Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Doctor's Office

I'm back from the doctor's office. Mind you, I really like my Primary Care Physician and I've been with him ever since I moved to Chicago from Toronto. He's originally from El Salvador and works his butt off for next-to-nothing in the Latino neighborhood of Little Village where I first lived for five years upon moving to Chicago from Canada. He reminds me of physicians back in Canada where they really take an interest in you, remember everything about you, and actually provide health care without the cost involved.

It was blistering hot today in Chicago (almost 90 degrees) and I had to take a 30 minute subway ride to access my doctor; complete with a nasty cold and my hair was messed up. I was not in the mood to succumb to my HMO, much less sweat on Chicago's subways over it. They'd not turned on the air conditioning down below at the Clark & Lake station; the air was still fetid and the only relief was from air pushed in by trains that weren't mine.

I have to admit that it was good to be back in my old, familiar neighborhood where I used to have to speak Spanish at the butcher counter: "Yo quero tres libras de pechugas, sin hueso ni cuero." I've been in social services for a very long time and I can tell you that our Latino communities (legal or not) have just about the best family systems going, par non. Our "American" culture can certainly benefit BIG TIME from the family systems that our neighbors from the South can impart. They're a breath of fresh air, believe me.

I wonder what kind of families any of the Minutemen are supporting? After all, they're spending all their time and energy down on the border. Shouldn't family life and parenting be a 24/7 endeavor?

I digress. . .

The air conditioner was OUT at my doctor's office. Kaputz. I was already sweating from the six-block walk from the train station and looking forward to being a/c'd. I was not a happy camper/patient. I had grown tired of my book and the only thing on the TV was a Mexican soap opera. (The endless, gratuitous boobies are bad enough, but the soundtracks! God! That's the worst part. The commercials are fun, though).

Like I said, I love my doctor and it was groovy to be back in the Latino culture, but that also meant that appointment times are quite a relative matter. I understand that. I even embrace that. But there was no air conditioning. I had a cold. A very nasty cold which made me cranky especially with the Mexian-soundtracked boobies bombarding me.

I was not smelling good, either.

I thought about leaving but remembered that dear HMO relied upon my ability to obtain anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication, erectile dysfunction suppliments, and a referral to the lesbian therapist that I'd been seeing for the past two years in order for me to continue existing on this planet. Otherwise, I might become depressed, anxious, not be able to date effectively, and miss out on figuring out how my parents messed me up while drinking herbal tea. All very important stuff, you know.

It was important that I stick around and bear the heat. I did.

Finally, my beloved doctor returned from comer and saw me. It was wonderful. He asked if I'd recently been home to Texas. He asked me to tell him how much I missed Canada. He asked about my work in substance abuse counseling and illicited my advice regarding a patient of his. He listened to my heart, took some blood, and gave me all the prescriptions I thought I required. Latex gloves and lubricant never made their appearance.

When you're over forty, have a nasty cold and just need drugs, that is a good doctor.


At 2:17 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

A good doctor, indeed.


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