I arrived to the doctor’s office for my annual general physical 15 minutes early this morning. My trick to myself worked! I entered the “event” in my iPhone for 8:30 and, since this was set up a long time ago, I did forget that the actual appointment was for 8:45. I barely made it for 8:30 and I was lucky I did because the roads this morning weren’t bad, in spite of the early snow. I am so predictable. My husband always comments on how I never leave any room for the unforeseen – he is right, although I would never admit it to him.
My doctor was in a chatty mood. Maybe it was a slow day. He is a very interesting guy and an awesome doctor. You can tell fairly quickly. He is one of those doctors who really think about what you tell him and your well-being is his reason for working. Everything he has ever told me, his diagnoses, are always well-thought out. He keeps asking questions, listening, and then recommends further study or a course of action. Luckily, I have not had any serious illness yet in my lifetime, but I would trust him with my life. He was recommended to me by a colleague from a long time ago, whose wife had breast cancer. My colleague told me his wife trusted him more than her oncologist. Back to my doctor’s chatty mood – his wife is a teacher so he often shares his wife’s struggles with me, as he knows I can sympathize. Today he said that she was upset about her performance review scores. She had scored average on some of her strengths and could not understand why. Someone told her not to worry, that if she scored higher just meant that she was working way too hard. Welcome to our world. My doctor also has to put up with a lot of nonsense in his profession, and with his teacher wife, he understands what teachers go through. Our conversation moved to Europe. He asked me about any upcoming trips. I told him I just bought tickets to go back home to Italy for late July. “How are people in Europe doing?” he asks. I tell him about Greece and the issue of debt forgiveness (Germany was forgiven his huge debt after WWII, why not Greece?), and how when a debt goes bad, why is it always only the fault of the borrower? How about banks lending recklessly? Don’t they have to pay a price for their poor judgment? But this is an all separate post! Italy’s people are in dire straits economically. All of Europe is still suffering the consequences of the Great Recession, their austerity plans have not worked and continue to put a heavy burden on the poor and the middle class. The doctor recaps the next steps on my plan to a healthy life, and we say goodbye. Back to school. My sub (a retired teacher from our district and mom of my colleague across the hall) and my co-teacher are singing our students’ praise. Everyone was focused and persistent during math, everyone’s attitude was positive. A good way to start the second half of my day.