DOCTOR VISIT DUMB SYNDROME
by Kathy Pippig Harris
It is something I suffer from -- a malady I have dealt with
I suspect I am not the only individual who has this infirmity,
and knowing that, gives me some comfort.
This ailment has the power to render me witless.
My speech only functions on the primal level and my ability to
think clearly and form intelligent sentences often flees from my
ordered thought processes before I leave the house... to visit my
If I have the wherewithal to remember ahead of time, I sit down,
and taking a calming breath, write a list of questions, comments, and
salutations I wish to use when I see the doctor.
After arriving at the office, I sign in and pay my insurance
deductible. I'm early for my appointment, but I'm prepared. I've
brought a book to read.
I look around at the folks in the doctor's waiting room. People
who have come in after me are called before me. I patiently tell
myself they are probably seeing another doctor. Three doctors share the same office.
I whip my head up from its dangling position to find several people
looking at me in disgust. I realize those noises had come from me!
I grin weakly and nod my head, finding great interest, now, in
reading the book I've brought along.
Finally, an assistant opens the door and calls my name. I'm
directed to the step-up scales. I take off my shoes; drop my purse,
keys and book on a nearby counter. I whisper to her, "Please, I'm
going to cover my eyes. Whatever the scale says, I do not want to
hear it. I'm serious."
I turn my head to one side, step up on the scale, and close my
eyes. I can hear her fiddling with the slides on the scale until she
finds the right combination. Then she reads the result out loud.
I cringe, step off the scale, and turn around to find the entire
staff at reception staring at me. By now, she is halfway down the
hall, waving the clipboard, beckoning me to follow her into an
After I'm shown into the exam room, she takes my blood pressure,
checks my pulse and asks me my purpose for being there. I explain
what I'm there for, trying to keep it brief. But she urges me on,
exhibiting sound interest in hearing my explanation. Before she
leaves, she tells me the doctor will be with me shortly.
And I wait.
Later, the doctor enters the room, and asks me, "Well, what are
you here for today?"
I didn't hear that! I must have misunderstood. I had gone into
great detail about that with the assistant. Why did she ask me, if
not to relay that information to the doctor?
I jabber an answer, fully saturated now in my ailment -- Doctor
Visit Dumb Syndrome. The crude and elementary answers I am able to give leave me feeling embarrassed. I lapse into episodes of blank
Twenty minutes later it is all over and I'm in my car.
With relief, my mental faculties return to me -- I shall not be
permanently incapacitated. Then I realize I had forgotten the
questions and comments I'd jotted down. The list is still jammed
between the pages of my book, useless to me now.
-- Kathy Pippig Harris <kappi00 @ aim.com>
Never take friendship for granted, you never know what tomorrow holds.
FFriendship flourishes at the fountain of forgiveness.
The "as if" principle works. Act "as if" you were not afraid and you will become courageous, "as if" you could and you'll find you can. Act "as if" you like a person and you'll find a friendship.
Norman Vincent Peale