Tuesday, February 19, 2008

By The Grace of God

So, yesterday I have to leave work early to make a doctor’s appointment with a new doctor. It was an odd experience.

My preliminary discussion with the doctor took place in his office, which contained a nice wooden desk and leather chairs – the kind you would expect from (surprise!) a doctor. Nothing out of the ordinary, except that all his framed photographs were facing the patient-side of the desk and not his own. Why would I want to look at his family? I can understand his pride, as his sons were pretty hot and wearing ties in the one picture of them. His wife, obviously a replacement, looked about 20 years younger than her husband and not too much older than his sons. But, certainly, the pictures were more for him than me. I suppose I should have been impressed, but I wasn’t.

The doctor would not look at me in the eye – he looked at his papers, the floor, the wall, and the ceiling, but not my eye. And he used the word “underpants,” although he’s not that old (“Take off everything but your underpants and put on the gown with the opening to the back.”). He kept moving from one place to another, one patient to another, in the course of my visit. I can appreciate the efficiency in which he runs his office – it didn’t keep me waiting, but it was certainly interesting.

I went from the doc’s leather-clad office to an exam room and back to the office, other patients in between our discussion in each room. Another interesting thing is the doc’s inability to shut his office door when talking with patients. It was when I was finished the exam and waiting to go back to the office that I heard the following conversation between the doc and another patient:

“By the grace of God, I wish he would just take me,” the man said.

“How many milligrams have you been taking?” asked the doc.

“I mean, I’m really going to miss my dog, but I’m not going to miss my life – this body. I just want it to be over already. The skin on my back is on fire and like pins are all in it. How are your sons?” said the man.

“They’re good. How long have you been seeing your GP?” asked the doc.

“Are they married yet?” quipped the man.

“Who?” asked the doc.

“Your sons. Are they married?” inquired the man.

“No. Tell me about your mood.”

“Are they at least living with anybody? Any nice girls? I can’t stop sweating,” said the man.

“Do you sweat at night?” asked the doc.

“Are you taking a vacation this year? God, I wish I could die. Any place nice?” asked the man.

“Yes, actually we’re going to Mexico. Do you need any other prescriptions filled?” asked the doc.

“I’m so worried about my dog. You know, when I die. Can I get some valium? I just get so overwhelmed! So flustered! Sometimes I just cannot handle it. Oh, my poor dog. By the grace of God. By the grace of God,” said the man.

“How’s 90?” asked the doc.

“I’m so glad you’re taking a vacation. That’s wonderful. That’s really wonderful. I CAN’T STOP ITCHING!” proclaimed the man.

The doctor walked the man out and came in to see me. I guess at this point I should tell you the doc is an Endocrinologist. Not a psychologist, not a psychiatrist, not even a GP – an Endocrinologist.

Seriously? Seriously.

1 comment:

reet said...