Wednesday, October 20, 2004


I have never been a shy or private person. If anything, my friends groan and complain about me disclosing too much information. But get me around my pdoc, and I have no idea what I'm supposed to say.

It's not like appointments need to be scripted or something. It's just that the first question he'll ask is "how are you?" and my automatic response will be "I'm doing great. How are you?"

Of course, that's not the answer he's hoping to get.

Describing this illness when put on the spot can be daunting, particularly when some combination of meds and stress has turned your brain into a gelatinous goo. Besides, I'm not sure what symptoms are the most important to talk about, and what can wait until the next appointment.

My common sense tells me that I should complain to him about what bothers me the most. The problem with doing that is that what bothers me the most this morning may not bother me at all in a few days. Does that make sense? While I've been incapacitatingly irritable the past few days, before that it was my mental radio and before that it was being bummed out and before that it was headaches from Hades. So, do I complain about the most recent problem, even though it may not be the most serious because of the arbitrary convergence of the symptom and the appointment?

Then, I internally debate about which symptoms are more pressing—physical ones or emotional ones. I typically refer back to my severity scale, which is forever ingrained in my brain as a series of frowning, smiling and sobbing faces courtesy of a poster in my pediatrician's office.

But alas, I'm always concerned that I'll be having some symptom that doesn't really bother me, like my mental radio, and so I won't mention it but it will turn out to be some sort of huge red flag that I should have mentioned but didn't because it didn't fit into my severity scale rubric.

For all I know, I could be ignoring the nuclear bomb in the corn field because the corn is so much more prominent.


I'll let you know how my appointment goes.