I spend a lot of time waiting. Waiting for my son’s music lessons to end, waiting in lines at the grocery store, waiting for the mail (bills and usually rejections). Hours pass and the time is not marked. I read a lot, I sometimes write. I am usually alone when waiting or with other people not much interested in chatting, which is fine. But it does feel like a tremendous waste of time.
Today I had a doctor’s appointment, with my endocrinolgist. I like this man, a Dr.Corrigan. But every time I see him the time lapse from beginning to end is around three hours. My time with him is perhaps five minutes, never more than ten. There is always a nurse who takes my blood pressure and weighs me (123 pounds with shoes), and then a chat with a young intern or resident or new doctor. So far the young assistants, or whatever they are, are always a man (boy) and always very sweet. They ask me questions, remark on the latest blood test. One asked me what kind of art I did and I told him it would be a waste of time to explain it to him since it was unlikely he would ever see me again, or ever look at my artwork. I wasn’t mean, just stating a fact. I asked that same young man (poor thing) what he thought of the new health plan and he told me he had no opinion, which of course, is a flat out lie.
Today my wait to see Dr.Corrigan was longer than usual. He wants me to see an eye specialist and I argued with him about it, because I like my eye doctor and I don’t believe a specialist would tell me any more than my regular guy. It would be another appointment, another long wait, another brief time spent with someone. I’m only 52 and already I feel like I spend too much time making doctor’s appointments. At any rate, he argued right back and I told him that I didn’t want to add another doctor to my list, to spend another three hours waiting around for someone to tell me that yes, I have Graves disease and they will monitor me and see you in six months. And Dr. Corrigan said “Is your life so important that you aren’t willing to make an appointment to take care of yourself?”. Well, that was a weighty question.
I would have to say that my life isn’t at all important. It’s probably among the least important lives being lived. I tried to explain to the young assistant doctor that it’s because my life is so unimportant that I don’t want to spend more time doing nothing to progress. He smiled and nodded but I know he didn’t get it. I don’t know if I get it. All I know is that even if my life has no heft or weight whatsoever, it’s still my life and I would rather be doing something with it than waiting in an office without so much as a magazine (though I always bring enough reading material to see me through six years on an island).
But, I came home and put on a pot of coffee and made an appointment with the eye specialist.