Friday, 2 December 2011

A Doctor's Waiting Room Education


We are sitting in the doctor’s waiting room. In the corner a TV is blaring. Sound and images come hurtling towards us. It’s impossible to ignore them and soon we are staring at the screen watching The Morning Show.

“What’s that for, Mum?” asks Gemma-Rose pointing at a machine on the television screen.

“Hair removal.”

“Hair removal?”

“You use it to get rid of unwanted hair like… if you had hairy legs,” I whisper.

“Hairy legs!” Gemma-Rose shouts. She screws up her face in disgust and then remembers something. “We have a lot of unwanted hair at home... The cats leave it everywhere.”

For a moment I sit there thinking about the electrolysis hair removal machine and our long-haired cats. Would it work? Surely they’d complain? My wicked lips start to curl into a smile as I imagine three bald cats. “I think the cats would protest and we can’t use that machine on carpets.” I explain to Gemma-Rose.

“Oh…”

Now Larry is introducing a fashion expert: “Christmas is a very stressful time of year. There’s all the shopping to do and then all those parties to attend. Poor us. The last thing we want to be worried about is choosing the right clothes for the right occasion. So true. So Trevor has come on the show to help us with some fashion tips. Thank you, Trevor."

“A man can’t be a fashion expert,” protests Gemma-Rose indignantly. I glance around to see who’s listening.

“A lot of people are not sure what to wear when the invitation says smart casual. Yes, we've been worrying about that. Zoe has put together the perfect outfit." A model wiggles her way down the red carpet.

“Skinny red jeans and high heels! I wouldn’t wear those,” declares Gemma-Rose screwing up her nose again. “Look at those high glitter shoes! We saw some of those in the shop the other day. Could you walk in those, Mum?” I don’t think I could. Gemma-Rose and I smile at the thought of me tottering along.

Now an earnest lady is telling us about Mothers’ Rescue, a multi-vitamin for exhausted mothers. The woman looks very concerned. She wants to help... I'm a tired mother. I haven't enough energy. Perhaps I need this miraculous pill. But Gemma-Rose has other ideas. She's decided I don’t need Mother’s Rescue. It's not for me.

“You don’t need anything in a bottle to make you feel less tired, Mum. You have us. We help you with all the work.” Is that lady sitting opposite us smiling?

Gemma-Rose is probably right and by now we have moved onto Zumba DVDs. We sit mesmerised as all these super fit people keep time with the strong beat. They are all working hard and sweating profusely. They are full of energy. They probably eat Mothers’ Rescue by the handful.  They all look like they are enjoying themselves immensely.

“You will burn up 1000 calories from one hour of Zumba,” promises a lithe and toned woman. I mentally compare that to the calories I burn up on the exercise bike. Zumba? It’s starting to sound good. I start to wonder how much the DVD set costs to buy.

“You couldn’t do that, Mum! Look at all those bare tummies. You couldn’t wear those clothes.” Yes, the clothes are rather skimpy revealing smooth, tanned, toned bodies.  Perhaps the hair removal people should get together with the Zumba DVD people

“Couldn’t we do Zumba in our normal exercise clothes?” I ask Gemma-Rose. I forget to whisper.

Gemma-Rose is no longer listening to me. She’s staring with wide eyes at the Baywatch Babes bouncing their way across the beach towards the camera… and then Charlie’s Angels slink across the screen. She opens her mouth. What will she say? Then Maxwell Smart appears. Relief! He asks, “Don’t you think we should use the cone of silence, Boss?” Cone of silence? How about a cone of no vision? We're watching a segment about unsuccessful remakes of popular TV series. If they were such a flop why are we hearing about them again?

Then perfectly-styled-and-immaculately-made-up Kylie tells us who is getting married to whom, and who is expecting (how did everyone miss that baby bump?) What an education we’re getting in the doctor’s waiting room. How have we survived up to now without The Morning Show?

But eventually our heads start to ache: all those flashing pictures and loud music and repetitious ads. “When’s it our turn?” asks Gemma-Rose, starting to fidget. “The doctor’s taking an awfully long time.” She’s lost interest in the TV.

Finally her name is called and we are ushered into the doctor’s surgery. We learn Gemma-Rose has a bad case of eczema on her face. We also learn the doctor has yet to learn what is causing it.

We walk home. We are exhausted. We were at the doctor’s a long time. But it was worth it. We are clutching a tube of magic eczema fixing cream. Soon Gemma-Rose will no longer have an itchy face.

I  think about that hour we spent in the waiting room. Chatting to an opinionative seven year old, with a loud voice and expressive features, can cause people to prick up their ears. They listen and stare. Do I care? No! Gemma-Rose and I had fun discussing all that nonsense from The Morning Show. Yes, we laughed and talked and pulled silly faces together as we learnt lots of useless stuff. Or was it useless? Was all that time in the waiting room a total waste of time?  Or did we receive an unexpected education?

We now know that the $2 800 dollar electrolysis machine won’t solve our unwanted cat hair problem.

I learnt that if I didn't have so many children I would have to rely on Mothers’ Rescue multi-vitamin tablets to get me through each day.

Thanks to Trevor, we have become fashion experts. And we are now hoping we won’t get invited to any smart casual Christmas parties because none of us have tight, skinny, red jeans.

And the Zumba? Sounds like fun. But will I need Mothers’ Rescue to give me the necessary energy or will it be easy because I have lots of children?

Yes, everything in life is a potential learning experience, even The Morning Show in a crowded doctor’s waiting room on a Tuesday morning.

14 comments:

  1. What an interesting way to spend time waiting for a doctor! TVs are typical at a doctor's office but I'm guessing you were at a dermatologist's office who sees adults too. At my son's pediatrician's office, they only put on cartoons from a DVD that are for young kids. I brought Donny to a podiatrist appt and they had the news on. It is awkward, because there are things I would rather have him not see!

