If I were wheezing and gasping for breath as I begged for an appointment with my doctor’s receptionist, would you want me to keep it down during said begging? OK, you’d probably want to hear all the drama of my life since you were stuck waiting for your appointment. Being a gossip hound, I know that was exactly how I felt.
First there was the big guy who couldn’t avoid emitting a string of curses every time he moved. “Oh Jesus!” he’d creak as he sat down, then, vaguely, “Sorry!” Or, later, “Christ!” as he shifted in his seat, and “pardon me!” Standing back up earned a “Aww fuck! Oh excuse me.” At least he tried to be quiet. He didn’t try to be quiet when his cell phone rang, though:
bq. “Yeah, they think I have a hematoma. And cracked ribs. Yeah, it feels about like that. Naw, I don’t remember it all. Sure must’ve been, though! He keeps on calling me, says he wants to be my sponsor… I told him I’m not sure I want to take it all the way to sponsor, you know? More like a friend and a sponsor-y person to talk to. Exactly, I’m not sure I trust him! I totally think he was lying. Yeah, exactly. Naw, I’m not at the same doctor. Nah, he wouldn’t give me the pills. Yep, I’m gonna try this one, he works for Larry. Yeah, that’s right. No, I don’t wanna have the same sponsor as him, he seems kinda… hold on”
I think that was when he noticed I was taking notes on his conversation. A pity, since I’d been waiting for a good fifteen minutes when this guy started talking. Fortunately, there were two kind souls who followed on that show to make my 45-minute wait seem as short as possible.
First was a short, square, older Latin man who stomped in with the bow-legged gait of a physical laborer. “Why you give my son pills?” he asked. There was some hemming and hawing as the man insisted my doctor gave his son samples and a prescription, and the doctor insisted he just gave the prescription. “I don’t want you give him pills, you know he go to doctors and they give him pills and he take pills with a drink and he take too much of both,” said the man. “I only gave him amoxicillin and vicodin for the eye pain, he tried to get percoset but I wouldn’t give it to him,” explained my doctor, a short, swarthy man who — if the photos on his walls say anything — used to be an Air Force doctor and who graduated from USC but who seems to have season tickets to UCLA football.
I hope my doctor is not the guy to go for if you’re prescription-shopping. But that would explain his popularity.
He’s so popular his patients can’t wait to come back. One young lady, trying to lose weight, was coming in every six months. “I stopped feeding my cat seconds, too!” she said to her nurse as I passed her on the way to get weighed. Old Black Lady Who Couldn’t Breathe also couldn’t stay away. She shuffled in, bright in her pink silk shirt and pink polyester pants.
bq. “Hi honey. [wheeze] The other doctor [wheeze] finally [wheeze] diagnosed [wheeze] me with a [wheeze] breathing problem. [wheeze] I got tests [wheeze] and everything! [wheeze] I called you [wheeze] a little [wheeze] earlier [wheeze] and said [wheeze] I’d be in. [wheeze] I know [wheeze] I had [wheeze] an appointment [wheeze] last Tuesday [wheeze] but I was [wheeze] too tired [wheeze] to come in [wheeze] then, so [wheeze] I thought [wheeze] I’d come in [wheeze] now. [wheeze] Oh honey, [wheeze] cain’t the doctor [wheeze] see me [wheeze] today? [wheeze] I know [wheeze] I don’t have [wheeze] no appointment [wheeze] today but [wheeze] I was [wheeze] hoping?
She didn’t stick around for her non-appointment but I have faith in whatever doctor diagnosed her with a breathing problem. Still, she was a spry lady for someone I’d guess was in her late 70s — she kept on knocking things off of the receptionist’s desk, but she’d reach down and pick ‘em right back up!
See, with folks like that at the doctor’s, who needs TV? All you need is a phone with a little keyboard on it so that you can transcribe conversations while people think you’re just texting your friends. Like I’d text; I ain’t got no friends to text to!
Anyway, I still have the same unspecified blah that I’ve had for the last two weeks, but at least now we’ve Run Some Tests. Soon I’ll have a name to put to all this and then it’ll be all better! It’s just like being in House!
fn1. I’ve lost weight. More on that later.
fn2. Perhaps a rayon blend?
fn3. I know _you’re_ my friend. That’s not the issue here. The issue is that I’ve been in every night for two weeks because I’ve felt miserable, so I’ve turned all my friends away.