Monday, March 21, 2011


Today I have a chest infection.  It's Monday and I'm home with my kid who's got the day off school... she's sleeping, the wife is off to her twice-a-week cna job, the younger's at school.  I've been working regularly, which is great.  I've been sick for about 4 days now though, which sucks, and today it's come to a head.  I'm making a doctor's appointment next, but I hate going to the doctor.  No one likes it really, I guess...

Going to the doctor means, among other things, getting looked at in a way that you don't look at yourself.  There you sit, patiently, a mere subject under the steady, seeking gaze of impersonal examination by what may well be a complete stranger, looking over/into your physicality for something you know nothing about...  It implies a knowledge about you that you yourself don't possess, and that can be unsettling:  Remember in elementary school when a group of kids would be talking, several- or all- of them look over at you, turn again to themselves and some of them begin to laugh?  Ever have that experience?  Maybe it was all girls, maybe boys, it didn't matter.  They KNEW something!  It was ABOUT YOU, and it made you feel like there was probably something embarrassingly out of order, something "wrong" with you.  Only years later did you discover there was nothing wrong with you at all... but now you're at the doctor's office, and maybe something really is...

Going to the doctor means you're going to get prodded, poked, or otherwise personally imposed upon.  Maybe even "violated".  There's the possibility of an invasive episode:  Your most-coveted personal space is set at odds with the anxiety of knowing that, at the doctor's office, you are vulnerable- and you can't defend yourself at the doctor's office.  This is not your back yard, not your regular, well-traveled and established personal habitrail where you can exert influence that effects your environment in favorable ways...  There is, for most of us, no regularly, well-beaten path to the doctor's office.  It's a place that, when your health is in a state of compromise in some fashion, you have to "go to".  The realization is often accompanied by a sigh, maybe a slight, imperceptible flinch...  You're going to have to take your clothes off, or lay on your back, or put up with a strange hand touching you in that place where you're tickle-ish (and have to keep it together).

And then there are the needles.  My eldest hates needles... once three nurses had to hold her down to get her vaccination from a fourth.  Boy was that a drag.  She's a little better with it now, but I've worried about her.  She's alright though- an amazingly resilient and surprisingly reasonable kid, my 12 year-old.

Going to the doctor is something no one likes to do.  I have to go today.  But going to the  doctor is one of those less-than-pleasant experiences that help us to appreciate the little things in life, things that offer little 'goodnesses' that we tend to forget about (like not having to go to the doctor).  Like our favorite tv show we'll get to see while we're in bed afterward, perhaps convalescing from some minor sickness; the promise of ice-cream after that tonsillectomy; or perhaps the thought of re-stringing our favorite instrument with those new strings we haven't had time to throw on...  Even something like the remembrance of our favorite poster hanging in our comfortably-familiar room brings peace and settling to an otherwise agitated, anxiety-fatigued mind.

Anyhow,  yeah, the doctor.  Today.  I am reminded that I actually avoided a follow-up appointment that should have happened about three months ago (as concerns a particular issue), and now I have to go for something else... I can hear it now, "...I never saw you for that follow-up..."  I don't know what I'll say, I'll probably mutter something about 'being busy', and hope he'll let it go by.  But I'll get to go home afterward, and I'll throw those Rotosound "Tru-Bass" strings on my Fender Jazz Bass...

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