Thursday, March 15, 2007

Still Crazy After All These Years

I think I figured out why my medical provider authorized my heart valve replacement almost two years ago. They created a patient for life. I have to have my blood checked every two weeks and need to be on medication, like blood thinners (which actually minimizes my risk for ‘work clots,’ unfortunately) for the rest of my life. In fact, I got to do a little medical housekeeping today.

In one morning, I had an appointment, blood test and had to buy more meds. I felt like I was at a geriatric mall. The waiting room I was assigned to today also was where patients who had psychiatric appointments waited. It provided me with a few interesting moments that no writer could resist committing to paper. And of course by paper I mean blog. It’s amazing what goes through your head when you realize you are sitting near the psychiatric department. Suddenly you begin to look around and wonder who is seeing which type of doctor and why. A few minutes into my wait a doctor came out of the psychiatric door and said a woman’s and man’s name. Next thing you know a couple who were sitting three chairs apart (in an empty row, mind you) got up separately and left with the doctor. A nice old man next to me began laughing and commented how they had not been sitting anywhere near each other. I responded by saying, “gee, it’s almost like they didn’t want to be together.” The man and I then looked at each other silently acknowledging that their therapy probably would not work. I think we were also sizing each other up at the same time, too. I thought he was being seen because he had an overly obnoxious personality and he thought I was being seen for a sports injury.

I began watching to see if people had certain actions that they kept having to obsessively repeat or looking for signs of uncontrollable anger or fits of crying (which is about my limit of understanding when it comes to psychiatric problems). I then wondered if the woman next to me was addicted to anything. On the offhand that it might be a sexual addiction, my guilt made me scoot two chairs away. Hopefully she won’t be offended and will just think that I thought she smelled bad, like garlic and sweat on a hot and humid day. I hope no one noticed I was staring at them trying to figure out if their clinical visit was mental, heart related, if they had ‘girly problems,’ etc. If they did know I was staring at them they would probably feel like I do every time I see my cardiologist and have to sit down among all the 65-85 year olds (I am 33). I honestly feel they look at me with hatred or the desire to steal my youthful soul. But then again, I think it’s shocking TV when Barney yells ‘Nip it in the bud’ on the Andy Griffith show.

As my wait grew longer, I toyed with the idea of developing a facial tick or incessant scratching just to throw everyone off. I so badly wanted to tell the lady who was now two chairs away that we never landed on the moon or that eating cheddar cheese can lead to jaundice, but better judgment kept me in check. I wanted to have a conversation with myself or do something really shocking like pull out my cell phone and make a call. Then I realized that the guy sitting under the ‘please turn your cell phone off’ sign was already using his.

Then it happened. A young mother walked up to the front counter with her young son. He kept punching her in the rear and she kept politely asking him to stop. He’d do it again and she’d ask him to stop. He began running around and she could not keep control of him. I hoped that she was checking in to see a behavioral specialist instead of the pediatrician. They went off to sit in a corner but the poor mother never got control of her little man. A few minutes later the psychiatric door opened and the nurse asked for someone named Maximus. Can you guess who got up to follow her? I then made a mental note right there that if I ever have a son, I will name him something that sounds subservient. A boy named Sue might be too extreme, but Pat is quickly growing on me.


Awesome Mom said...

When we hat to take Evan in for his INR it was at a "regular" cardiologist's office. We got a lot of looks when Evan's name was called out although all the older people loved to play with him while we were waiting.

Odat said...

LOL at "the desire to steal my youthful soul" very careful!!

Irene said...

You're 33? Really?

I could have sworn you were 23. ;p

mist1 said...

I practically live at my shrink's office. Sometimes, I pretend that I am an intern and I dress up and try to look all professional. I think that most people are fooled by this as they never question why I am there from 9 - 3 three days a week and why I am drooling when I leave.

Natalie said...

I often guess why people are in the Drs office. I find it funny. a good friend of mine had a childhood friend named Master. How screw you is that?

captain corky said...

I become so judgemental when I'm at the doctors office. To me everyone is full of shit. I generally feel the same way when I'm using public transportation.

you'dneverguess said...

My boss just had his heart valve replaced in December. I'm glad you're doing well, I know what a significant impact this has on your life.
Other names to consider:

Abigail S said...

Naming a kid Maximus really is asking for trouble!

Sadly, I know too many kids like little Max. Poor parents.

Name your boy Leslie.

Dan said...

You go to the doctors?? Man, you're taking your life in your hands!

Stacey said...

Ooh, Maximus sounds like a sweetheart. I hope I have five just like him.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

i always think the psychiatrist is the one that looks like the nutty patient. they just wear better clothes.

smiles, bee

CSL said...

Yes, in fact, I will ONLY take patients who have uncontrollable anger or fits of crying. It's a requirement. No simple depression, anxiety, or stress here! No relationship issues, parenting problems, or life decisions! I also try to act as insane as possible myself. I want to make damned sure we keep those stereotypes alive and well!