After waiting for over three hours to see the new doc, I was in. I like him. He’s a gentle man and very concerned with providing excellent care for his patients. I started off with his P.A. who is also very nice and extremely thorough. They’re a good team and I know I’m in good hands.
My visit started with a very long wait. They were behind. I’d planned for that, though. I just didn’t know how behind and found myself wishing I had brought the laptop so I could edit photos while I waited. Oh well. They had movies for patients in the waiting room. Nice touch. Not kid stuff. I Am Sam. Contact. Helps to have entertainment when you’re a captive.
There was a cute little elderly man there waiting with me. At one point he got up to use the phone the office provides the patients. “I’m still waiting. Yes. You’re right. It is a long time. Don’t worry, I’ll be home soon, sugar. I love you, babe.” I think I swooned a bit when I heard that. It was so sweet and fresh and unexpected. There was a twinkle in his eye. I do believe I fell in love with this stranger right then and there. He suddenly didn’t seem older at all.
There was another man there. One the rest of us decidedly did not like. Mr. Talkstooloudonhiscellphoneguy. Like a man who has suddenly lost his hearing and therefore speaks loudly and doesn’t realize or care that he’s disruptive. You know, the sort who doesn’t see everyone around him tense up. Or flinch. Every time he opens his mouth. One woman who’d been sitting quietly in the corner near me, got up, walked over to him, and said, “Do you realize how loud you are? Perhaps you should take this call outside.” He looked confused and then quickly went outside. Very quickly. I inwardly cheered this woman. Then I turned to her and thanked her. Everyone else chimed in with their thanks. She just shrugged and said, “someone has to tell him. It’s not fair to everyone else that we should be jangled and unnerved by someone who isn’t aware of others’ discomfort.” I fell in love for the second time that day. I know who I want to be when I grow up: her!
Finally, I’m called back by a nice looking young man. I walk in and am escorted to the xray room. Sigh. Nice looking young man and I chat to pass the time as he sets up the xrays. He asks about possible pregnancy. I laugh and tell him that would be a miracle and it would make me a rich woman. Very rich. I’d own an entire hospital system. He asks if I’d hire him. I say of course I will. And he says, “good, then I can hit on you all the time, like I’m doing right now” and I giggle. I thank him for making my day. He is, after all, young and nice looking. And funny. Then I ask how long he’s been at the job. “Four years. But not for much longer. Which is why I’m being so forward.” Suddenly, I can’t think. I struggle for a moment and then ask where he’s going. “To the other office on the other side of town.” Blah blah blah, we move on. He smiles and it’s a warm, sweet smile. Damn. Too young.
I’m off to wait in the hallway. I talk to a charming older man for a few minutes before he’s called in to see the doctor. Then the cute elderly man of the “sugar, babe” conversation in the waiting room is seated next to me. We talk. He’s been there an hour longer than I have and he’s getting tired. You can see it in his eyes and all over his face. “It’s not usually like this,” he says. “Sometimes they just get too many people at once.” I’m one of the extra people they’ve squeezed into the schedule, so I’m really not complaining. I pass the bulk of the time texting. And falling in love with strangers in a doctor’s office. My cute little old man is called in and I’m alone again. Then Mr. Xray calls out from the xray room, “did you drop something in here? I think you might have.” I smile. I know where this is going. “I don’t know, what is it?” Yes, I’m going to make him work for this. He says this again. So finally I wander in and he hands me a piece of paper. I know before I open it that it has his phone number. I think I may have blushed. I add it to my phone right away, ask for a pen, write my number down, and hand the paper back to him. We make eye contact, smile, and I go sit back down in the hall.
Now it’s my turn. I’m called and shown to a room. The medical assistant is from San Diego, knows my hospital, etc. We chat. Then the P.A. comes in. We go over my history. Dr. Sesame Street Character (yes, that’s what I think whenever I hear his name) comes in. He’s wearing his Sikh turban. It’s actually lovely and frames his face beautifully. Apparently this level of pain and exhaustion and relief at being in the office (finally) have heightened my senses to point where everything is fascinating.
Dr. Sesame reviews my xrays and points out more degeneration above my cervical fusion, along with what appears to be a bone spur. The lumbar fusion looks fine but he’s concerned about some of my symptoms. “We need an MRI. And nerve conduction studies.” Oh joy. I don’t mind the MRI, but nerve conduction studies can be “uncomfortable”.
I’m given meds. I’m given another appointment. I’m told the tests will help them better determine the care I’ll need, the type and extent of the physical therapy I’m hoping I’ll get (and which was recommended by the QME months ago…almost a whole year ago, can you believe that?), and whatever else I need to function as a real human again.
And that was it. My first visit with my new doc. I think I’m going to like working with him a lot.
Oh, and yes, Mr. Xray has contacted me already. He called last night. We’ve been texting most of the day. We may be getting together tonight at a local place where my friend’s band is playing. Informal and no pressure. We’ll see what happens. The man is only 30. THIRTY! I dunno about this.
But I do know that I’m happy to be with a good doc and that’s all that matters.
Also, I want to know how Dr. Sesame gets his turban wrapped so perfectly. I’m fascinated. Delicate folds and pleats. Everything tucked just so. Nary a wrong wrap. Something along the lines as seen in this photograph. Those ridges…the lines. As I get to know the doctor better, I’ll probably ask. And I’ll probably ask if I can photograph him, too. (I’ve learned to ask more people I normally wouldn’t and it’s been paying off quite nicely, thank you.)