A Visit to the Doctor

Jake had a doctor’s appointment today. He and I planned to get there a little early to fill out paperwork and such. I drive to where I think it is, a small group of stores near the Wal Mart (everything in small towns is near the Wal Mart…). So I get there and there is a tuxedo shop, a Game Stop, one of those pay-day loans places and some electronics store. I get back on the road and drive down a bit. A car dealership… and auto repair shop… a florist… Hmmm. So I turn back and go towards Wal Mart and try again. Don’t see it.  I call Marianne on her cell phone. No answer, she NEVER ANSWERS HER FUCKING CELL PHONE. Seriously, sidetrack here. Why do you pay $$$ every month for a fucking paperweight that serves as an occasional alarm clock? C’mon… So I get her on the house phone and ask her to find the phone number.

“I thought you knew where it was,” she says to me all haughty like.

“Yeah, me too… can you get me the phone number?”

“You know things here are hard to find. You should have called first.”

“Yeah probably… you working on that number?”

“Why didn’t you just…”


Remember that ‘electronics store’ I mentioned above? It was the eye doctor’s office. It’s called “Eye Tech” (get it?) and was written in some pseudo 1980s computer font. What the fuck, Doctor?

So Jake and I go in. The appointment is at 3:20pm and it is about 3:05pm. Fifteen minutes early. Good. So I check in and the receptionist takes a break from being lazy to hand me some forms on a clipboard. She waves toward a small jar of pens near the window. The jar has a sign written in some fancy font “Please return pens”.  Does that shit ever work? Did some guy ever think, “Ooo, pens! I am totally going to steal one of the fuckers! Hell yeah! … Shit… fucking sign.” Probably not. Plus, the pen I took had “Hampton Inns” emblazoned on it. So these fuckers are admonishing me not to steal their stolen pens. I still have that bitch, FYI.

Jake and I start filling out the forms. Some things I know, some I don’t. So I turn to Jake:

“Jake, how tall are you?”

“I dunno… about three feet tall?”

“You’re taller than that. Maybe 4′ 5”?

“I dunno.”

Big help, Jacco.

The next form is family history. There is a whole damn page of these horrible illnesses and diseases and shit. They want you to place and “X” if you (the patient) has it, a “F” if your father has it, a “M” for mother, a “GF” for grandfather a “GM” for grandmother a “C” for child and a “O” for other family members. Really? You need to know if Jake’s grandfather has Crohn’s disease before you can give him glasses? So I just make some shit up. Apparently Marianne’s father was a victim of lupus. I have no idea what lupus even is.

I get up and hand the forms back to Nurse Whatthefuckever. She tells me to have a seat. I say, “Thank you. I was going to shit on your floor and pretend to be Marty McFly from ‘Back to the Future‘, but your idea is better. A seat! Who would have thought to sit down in a waiting room! Thank you!!” I didn’t really say that, I just sat down. Sometimes I hate myself.

Fourteen hours later, they call us in. And have us take a seat in the “back waiting area”. What the hell is that? Another place for us to sit? Stupid.

Two days later, after Jake and I have eaten the better part of our feet, they call us to the exam area. There is a group of machines that check your eyes for various stuff. The nurse (not Nurse Haveaseat, some other lady… she was nice) tells Jake to sit down in the blue chair behind the machines. Jake is all cool and shit, like he has done this before. “Whatev, Nurse.” She starts writing some stuff down then asks Jake how much he weighs. Jake says, “One-hundred and twelve pounds” right out the gate. I ask him how tall he is , and he misses it by a foot, Nurse Nicelady asks him and he nails it. I don’t know whether to be pissed or proud of him. I opt for proud.

Jake goes through the whole rigmarole with the eye stuff and does OK. I guess. Not like I can even make an educated guess. She asks him, “What does line 4 say?” and he answers “EFLZT” and she writes something down. Line 4 may have been a picture of a goat for all I know. But she never screams, so I’m thinking “Good job, Jake”.

Then it is on to the actual doctor.

Just kidding, back to the second waiting room. They have a flat screen TV with Oprah on. I don’t know the proper etiquette for this kind of shit. If Oprah is on a public TV do I change it or ram scissors into my eye sockets? I need to look that up (note to self: Wikipedia). I choose instead to peruse some magazines. I learned today that Jennifer Aniston has a new boy toy and Oprah and Whitney Houston hate each other. Or they did in May of 2008 anyway. Thanks US Weekly!

There is a sign, with bright letters and fancy fonts (God, I hate Microsoft Word and idiots getting together. Thanks Bill Gates!) that reads “No parents in exam room.” I think, “this guy is really professional. Or a pedophile.” Since I have waited so long, I decide to chance it.

Jake’s name is called and I wake him up to mosey on back to the office. I continue my reading, this time opting for a more recent issue… Black Entrepreneurs. Because, ya know.

A week later, Jake comes to get me, say the doctor wants to talk to me. I walk in, introduce myself, shake his hand. The guy seems cool. Doctorly and stuff. The he starts talking to me. Oh. My. God.

Apparently Jake is about a week away from death. He’s ten and has Alzheimer’s and glaucoma and tuberculosis and AIDS. I mean, I know the kid is husky (that is what you call fat kids… Sears taught me that. Thanks Sears!”)  but jeez, this guy unloads on me. He does everything but call me a shitty dad and whups my ass with a crowbar. He actually asks Nurse Nicelady for a crowbar to beat me with, but she says they can’t find it. Then she smiles at me as she leaves. I think it was because Jake knew exactly how much he weighed. She assumed that was good parenting. Way to go Me. Seriously, this guy tells me all the bad stuff that can come from being overweight. I think maybe he should take a chill pill, but I am scared to tell him. He also says that the government keeps the price of health care so high so they can make money off the taxes. If they lower the price, he tells me, the taxes would be lower and they don’t want that. I mean, the guy is about 90% good, caring caregiver and 10% “What the fuck are you talking about, Norman Bates?!” He tells me everything can be cured. EVERYTHING. I feel bad that my dad has spina bifida. Well, according to the form I filled out, he does. I have no idea what spina bifida is. Then he goes, “Oh, yeah. Your son needs glasses. Bifocals.” Really? I though bifocals were for old people. I make the mistake of saying that out loud. He slaps me and screams at me, spitting on my face. Then shakes my hand and tells me to talk to the receptionist before we leave. I feel like I did when I was seven and was caught peeing on the dog.

So we trudge our way back through the eight waiting areas en  route to the front door. We pause halfway for air. I give an “OK” sign to some people, trying to make them feel better. They smile wanly at me. I sense their despair. I acknowledge it, they see that in my face. We bond. Then Jake and I move on.

I had planned on stopping and getting some ice cream or something on the way home from the doctor, but no fucking way now. Jake asks me if we are still stopping for a treat, so I stop the car and force him to eat grass on the side of the road. He cries, but I know it is good for him. Isn’t grass good for kids?

So, now I am home. I told the wife what happened and she immediately went to buy groceries. I have never had so many oranges and apples and bananas and carrots and pineapple and cauliflower in my house. EV.ER. I even told Jake we’d go to the park and run some time. What the fuck have I gotten myself into?

I was taking Jake to the dentist next week, but I canceled that shit. Too much fucking drama for me.

Published in: on March 11, 2010 at 11:41 pm  Comments (3)