Bear with me. I have a nice little buzz in my head from the steroids I am taking to battle bronchitis. As usual, I waited until everyone around me said, "Please, please, please go to the doctor," before I went.
I really hate going to the doctor. I have had some pretty bad experiences with doctors, but none as bad as the one I had with a neurologist here in Austin (seriously, I wish I could remember his name so i could tell everyone I know to avoid him). He was THE GUY to go to if you were having nerve issues. At the time, I did not know what was wrong. I was dizzy and experiencing headaches and other body pains. He was just another truck stop on the road to some answer, but not like that nice stop in Italy, TX . More like stopping in that store from the movie Deliverance.
Like most doctor's visits, I sat in the exam room for a long time. As I said, I had been to a lot of different doctors by the time I got to him, so I really was feeling nervous and hopeful. When he walked in, I kind of relaxed. He looked like Dave Thomas, the owner of Wendy's and he had a genial smile. He started by asking questions about my symptoms.
He would ask "normal" questions. How, when , where, to what degree was the pain. Was I in pain at the moment. Family history.
Mother had this problem? Not that I know of?
Father? My father is deceased.
How did he die? Gunshot
Probably doing something bad. Huh? Wha...?
You look a little like my granddaughter. She's so cute. I spent some time in Africa. Wonderful place. Stand up please.
Did your mother marry again? No.
She probably should have. Uhhhh.... What?
You planning on getting married some day...close your eyes. I don't know.
(He pushes me to one side while my eyes are closed. I stumble a little.)
You're 34 years old. Your clock is ticking. Better hurry up and decide. Uh 'kay?????
(He shoves me to the other side.)
I don't blame you. Most black man are in jail or the are irresponsible. Hard to find a good one. (!!!!!!!!!!!????????!!!!!!!!)
He shoved me around a little more and continued to make comments along those lines for a few minutes more.
He said, "You'll have to come back for a nerve velocity test."
Then he left the room.
I sat there thinking, "What the heck just happened here? Was that part of a test? Are there cameras in here? Are we on television? Is he coming back?"
He never did come back. Finally, a nurse came in to tell me that appointment was over and that I needed to schedule my nerve velocity test. I was so disturbed...and angry with myself. Why didn't I say something? I know people who would not have taken that; would have stormed out of the room; would have asked to speak to someone. But really...I wasn't even sure that all of that had really happened until I got home from the appointment.
I remember watching You've Got Mail with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Meg's character talked about how she wished she could say the right thing at the right time when confronted with someone who was being rude or mean. I do too. I have gotten better. Probably because of my age. Sometime after 40, I started being more forward and assertive. I try not to lament that it took so long and just be happy that it seems to be getting easier to speak up as I get older.
At this rate, I'm going to be quite ornery when I hit 50. Can't wait!