Sunday, November 18, 2007

Neurologist Number Two …

If you were a flavor of ice cream, what would it be?

Okay, so it's not exactly like the Dating Game, but seeing more than one physician is a little like that. It feels a little like being unfaithful. It would be easier if I did not like Dr. P, and I did.

Back when I was looking for a neurologist, any neurologist, I made an appointment with someone at Loma Linda and the appointment is about a week away.

Even though Dr. P and I both discussed the fact that I would see another physician because she was located so far away, I feel a little funny. I called her office and requested that the test results be sent to me, neglecting to mention that I was taking them to another physician – sort of implying that they were just for me, not that I was going to show them to anyone else.

I am not sure why it feels like I am cheating on my physician. I only met with her once. We both knew that it would end, no promises of fidelity were made. She knew I would see someone else – it was just a short-term thing.

I think it is because a relationship is forged when you start seeing a physician – however fleeting. They are important to you – you rely on them. The intake is a little like when you talk about your relationship history on the first date. There is a surprising desire to please. Do they like me? Do they get me? Will they take me seriously? Especially when there is such a weird set of symptoms – will they think that I am sick? Will they dismiss me?

I think that you just want to be important enough for them to pay attention to you.

It feels like dating because you don’t know if they like you as much as you like them. Are they as into you as you are into them. The fact is that it is a kind of one way relationship – there are more of us than there are of them … despite the fact that we pay their salary.


Rowan said...

Bob, I am totally relating to this post! Have to admit to being unfaithful to my physician this week (my General Practitioner) and was really feeling the guilt. Was seeing another Partner in the Practice, and had hidden my head in an article on incontinence knickers in "Women's Weekly", as my usual doctor walked into the waiting room to call her next patient, lest she spot my infidelity.

In my case, it isn't a mutually acknowledged short-term thing - have been seeing her since I was eighteen years old, give and take a few years when I lived up north, when she would have been a godsend to me.

Incontinence knickers may feature largely in my future, but not quite yet. Just could not look her in the eye, and the magazine remained forged to my features until her heels clicked back around to the doctors' offices.

I felt bad. Felt as though my name ought to be up on the notice board, along with this month's number of missed appointments. "This week's cheaters."

I did have a feeble excuse - she is a hard-line antibiotic rationer, and great as that is for the future of humankind, sometimes my daughter really needs one. I know that if she doesn't get one on her first visit, she will have a chest infection that takes two weeks of antibiotics to clear up. There is a sweet and cuddly GP who has young kids and practically tears up when he sees a child struggling with a cough. You go out festooned with prescriptions, chortling a triumphant aquisitive chuckle...and looking furtively round for the dissed and loyal Partner. Gak!

What makes it worse, is that she had asked my little girl to give her a photo for her office wall.We left one for her a few weeks ago, and my daughter had written a sweet simple message, complete with hearts and flowers. Today, a lovely thank you card came through the post, addressed to the wee lass, thanking her for the photo and drawing.

I am a heel. And a turncoat. I know she feels my flightiness, cos she once mumbled that it is "better to come and see the same person." I do see her, for anything that I think does not require an antibiotic, and for well-woman appts which involve discussing the 'doonstairs department'. She is faithful and reliable, year in and year out. If she left the practice, I would be kind of blinking and bereft.

Bob, am glad you had such a good, if brief relationsip with Dr P. Hope the next neurologist closer to home proves to be someone you can relate to just as well.

Dr. Bob said...

You are most certainly not a turncoat or a heel, but it does feel that way, doesn't it?