Thursday, February 11, 2010

a waiting game

@ the doctors
Originally uploaded by daveterry.
I expect to wait for the doctor when I visit. It really doesn't matter just how sick I am, he makes me wait. I've outsmarted him this time. I brought my sketch journal. And as I sat waiting in the waiting room (it is called a waiting room after all) I sketched one of the chairs that held . . . no one.

Wait a minute, no one? If I'm the only one in this waiting room, why am I waiting? This is bizarre.

There are 25 chairs in this room and all of them are empty. What could the doctor be doing anyway? I imagine him at a desk at the back of the hall, reading the New York Times or a good who-done-it book. He simply can't put the book down until he reaches the end of the chapter. Besides, who would know? The door is closed and the nurses are busy with all the paperwork from the last person.

The patient can, well, just be patient. The doctor has a lot of things to do.

After an hour of waiting I was finally admitted, but not to see the doctor. I had to see his nurse. She was a 250 lb woman whose green garb was so tight I heard the stitches screaming under great strain. When she sat down on the little stool in front of me, I expected the sides of her pants to blow out and see her deflate in a pile in front of me. I thought: No one could be this overweight and be working as a nurse in a health care facility. This must be some sort of a joke. Is this woman for real? Am I on camera?

She was big, did I mention? She set her green open box of torture implements next to me on the examination table. That was a sign. This box was one of those plastic totes that my wife puts cleaning supplies in. Is she going to poison me for interrupting the doctor's reading?

Her stethoscope and blood pressure cuff were knotted in a heap in the box. She was sort of careless with it all. She drug the cuff out over the edge of the plastic tote and up to my arm. (She was using a limited range of motion.) Next she attached the torture implement and pumped my arm until it went numb. I cried "uncle" and she quit.

Then she fetched the swab for the culture. I was fearing the worse because she obviously wasn't schooled in the nuances of bedside manner. I've had this procedure before, and although uncomfortable, it wasn't painful. She stuck the long sticks (there were two) into my mouth and asked me to open wide. Then she jabbed them back into my sore throat with such a force that I gagged and teared. I wasn't coughing when I came in but was coughing when she left the room. I came here to get better, not worse.

Alas the culture was negative but the doctor gave me antibiotics anyway and I went home.

Next time I'll stay home and just drink hot toddies instead.

My doctor is wonderful. Once, when I couldn’t afford an operation, he touched up the X-rays. - Joey Bishop


kitty said...

Wonderful!! another good one....Makes me laugh. Sorry to laugh @ your pain and sickness. I can't help myself.....

dave terry said...

Kitty: Go ahead and laugh if you must. I laughed after I got home and took the drugs.

Keith said...

Great sketch

Were you drawing the chair, or the person who wasn't there ? The spaces were we aren't fascinate me.

dave terry said...

I was actually drawing around the legs and then worked up to the material. The pattern interested me and I wanted to capture the nuances of the shadows.