Friday, August 11, 2017


2-11-2017  What distressing events?  I can't find them. bbm

Weymouthport, MA
December 21, 2012
     Even before the distressing events that occurred yesterday, I decided the appointment at 2:45 with my gynecologist would mark the last time he'd be seeing me. The annual expedition to Massachusetts General Hospital has become too traumatic.
     It has long been my rule to avoid asking my children to chauffeur me here and there. All three have complicated lives, Kathie teaching from her wheelchair at Boston University and working on her blog, Engaging, Tim running his national and international wholesale sword-fishing business (the first fish he caught were minnows left in pools by Sandy Cove's outgoing tides), and Ted busy recovering from the after-effects of a stroke.
     My difficulties began with scheduling The Ride. I was told to be waiting outside my building at 2:05 PM, so cooperative weather was in my prayers. It takes me ten minutes to walk from my apartment’s front door to Bedford Building's exit.  Knowing the driver would very likely be late, I dressed warmly except for bare hands, my gloves being in my car.
     Standing gets uncomfortable after the first five minutes. I found a seat on the back of a visitor's pretty white car, parked just beyond a pedestrian crossing area. 
     At 2:15 I began taking walks, as my GP recently ordained after learning how many hours a day I spent sitting at my desk. When The Ride's driver pulled up twenty minutes behind schedule, he helped me board his bus and remarked that I had cold hands. I tossed off a bon mot about warm hearts.
     Arriving at Mass General's Wang Building almost half an hour late for my appointment, I tottered to the reception desk and requested a wheelchair for Dr. Schiff's office, recalling all too well that it was in another building altogether.  A long, long wincing walk in 2011. The placid receptionist gazed at her computer. Gazed and clicked, gazed and clicked. More time marched on.
     "Could you let him know I'm here?" She said she would, and added that the next wheelchair pusher would be returning in a few minutes. Kathie once wrote an essay about hospitals and nurses and their few minutes. (I know, I know, they do the best they can.)
     I arrived at last in my gynecologist's office, thanked the pleasant young volunteer and wished her a Merry Christmas.
     During our pre-exam talk, I described to Dr. Schiff the joys of blogging. He typed my blog's title and up it popped on his computer's screen.
     "If you can ever find the time," I said, "I think you'd appreciate my high-school classmate's memoir, Shakespeare in the Ghetto. Her husband, Dr. Leon Kruger, uprooted his wife Aura and their children from their comfortable existence in Newton and moved them to an all-Black town in Tennessee, where he built a clinic. The family lived in two trailers connected by a porch."
     Of course I didn’t express myself that neatly. Lots of ers, uhs, and ums punctuated the story.
     After our conference, the doctor's nurse led me to the bathroom/ dressing room where I obediently divested myself of everything except my knee-highs, and put on the white robe provided.  As I approached the examination table the punchline of an old joke entered my mind uninvited.
     Obstetrician to bashful young girl: "Assume the position you were in when this child was conceived."
     Bashful young girl: “I was in a car with one leg out the window."
     Dr. Schiff came in and did what he had to do very gently, as always. 

No comments:

Post a Comment