Ugh! The Pediatricians Office By: Stacey Honowitz
First question, “do you really feel that bad that you want to go to the doctor”? Hoping for the “na” I’m okay response, I know that I still have to be prepared to geer up for the nightmare trek to the pediatrician’s . Gone are the good old days of being able to pick up the phone and ask the doctor to “stop by”. Gone are the days of never having a panic attack because you have to venture to the germ capital of the world. When you are growing up you tend to remember the important lessons that your parents taught you. What comes to mind while recalling that is the usual ”‘be nice to other kids” “eat all the food on your plate, because kids are starving somewhere” “treat others the way that you want to be treated “etc. Those are words to live by. Listen closely to the important words that my mother drilled into our heads (drumroll please) “don’t ever go to the nurse’s office if you don’t feel well, its chock full of germs.” She continued her rant by saying”just go to the pay phone ( now you really know how old I am) and call me, I will come and pick you up”.
Back then I really thought my mom was nutbar. I could not imagine why she would not let us do the logical thing if we felt sick at school. I would constantly question her, “what are you talking about?” “she is the school nurse, she is there to help us”. My mother would say “listen, don’t question me, just don’t go.” I remember thinking, “that’s so unfair, I want to go to the nurse like everyone else.” I want to get my temperature taken, and hang in her office”. Little did I know that those words would come to mean so much. Now, as a parent myself, the mere idea of going to the pediatrician makes me nauseaus, forget how lousy my daughter is feeling.
When my daughter has to go to the doctor, a sort of numbness comes over my body. I am instantly grossed out at the thought of having to take her to the “palace of germs”. I have to do a whole mental number on myself analyzing the the trip to the office. I pack a bag of wipes like I am never going to see a sink again. I repeat to my daughter 48 trillion times, “don’t touch one thing in or near that office”. I dress her in long sleeves, long pants, socks and shoes even if it nine million degrees. (hey mom, why am I wearing a parka in July) I say, ” you are lucky I can’t find the scarf.”
We arrive. I walk quickly towards the door hoping that when I get in there I will be the only one bringing my kid in that day. Oh right, how about walking in and seeing a slew of kids and stollers lined up like they are giving away free disney passes. I hurdle to the front window where the nurse tells me to” sign in”. I am thinking to myself, do you expect me to use that pen? Can you imagine what’s on there? Lets figure it out. Your kid is sick and no doubt has been coughing and snotting all the way to the bank. You, as the concerned parent wipes his/her nose, let him/her cough in your face, and then you pick him/her up to make them feel better. Now that you are carrying all of the germs , you are expected to use the same pen as every other germ infested human in the room? As I am carefully sizing up the other mothers in the room who seem as cool as cucumbers, I am juggling my daughter on one arm and trying desperately to find my own pen (I NEVER of course can find one in the bermuda triangle purse I carry) while listening to the hacking and sneezing going on. I am sweating bullets looking at the sheet and seeing the amount of people that are before me. What stinks is that the old “I have to be in court ‘ trick won’t get me in any quicker.
Naturally my daughter is a spiteful as you can get and only wants to go near the kid that has fever, while trying to extend her arms as far as possible to touch every disgusting chair in the place. In my pediatrician’s office there is a “well” room and a “sick” room. Sounds like a a great idea right? Now try to figure out what seperates the two rooms. The answer is this, air and some chairs. That’s right, they are not two seperate rooms, they are two designated areas within one room. Isnt that enough to make you throwup? Do you honestly believe that if there are no chairs left in the sick room, that a mom would not put her kid in the well room? Getting the drift as to why I need therapy before I go?
I have invented the “outside” waiting room. Tht’s right. I tell the nurses, I am in the hallway, please call me when its time to go in. At first they gave me that “you mean, we have to get up and go outside to get you” look. Now, I am sure they just don’t want to deal with me, so when they do come out, its with that “you are mental case ” stare. Whatever they might think ,it just makes me feel better to be out there, away from general population. (a term commonly used by us prosecutors). I am sure the germs from inside just go outside once the patient walks out, but its the lesser of the two evils for me. I guess my mother was not so crazy when she warned “you could end up getting sicker just sitting in the office.” Is it an old wives tale? Do I think she was right? Do I think she has turned me into a loony tune? Probably, but now I get to see it first hand. I see the snotty noses, I see the dirty hands wiping the snotty nose and then depositing it anywhere they can in the office and I hear myself repeating the same mantra to my daughter. “Don’t touch, cover your mouth and most important don’t stay in the waiting room.
. Upon leaving the office, I get the cursory text from the “ex”. “How did it go”? Gee, it was a breeze, trying to navigate the “land of the germs”. I am sure if he would have taken her she would have come home with the toys that they have in the waiting room., so I will take the text from him and make sure that I take her to the doctor. A word to the wise, lather yourself in purell, and you can lie and say you have a skin condition if you show up with your kids wearing ski gloves. I know that some of you have to feel like this, I can’t be the only 50 year old neurotic mom out there. Here is how to solve the problem, make sure your next -door neighbor is a pediatrician, or go to the next medical conference if your are single and try to find one to marry. Just think, you might not ever have to go into germ warfare again!