From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dreaded Day Done

Another doctor appointment survived


One thing I'm really neurotic about is going to the doctor. I must have missed the lesson in kindergarten about "The doctor is your friend." I think of him as a stern examiner, not a helpful buddy.

When I need my prescriptions renewed, I wait until I have only a few pills left before I make an appointment to see the doctor. By prolonging the dread as much as possible, I achieve maximum levels of anxiety; I know this, and yet I do it.

Yesterday, with less than a week of meds left, I called the doctor's office and make an appointment. The receptionist said I should come in at 7:30 this morning for lab work and see the doctor at 2:30 this afternoon.

After I got the lab work done this morning, I came home and took a nap. I thought it might help my blood pressure. I'm good at having high blood pressure at the doctor's office. They call it "white coat syndrome." I've learned to bring a couple weeks of blood-pressure readings with me, so the doctor won't think my blood pressure meds have stopped working.

At 2:30, I was back in the doctor's office. I was surprised that the waiting room was not crowded with sick people, but the nurse said all the flu patients had been there this morning. She weighed me and took my temperature (normal), pulse (a little high), and blood pressure (only slightly elevated).

In a few minutes, the doctor came in. He caught a cold last weekend while camping with the Boy Scouts, and his voice was about two octaves deeper than usual. However, he was more jovial than he usually is. He complimented my cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood sugar levels and skipped his usual lecture about exercising faithfully. (Don't worry. My conscience has committed that lecture to memory.)

And then, I escaped! I exited so fast that I didn't realize the doctor had forgotten to print out my prescriptions. The pharmacist had to call the doctor's office for them. While he was waiting on the phone, he told me that his grandmother's name had been Genevieve, and it was a lovely, old-time name. She liked to bake, he said. He has fond memories of her homemade bread.

Later, I ran a few errands around town, and I noticed that the cloud of doom was no longer hovering over me. A glow of happy relief had taken its place.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.