Tuesday, June 14, 2005


I may be the stepdaughter of a doctor and the daughter of a nurse, but I have no affinity with the medical profession. I didn't grow up waiting to see a doctor. When we were sick, we simply went in the "colored entrance" (yes, I know that's horrible but I thought we called it that because the door was a different color than the front version) and walked right into the next available examination room. We were poked and/or prodded, shot up or x-rayed and on our way in usually less than half an hour.

Today I have two appointments with the medical world. I have to allow at least 45 minutes to drive there and park. I know I'll wait in a Muzak drenched waiting room of muted colors and less than thought-provoking magazines. I'll then be escorted through a maze of hallways to an examination room, brightly lit. Oh, but first there's that all important stop at the fixture of doom -- the scale. Inside the room, I will take off my clothes, wrap a paper gown around me and wait . . . and wait . . . and wait. The doctor will be chatty and kind and efficient. And then I'll put my clothes back on, pay for whatever the insurance won't cover, make my way back to the garage and leave.

The annual check up is the only time each year I make myself engage with doctors. If I'm sick, I'll take every over the counter thing I can find to avoid a trip.

But today, I've added one more visit. I'm going to check out whether I'm capable of giving up a kidney. The chances are low -- had hepatitis as a teenager and I've been to more than one third world country. But I want to know and not just assume that I'm not a candidate. I'd love to be able to help my friend who needs the organ. I'm also pondering that if for some reason I can donate but I'm just not compatible with him, whether I could do the deed for a complete stranger. I mean he may wind up benefiting from a stranger so why couldn't I play that role in someone else's life . . . someone who is as important to their world and their friends as this guy is to so many of us??

Still don't know if I can go that far . . . but today I can go to the doctor.

So I am and . . . I'm anxious.

1 comment:

Laura said...

When I have a-go-to-the-doctor-and-wear-a-paper-gown type appointment, I make sure and have a "treat" planned for afterwards. (Usually involving shopping.)
It makes the visit more bearable.
I know. Totally lame -- but effective.
And, WOW, for contemplating giving up a kidney....BIG treat coming for that one!

Hope the day goes well.