Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Translation is often necessary when my second daughter has any sort of appointment.

For both parties.

Today she saw a doctor, a specialist in orthopedics.

And I vowed, to her on the drive to the doctor's, and also to the doctor during the initial exam, to remain "a fly on the wall", be only an observer, make no comments, and allow Joy to handle all of the conversation.

I am and have been for YEARS trying to encourage Joy to ask questions and for explanations when she doesn't follow and/or understand what they are asking/requesting/or-blowing-steam-about.

Because, although I try not to mention it very often to Joy, because she then dissolves into tears, I am not going to be around forever, and I am (and have been for years) attempting to help her be more self-sufficient.


...At this particular appointment, when we arrived, the waiting room was more than full.

Overflowing. Teeming. Spilling all over.

And the people waiting were obviously NOT happy.

We waited about 45 minutes - I turned the volume completely off on the waiting-room-TV after the 15th report of how H1N1 (the-flu-formally-known-as-swine- flu) is invading the United States and turning us all into zombies who will blindly follow Obama into Muslim terrorism.... can you tell that the television was turned to FoxNews?

The nurse finally called us into an exam room. It was small, nothing to read but the doctor's certificates on the wall, and we sat there for another half hour.

Then the doctor, obviously still in over-drive rush to get caught up, leapt into the room, flipped through Joy's file at lightening speed, and said, "well, let's do the x-rays again!" and flew right back out again.

It took about a half hour to get the x-rays taken (thankfully it was at least in the same building) - at least we got a sit someplace different.

Then back into another small exam room - but at least this one had the People issue from June 2005 and a Time magazine about Christianity being banned in the U.S.

Joy needed to visit the ladies' room, and just a few minutes after she 'stepped out,' the doctor jumped back in, x-rays in hand, and began to spout off about "it obviously isn't arthritis, so let's do the injections again and she should come back..."

I stopped him.
Which isn't always easy with a professional.

It also helps that I was bigger than him.

(And does that guy to the right remind you of Jim Halpert? He does to me!)

But he did pause, and he did listen as I explained that he needed to slow down about 85% so Joy could understand him.

And that he needed to STOP AND LISTEN.

Amazingly enough, HE DID.

And he spent probably 20 minutes with my daughter, explaining, on her level, what was wrong with her knees, what was not, and together they even came up with another treatment plan.

It was extremely satisfying.


King of New York Hacks said...

Love it when the Doctor's treat us like humans and not cattle. Nice story.

Lisa said...

Love that story. I'm glad you were there.