Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Doctor Will Be With You Shortly

60 x 48 oil and collage on canvas.

The weight of waiting....

At some point you've been at the doctor's office waiting with your child for the physician. First we all wait in the waiting room amongst other parents and patients. We might make small talk with someone if they smile at us first. Other people in the room will do everything possible to not make eye contact. I think IPhones were created just for this purpose. IPhones and any Smart Phone lets people delude themselves into pretending they are busy. Plus even if they are not doing anything with their phones they can make the rest of us believe that they are and then they do not have to make any eye contact. I understand why people do not want to make eye contact or small talk. They don't want to be there. I don't either.

Updated April 22 -Thought I should take a pic of the
mighty sturdy frame and what it looks like stretched.
I do not have a fancy phone. I do have a sketch book. So, I just bury myself in that. I wear a baseball cap. Baseball caps are great because people cannot see what I am looking at. If they think I am drawing them, I typically make sure they see me looking at the tv screen and then they are convinced I am not sketching them. Once I'm convinced that they are again uninterested in what I am doing, I go back to sketching them.

After at least an hour of waiting in the bland and sterile waiting room, a nurse will come out with a clipboard and tell us to go to a room. Here's where the fun starts. That nurse will come in as well and ask some standard questions. Typically she has already filled the fields before I have even answered. Sometimes for fun, I like to pause and pretend like I am really thinking about the question and then I say "Funny, no one has ever asked if my son is allergic to latex...no...no, I'm quite certain he is not".

"The Doctor Will Be With You Shortly"
72" x 48" oil on canvas - lay in stage.
Typically, I just wait. And my son waits. And my other son waits too even though it is not his appointment. After another good half an hour or so the physician comes into the room and pulls out the rolling chair. Physicians enjoy sitting on rolling circular chairs. They like to wheel around the room. I like those chairs too and so do my kids. I, however, do not look nearly as cool rolling around on them as the doctor does, perhaps if I got a lab coat and clip board I could pull it off. While waiting, I let my children sit and spin on them. When I see the doorknob turning I tell my boys to knock it off so I can have the appearance of a good parent who has well behaved children who sit patiently with their hands folded.

The physician will do an exam and utter terms and numbers to his assistant. The assistants are then given instructions about what to do next for my son's exam. The physician leaves. The assistant leaves.

We wait.

The assistant comes back in and administers drops, an IV or whatever is necessary. They typically ask if we want to watch tv. We search for cartoons. My boys are tired of waiting. They fidget. They start staring at all the drawers and tools that they are not allowed to touch or play with.

We wait.

2/7/13 Spent the past 5 days going through medical files.
Transferred them to the canvas as the wallpaper and flooring.
Later the physician comes in. I can usually tell when they've looked at the report prior and when they have not. I try not to call them out when they haven't, so I will say "I'm fine waiting if you'd like some time to read the radiologist report that I had sent over to you earlier in the week". I'm not saying it to be a jerk, I am saying it because I would prefer they really read it rather than try to rush through the exam to get to the other fidgety family waiting in the room next to me.

More tests.

The physician and assistant leave.

We wait.

The physician comes in and tells us some good news. He or she will always tell you good news no matter what. They must learn that in a class in medical school. Always find something positive to say first. Then he or she minimizes what might be bad news. They will use terms like "let's keep monitoring"...and "possibly another surgery".

They say this to at least plant the seed so then at the next appointment it won't seem like dropping a bomb onto the patient. It is how I would do it too. I don't fault them at all. My son has wonderful doctors who are looking after him. I trust that he is in good hands. Of course, I trust that because it is also what I want to believe. No one wants to think "Did this gal get last place in medical school because she seems like a real doo dah".

And what, again, do we do?

What we do best. We wait. We watch. We monitor and we schedule another exam. Then the cycle starts again.

And we just simply



Barbara said...

This is an awesome picture Rachel! You have such God given talent and a heart to share it in a way I know makes God proud! Thank you so much!

Steven Sherman said...

Nice to read something funny here. I can soooo picture you messing with the nurses and doctors.

Louella Nichols said...

Are you sure you weren't hiding in the cabinet at my daughters last Dr. visit? Your sketches are absolutely wonderful.
Thank You!

D.C. Lutz said...

I do not know jack crap about painting, drawing or sketching but I know a little about life and you sure know how to write it. Love this blog!