My follow-up pain management visit is a week away but I am already thinking about my fifteen minutes. I know that the fifteen minutes includes getting processed by the clinic nurse. Forms will be updated. Pain scales will be checked. My blood pressure will be assessed. We'll have a superficial chat. I will wait. I will wonder what kind of day my doctor is having. Is she running on time? Did she get held up at the rehab hospital? Is another patient eating into my privileged time? I'll hope that she is having a good day. I think of Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory. They are stuffing chocolates into their mouths at a frantic pace as the conveyor belt speeds up.
My doctor will walk in with a stack of charts. She'll greet me politely and get down to business. In less than five minutes I will report the facts. I'll summarize my quality of life in a few sentences. I'll tell her how long I can sit. I'll report on my sleep and bowel habits. Happily, I'll tell her that I am walking over an hour a day. I'll try to slip in a personal detail. Tell her that I knitted my first pair of socks. She'll tell me that all looks good. Remind me of the clinic policy and suggest a three month follow-up visit.
She'll smile and shake my hand. The nurse will be in to discharge me.
I will wait.
Until my next fifteen minutes.
Peace, Healing, Humor.
The fish are hungry.