner poking into my abdomen. I had a whole new sympathy for what my wife experienced when she was pregnant with our daughter. 

My doctor had sent me to Diagnostic Imaging Services to get my liver scanned. During a recent check up, he ordered some blood work and my liver levels were higher than he liked.

It was the second time in a row they were elevated. The first time, we blamed it on the fact that I had just returned from summer vacation where I had done some “celebrating.”

But the second time, there was no excuse. So Dr. Bukhari asked me to get an ultrasound of my major organs, including my liver.

So here I was, joking with the technician - albeit using very unoriginal humor.

She took picture after picture of my organs, and even politely turned the screen toward me so I could watch.  All I saw was a mesh of dark and light shadows, but she sure knew what she was looking at.

A few days later, I got my results. I had fatty deposits on my liver. I know, sexy right?

But actually, that is good news because it is very treatable. And my doctor gave me the simple cure: exercise. Even just increasing my activity a little will go a long way, he told me.

He admitted exercising is hard.  He tries to get in a basketball game when he can, but with his busy doctor schedule, it’s even a challenge for him.  And he’s about to get even busier.  He and his wife are expecting their first child.

He shared with me that his weakness is ice cream. I told him my weakness is seconds. It doesn’t matter the food. I like second helpings. 

Ever since I’ve started writing this monthly column for Meritus Health, one of the rewards has been getting to know my doctor.

Dr. Bukhari with Meritus Medical Group’s Potomac Family Medicine could also be called my coach. He’s very friendly, even when he tells me I have fat on my liver. He also isn’t judgmental, telling me he just prefers to give the facts and a sympathetic ear. 

So besides more exercising, I’ve added my own prescription for good health in 2015... regularly checking in with my doctor. We all need a good coach on our team. 

And in a few weeks, I’ll be able to ask him, “Is it a boy or a girl?” And this time, I won’t be joking.

You can find your own primary care doctor (aka: “coach”) at


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