My favorite moment was a particularly testy phone conversation in which she yelled, not once but twice.
“Look, I have no intention of murdering you.”
I went in for chemotherapy round two, but apparently my white blood cell count was far too low so she pushed me back a week. Whenever, I’m in her office she spends the whole time hunched over a counter with her back to while she scribbles in my file.
The other day she took a phone call and I in was able to sneak a peek at her personal notes.
New Patient today, Rimer? Rimyer? Not sure, I was distracted by that scar on his neck. Surgeons… what did he use a scythe?
Oh great, he’s a needy one. “What am I? Stage 2? Stage four? Will I live? Will I die?” Me-me-me. Would it have killed him to ask about my day?
Weasel. Sure, I’ll cure him. But if he throws up on his shoes a few times it’s no skin off my nose.
“Zipper neck” came in again. Patient complained of…
– Cat food
– Ore-Ida Frozen…
Wait, I got distracted, where was I? Oh yeah, he complained.
Rimyer back. He’s lost weight. Man boobs no longer prominent, thank God.
I did that thing where I say, “Let me examine you.” And he sat up all straight like a Boy Scout and I poked his shoulders with my fingers and went… “Hmm.” It’s completely for show, I mean, first of all, what does he think he has – shoulder cancer.? And second of all, what the hell am I supposed to figure out about a sub-molecular disease by poking around with these meaty hooks.
Ha, I love my job. Actually, I don’t. All I ever really wanted to do was dance. But without training, co-ordination or the proper footwear, what chance did I ever really have? Damn my highly evolved intellect and debilitating social awkwardness that led me to medicine!
Oh shit, he’s still sitting there, waiting for me to say something comforting. I never know what to say. I should write some things down.
Or I could just pretend to get beeped and run out of the room. Shit, I don’t have a beeper. I should get one. Wait, do they even make them anymore? Forget it, I don’t need a beeper. Barbara, you can do this. Just turn around and say something comforting…
“So, Mister Ri…. Fella… so I ah… I wanted to… I just wanted to say that… Hey, do you know if they still make beepers?”