Paging Dr. Love
March 26, 2007 § 9 Comments
I arrived at the clinic at 9:54 AM. Smiling, the receptionist processed my health card and gestured towards the waiting area. “It won’t be long,” she cooed. I nodded politely, though I didn’t believe her. I knew that it is her job to tell me things that aren’t true.
I took a seat and opened the book I brought with me to pass the time. Before I had finished the first page, I heard the receptionist’s voice. “Ms. H.? The doctor will see you now.” Confused, I looked at my watch. It was 10:02 AM.
As I entered the examining room, a stout, grey-haired man rose to his feet and shook my hand. “Mademoiselle H., I am Dr. Love. Please, sit down.” Sitting, I folded my hands in my lap as he read my chart.
“Shingles, eh?” he said, gently. “Are they getting better?”
“Yes, they are.” I replied, warming to him. “Thank you for asking, Dr. Love.”
“Good, I’m glad to hear it.” As he leaned forward in his chair, I noticed the laugh lines around his eyes and the flush of pink in his cheeks. “You know, Mlle H., you shouldn’t worry. I’ve seen a lot of young people with shingles in my time.”
“Really?” I almost giggled with relief. “But Dr. Evil said…”
“Dr. Evil?” he said, raising his eyebrows in mock disgust. “What does he know? He’s just a resident.”
Suddenly, I understood everything: the oafish questioning, the painful examination, the empty void where care should have been. If only I had known.
Dr. Love continued. “You know, it’s probably stress, or maybe you just had too much to drink one night.” Laughing, he knocked back an imaginary beer. “It happens sometimes.”
At that moment, I decided that I was in love with Dr. Love.
“Just to be sure,” he said, still smiling, “I’d like to run some tests. T4 and…” he paused, watching my face. “…HIV. Is that okay?”
I nodded. “Sure it’s okay.” And I meant it.
As he walked me to the lab door, he put his hand on my arm. “Really, try not to worry. And if you have any questions, just call.”
“I will, Dr. Love. Merci.”
I was still floating a little as I walked out of the hospital and into the day. It was 10:25 AM.