Kenneth, born and raised in the South, resides in Hamilton, Alabama. He enjoys sharing his unique perspectives on life through his writing.
What You Are About to Read
is semi-truthful. But mostly written from a comical view point with a spark of impatience thrown in to prove ONE point: In today's society of 2018, when you need a "professional," for help with your health, home, automobile, even your Internet . . .those harmonious days to "just" phoning-up your doctor and talk to him on a first-name basis with no middle-persons involved. Read the personal commentary below and if you do not agree with me. Thank you, Kenneth.
This Question is Asinine
and sometimes I can be asinine. But humor me. When was the last time that you required medical attention, especially if you had been suffering from an aching pain and needless coughing that is about to drive you mad?
But you endured. This is not your first rodeo. Firstly, you got your private insurance card and dialed the number of your family doctor's clinic. The receptionist was very nice for she was blessed with a perfect memory--and since you visited your doctor the last time, you noticed by your calendar that your last visit was four years ago.
"Jan," the sweet receptionist, knew everything about you—your time when you were 14 when your tonsils were taken out, and another surgery at age 19, when your appendix was almost ruptured and had to be taken out. But in In less time than you can read this paragraph, “Jan” has your appointment logged and you are so happy at knowing that soon, you will get rid of that awful pain that is aching near your upper back.
When you arrive at your medical clinic, you inform "Jan," that you have arrived for your appointment. You could have sat down, but letting the receptionist know that you are ready for the doctor to see you is a great gesture of respect to her and the doctor.
A few minutes pass, and then you hear, "Ms. Smith, your doctor is ready to see you now," and you smile, put down the PEOPLE magazine you had begun reading and are ready to talk to your doctor, "Dr. Mike Dennis, MD," not just your family doctor, but a dear friend of your husband who went to college with him. Sometimes when you are climbing the tall stairs in your two-story mansion, you stop and whisper, "my life is so easy and comfortable, I sometimes think that I am in a dream."
And you sit in the Doctor's Waiting Area and wait for your doctor's nurse, "Nan," to get your vitals, blood pressure, and other medical things that "Dr. Mike," will need to make a strong prognosis as to why you have an aching pain in your upper back--and that nagging cough that has all but drained you of all your energy.
"Nan," smiles and asks you to tell her if you are on any medications, what "seems" to be hurting and other important things that are crucial in you being diagnosed by "Dr. Mike," and hopefully, get a shot of some type or maybe a few prescriptions and you will be on the top of your game.
"Dr. Mike," walks in with a big smile just like the smile that "Nan," his nurse and receptionist, "Jan," has. These professionals are very happy people. And this is not by a fluke. They have been seriously-trained in the Sciences of Human Behavior as well as Social Sciences that they understand and can help you and everyone who calls them.
"How's 'Ted's' architecture agency going?" asks "Dr. Mike," as he places the end of his stethoscope near your heart, on your back and lungs. His beside manner is very gentle and courteous. This is why an person on the street would have a tough time in getting an appointment with him.
"Uhh, fine, doctor, I was, uhhh, (cough, cough), dark that pain," you reply and cannot act happy for "that" annoying pain near your upper back is causing you to squirm with pain.
"Now . . .let's see. Does this hurt? How about this? Hmmm. Uhh, 'Mona,' when did this pain "seem" to start?" asks a thorough "Dr. Mike."
"Right, (cough, cough), here, 'doctor,' I, am hurting so bad, that (cough, cough) I cannot think straight," you reply with a tear welling in your left eye.
“Shhhh, quiet, ‘Mona,’ I am going to schedule you for a few simple tests that you can take here at the clinic and be at home in less than an hour—how about that?” “Dr. Mike” says with a smile that is so warm it would melt a scalpel.
You listen to “Dr. Mike’s” suggestions and Medical Theories on what this pain might be and what is causing the pain to act up every so often that makes you so edgy that you can bite a dog into.
Then the X-Ray Technician as well as the MRI Technician meet with you to give you the needed-comfort while you wait on each one to see what is causing you so much discomfort. While you wait, you phone, “Ted,” your husband to keep him abreast of what you are going through and he asks if you need him to cancel a high-level board meeting that afternoon, but you, in your spirit of sacrifice, tell him that you will be okay.
A young man, 16, is waiting in the X-Ray/MRI Room with you. He senses that you are nervous in waiting for the highly-trained technicians to begin your tests. The X-Ray and MRI sessions were quicker than an Arizona roadrunner in getting you in and out and you are back in the Patient Information Room along with the young man who you feel is waiting for some sort of test.
“You having an X-Ray?” you ask halfway smiling at him.
“No, ma’am, I hate to say this, but, I have an extra large cheese and mushroom pizza outside of this room that a technician here ordered and I was told to just wait,” he explains very patiently.
Reader’s Digest or Farmer’s Progressive never saw stories so warm and touching as this one.
You gently pat this young man on the arm as you walk back to “Dr. Mike’s” first waiting room and “Jan,” the sweet receptionist with a perfect memory smiles at you and asks if there is something she can do for you?
You smile back and tell her, thanks anyway, as you find your way to sit down and let what has happened to you soak in before your doctor comes out to talk to you about your two tests. You trust “Dr. Mike,”so much. And just last year, you and your husband were thinking about having your first baby, and “Dr. Mike” was very helpful in giving you the needed-information about Birth, Pregnancy, and each detail that would matter when parents prepare for children—“Jan” gives you a big surprise by telling you that “Dr. Mike,” is also a Pediatrician as well as being a Medical Doctor. You feel better now at having him look at this pain issue.
