I went to the doctor yesterday because I couldn’t stand the scary pain in my chest anymore. It was thrilling to see one car in the whole parking lot, but at the same time, wouldn’t you think there would be more patients wanting to see this person? Apparently he’s not in high demand, but that’s okay, all I really wanted out of this person was a signature on a prescription pad. If a vet could have made the pain stop, I would have gone there. So what if there’s a picture of a horse on the side of the bottle?
And even though there was no one waiting to see this doctor, I had to wait a horribly long time in the exam room for him to come in. That was their first mistake, because if you leave me in a room with lots of stuff and no surveillance cameras, I’m totally gonna mess with things. I actually started live-tweeting the appointment, complete with photos from my camera phone. The entire internet saw the blood stain dripping down the garbage can. The longer you leave me in there, the more stuff I can make up about you, Doctor. You’re only hurting yourself.
When he finally came in, he was a very nice elderly grandfatherly type. He told some jokes, asked me a lot of questions, moved my head around, poked my neck in places that made me bite the inside of my mouth, then rolled back on the chair (the one I had been spinning on earlier) and told me that I have arthritis. Of the neck. Nowhere else, just my neck.
My first thought was, “Aren’t I a little bit young for arthritis?” Actually, that was my second thought. My first thought was, “Jackpot! Handicapped parking tag!” THEN I thought, “Wait, I’m only thirty-eight years old.”
Now, I’m not sensitive about my age. I actually proudly tell my students that I was alive for the Vietnam War. I leave off the part about how we had the last soldier out of there before my little black umbilical stump had fallen off, but technically, it’s the truth. But I was really kind of weirded out because if I’m falling apart this badly at 38, sixty is going to be a real bitch-slap.
The hard part was telling my husband. Actually, that was kind of fun, too. I remember saying to him, “Now, before you even think about laughing at me, remember…you’re bald.” Husband was not laughing, he was actually very sweet. So sweet, in fact, that I felt a little bit bad telling him that the doctor said I have to see a massage therapist weekly and I can’t do any lifting at all for the rest of my life because it could make my head fall off. I think I mentioned I might have to quit my job, too, but once he started squinting his eyes at me I knew he wasn’t buying it. Especially when he said, “You went to that old man doctor again, didn’t you? The one who tells everyone whatever they want to hear?” I was busted. I tried playing it off by having a dementia attack, but sadly, I’m not quite old enough to pull that off. Maybe by next year.