Monday, April 17, 2006

Any Major Life Changes We Should Be Aware Of?

Had my annual today. It's weird that I always call it "my annual" because you'd think I'd reserve that rather general designation for something more pleasant than the time once a year when someone pokes my bits with a cold metal stick.

Anyway, I am irrationally fond of my doc because he performed surgery on me for a "female complaint" a few years ago, and I experienced absolutely no pain or discomfort afterwards. I was fixed and that was that. I decided then and there he was a genius.

But he's also a little goofy. He often answers his own phone with "This is Steve," which cracks me up. He calls me his favorite patient at the same time he's furiously scanning my chart for clues as to who I am and what I want from him. Today he came scurrying into the exam room and hastily shut the door like he was being chased, saying "Thank goodness. I can hide in here." "From what?" I asked. "From those people who always want something from me." Maybe this is just Catskills humor that I am having trouble "getting" while chilling my buns on a metal table and wearing a "capelet" that makes me feel like Holly Hobbie.

The last time I went to my annual, Jarrah was simply a glimmer in the Fed-Ex man's eye. We had just mailed our paperwork, were in the middle of moving, and I was pretty haggard. Kind of like now, but for much different reasons. I told my doc and his staff that we were adopting, and they all said "Oh, you'll be pregnant soon!" Whatever. But it struck me this morning that it is a little weird to show up one year with a flat stomach (silence, please: I'm speaking figuratively, oh no, I did NOT say that...) and the very next with a 15-month-old toddler. Pretty cool, actually. I was in the accelerated program. The gifted program, if you will. (And you must!)

Since I wasn't sure how to broach my motherly glow to my OB/Gyn's office, I decided to just whip out my photo album after processing my co-pay and announce: "And now for pictures of my daughter!" The three front-office nurses have been there a long time, and they were all appropriately coo-ey. Though I didn't even try to foist the entire narrative on them, they studied every page and made lots of satisfying high-pitched exclamations. During the excitement, my doctor drifted through the room, and glanced over their shoulders for about one second with a half-smile before moving on. I didn't think much of it, since I assumed we'd have an extended viewing session in the exam room, albeit while I was scantily clad.

When that moment arrived, one of these nurses asked him "Did you see her beautiful baby?" and he sort of yelped, "It's so cute!" There was a pinprick of silence before the nurse replied, louder this time and a bit strenuously, "SHE is beautiful!" I just smiled in what I hoped was an unspecific way, but knowing my freaky rubber face, was probably conveying a dozen variations of surprise, annoyance and disgust as quickly as a passing rain cloud.

I'm still not sure what was going on with that--maybe doctors who deliver babies quickly learn to favor gender-neutral pronouns so as to minimize the risk of offending their patients with an untimely gaffe? Anyway, I think what was really bothering me is that, with this statement, he was done appreciating my baby. There were no further viewings of photos, no questions about her myriad talents and accomplishments. And to add insult to injury, he whipped a wrinkled photo of his two-year-old granddaughter out of his white coat pocket (while I had no pants on, mind you) and made me admire it several times! What chutzpah!


Jenny said...

that is a weird reaction. I mean how do you even react to that!

And I think everyone is going to the gyno this week.

Anonymous said...

You're too nice. Were you a mean person, your come-back to that doctor when he whipped out the photo of his granddaughter would have been: "It's so cute!" :)
Best, Gail