Before you can get relaxed, “Dr. Mike” walks into the main waiting room and quietly tells you that you can go with him to talk in private about your pain and why he “thinks” the pain is doing toward your back and spine. He winks and says as you walk with him, “probably as simple as putting in a new battery.” You giggle for you know that “Dr. Mike” is only trying to make you feel better.
“Dr. Mike” tells you to have a sit and that he has read your X-Ray’s and MRI’s and wants to share this vital information with you.
“Well, ‘Mona,’ it would “seem” that you have, “what might be” a small knot that has formed near the top of your spine—and maybe it is harmless and just what we Medical Pro’s call a Calcium Deposit. I really don’t think that you will require surgery, but I will prescribe you a few painkillers and take them for a couple of weeks and we “might” let you take a few more tests—to just be sure about this knot being a Calcium Deposit,” Dr. Mike says very intently. “Do you have any questions?” he asks while standing up to go back to work.
“Uhhh, no, not really, ‘Mike,’ thank you for the uplifting news. I will take the painkillers and I will call you if this pain gets worse,” you say to him and he smiles.
What a doctor this “Dr. Mike” is, don’t you think? You could tell the first time when you and your husband met him that he was “special,” and some of his patients have said that he was very “enlightened” on everything that can and should be about Medical Matters. But “Dr. Mike” is far from being a haughty-thinking professional. If anything, he is to be scolded for many times being so humble in is life and how he thinks about his patients who love him more than food when they are hungry.
So here you are, having called “Dr. Mike,” a few days ago, about “that” reoccurring pain that is now about to take your head off, and those painkillers were like taking candy, so you are waiting to see “Dr. Mike” to see if he is going to tell you something new or just go with more traditional remedies.
“Dr. Mike” is smiling (as usual) as he walks to the Waiting Room and asks you to come with him to his office, where he can talk more open about your pain and why the painkillers did not work and just general health-related things.
“Uhhh, ‘Mona,’ so you told me that the pain is worse, and the painkillers that I prescribed did not work, right?” he asks very softly.
“Well, I am not one to bellyache about small things, but doctor, my upper back and spine are afire with pain and taking the painkillers, well, I hate to be blunt, were as useful as sticking a lit match into an Exxon refinery,” you say to the doctor.
“Well, ‘Mona,’ it would “appear,” by these X-ray’s and MRIs that, the pain “might” be attributed to a childhood injury that might have hurt your upper back and, I don’t want to sound ugly, the older you became, the pain also grew worse. But in most cases, I “might” prescribe a heating therapy, that “might” be the answer, what do you think?” “Dr. Mike” explains while looking into your eyes.
“I am desperate, and would the heat thing help this pain?” you ask hoping for relief.
“Well, ‘Mona,’ errr, uhhh, it “could” help you right off and then again, uhhh, it “could” make your pain worse—this is a tricky little thing, your pain, just relax and let me go and talk to a fellow colleague of mine who deals in Heat Therapy and go from there. Excuse me,” “Dr. Mike” winks at you and walks toward his office. As he leaves you get a whiff of his expensive cologne, probably Versace.
A few minutes pass . . . the pain in your upper back feels as if it is biting you like an angry Pit Bull. You start to weep, but before you can shed one tear, “Dr. Mike,” enters the Waiting Room—he senses that your pain is more than you can bear.
“Good news, ‘Mona,’ and I want to tell you about Heat Therapy and how over the years, it has made huge strides. My friend, “Jeff,” is a Specialist on pains like you have, and if you like . . .I can have you to call him and set up a Heat Therapy session and go from there,” “Dr. Mike” advises and you nod in appreciation.
But now, I want to put a stop with this commentary where this “Dr. Mike” seemingly is stringing you along with some heat therapist named, “Jeff,” and that sweet receptionist, “Jan,” as well as “Dr. Mike’s nurse, “Nan.” You, “Mona,” should be outraged right now. Up in arms. Biting a piece of lumber at just how this “Dr. Mike” is treating you with a lot of gibberish with the “it might,” “it could,” and the best one, “it might,” be this or that. Enough, “Mona.” Enough.
“Mona,” I am still talking to you. You are a smart girl and I know that you are smart for you graduated college at The University of New Mexico, how? I wrote where you graduated, so what I say to you from this point forward, I will tell you will make sense to you.
“If” you did have a pain and if you did have a family doctor that has credentials like “Dr. Mike” with “Jan” his sweet receptionist with a super-memory and “Nan” his personal nurse, you should have known that the red flag in your head had already ticked when this doctor started with the “it could be,” “I might,” and the “it appears that,” and so on and on you were treated like a new sponge soaking up everything this guy said.
Did you not once want to ask him the most-simple question in why are you telling me all of the “might’s,” “could’s,” and other flimsy things that will not help me or anyone else. I am a trusting patient, or was, and I am tired of having Unneeded Test after Unneeded Test and hear you preach to me about “Jeff” a colleague who deals with Heat Therapy. Oh, I’m sure that someone deals in such a therapy, maybe a real “Jeff” somewhere, but I do not think that this is how I need to go.
I am going to start searching for a more-qualified doctor and let him give me a physical and if “that” pain that I don’t have does surface, I want this next doctor to have enough guts to say to me, “Mona,” I am unable to find the reason for this pain, but I will be glad, with your permission, contact another able and practicing doctor if that is how you want to go?”
And by this confession of honesty, I will feel better all the way around.
No seemingly about it.
-------Jan. 1, 2018
© 2018 Kenneth Avery