I was sitting in the waiting room of Kent’s office. The door opens and in walks a teenage girl, a woman (with a broken foot, so she’s in a wheelchair), and a man. My first thought was, “Hmmm. I wonder which one of them is in for counseling. Or is it all three? I wonder what is wrong with them.” Part of this is because whenever I walk in, I can almost hear the thoughts of the people in the waiting room, “Wow. What’s she in for?” I want to shout, “I have bipolar disorder! What’s wrong with YOU?” But, I restrain myself. Plus, they might all shout, “Well, we knew it wasn’t anorexia, Lady!” (This office is littered with eating disorder pamphlets.)
As I sat there, I realized that this was the only place I did this kind of thinking. I enter my psychiatrist’s waiting room, and I never think about it. Everyone that comes and goes, does so without my even taking a second glance. (Except for the possibility that I might know them, so I do take that first glance.)
When I go to my OB/GYN, it is pretty obvious why many of them are there.
Even at my Internist’s office, I never wonder, “Hmmm. Do you think they have strep throat? Oh, how about Lyme Disease? Oooh, maybe Bornholm Disease!” (I actually had that. Look it up.)
Why is this? I realize many people may do this at any doctor’s office. But, do you go to the post office and think, “I wonder what they are shipping?” Doubtful. How about the bank? If you actually go into the bank, that is.
When you take your child to the pediatrician, there isn’t much reason to guess. Most around here have well-visit hours, and hours to examine children who are ill. Doesn’t take Louis Pasteur to know that a kid with a runny nose has some issues and to steer clear.
It would make it a lot easier on those of us who do wonder about these things if everyone would just come in and write their malady on a 4×6 index card and hold it up for all of us to see. Think that would catch on? Yeah. Me neither.