    Now, he always brings a book along to entertain himself.

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  2. What a wonderful post. There's so much here I don't know where to start.

    Last time I went to the doctor's he asked me if I have sudden headaches, stomach pains and trembling of the knees simultaneously. I said: "No ... why?" He replied "Because I've had them for a week and I wondered if you knew what's the cause!"

    He gave me a bottle of multi-vitamins to help me get stronger. When I got home I was so weak I could not open the bottle. I went back to the doctor's and he opened the bottle for me.

    I'm quite fashionable and I would have been good on that Morning Show. My large cowboy-type hat with a big feather on the side, and my turquoise bow tie with pink flowers, red shirt, green jacket and blue tartan trousers always draw attention wherever I am. I can see people whispering how well dressed I am.

    I get quite hot with that Zumba DVD you know. Watching those ladies dance raises my temperature somewhat! I take it easy however with my treadmill machine ... I only walk width-length at the moment.

    I used to like the detective Get Smart with a telephone in his shoe. Remember? I tried to copy him by hiding a small cell-phone in my shoe. I tried it in public once and the smell in my shoe made me pass out completely. Hence my last visit to the doctor!

    Right ... I'm quite tired now.

    Praying that Gemma-Rose gets better soon.

    God bless and keep smiling.

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  3. I have a friend who has been known to ask them to turn the TV off whilst her kids are there, talking M rated movies here. She will do it at Big W too:)
    Just awarded you the Versatile Blog Award:)
    http://sevenlittleaustralians.blogspot.com/2011/12/versatile-blogger-award.html

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  4. Hi Noreen,

    We were actually at our family doctor's, not a specialist. I don't think the eczema is a big problem. It's already mostly cleared up.

    Cartoons would have been better! We took along books but the TV was just too big of a distraction. We don't normally watch TV so I suppose the little we saw while waiting for the doctor won't harm the girls. It certainly gave us a lot to talk about!

    Thank you for stopping by!

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  5. Victor,

    Your story is far superior to mine. I love it!

    I can just imagine you and Gemma-Rose sitting in the doctor's waiting room, having a loud and very interesting conversation together. You'd keep all the other patients very entertained.

    Yes, it's good to smile and thank you for the prayers!

    God bless you.

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  6. Erin,

    I guess there are times we need to have the courage to say something and protect our children. Fortunately "The Morning Show" was more silly than dangerous. It just made us laugh.

    Thank you for nominating my blog for the award. You made me smile!

    God bless.

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  7. I wonder if that machine would work on the dog hair in my house? Or on my dogs? And since they are both labs, would I be able to tell them apart? LOL Yes I think I would. :) My dogs have different faces, expressions, and temperaments... and energy levels. :)

    I don't think I'd do well with the fashion bit. Fat old lady clothes: long full skirts & flowery blouses and my Birkenstocks. What?!!? Isn't that what all us crunchy Mommas wear? LOL

    I don't like those shows. I am glad there is no tv in our Drs office. We turned our satellite tv off almost a year ago.. and I do not miss it. If we want to watch something, we watch it on the computer or we get a dvd. Easy peasy.

    Gemma Rose sounds like such a darling. :) Zumba sounds exhausting. It's popular here too, and I have zero interest in it. Who has time? Not me. Maybe I need the Mothers Helper since I only have two girls. I'm exhausted!!

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  8. Susan,

    You understood my wicked grin when I thought about the cats and the unwanted hair machine!

    I rather like what you wear. I have a real love for long floaty skirts. Much better than tight, red, skinny jeans!!! I don't think I'd get into a pair of those either. Most uncomfortable. What are Birkenstocks? Some kind of shoe?

    We have television at home but don't watch it. We're like you: we watch DVDs and occasionally Andy and I watch a catch up show streamed to our computer. So much easier these days with lots of choice. I remember years ago, the only way to watch a particular movie was to sit up at a very inconvenient hour such as 1 am, when the TV channel chose to screen it. Not even a video player to record it!

    I like the IDEA of being fit enough to do Zumba. Whether I'll do it is another matter!

    You understand my kind of humour, Susan! Good to share.

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  9. Birkenstocks are a German made sandal which mold to your feet. When they first took off in the USA, it was with the hippies. A liberal I am NOT but I will wear the tag "crunchy conservative" with pride. LOL Here's the wiki link for the birks. ;) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birkenstock

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  10. Susan,

    Those sandals look very comfortable!! I always wear comfortable, flat shoes. If my feet aren't happy then I'm not either!

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  11. Ah Sue this was absolutely delightful. Loved this read.

    I am putting in another vote for Birks. I love, love, love mine despite my husband's not so flattering name for them. I love them so much I even did a scrapbook page in homage a couple of years ago. http://everydaysnapshots.blogspot.com/2009/02/load-feb-1.html

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  12. Pam,

    So glad you enjoyed my story. We had so many laughs that morning I just had to come home and write a post about it.

    I am intrigued by the idea of a scrapbooking page about Birks. I must come and look! I've never seen Birks here. I wonder of they are available. Of course, everything is available via the Internet.

    Pam, it's so lovely for you to stop and say hello.

    God bless!

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  13. Too funny esp. the hairless cats ;-) I love my birkies! Poor dh has been trying to get me to wear "real" shoes for almost 2 decades, but the birkies are starting to grow on him, even the Dorian Antique Flowers, my current favorite pair.

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  14. Beate,

    The thought of hairless cats still makes me smile!

    I saw Pam's photo of her Birks and I can now visualise what they look like, but "Dorian Antique Flowers"? That description sounds so intriguing. Are there lots of different styles of Birks? I am going to have to find out more!

    God bless.

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