Today it was his turn at the doctor's office.
But, as I was able, I went along.
I ask questions and take notes.
I'm better at that than he is.
After a brief visit with assistants for vitals, blood work and updating,
and after a cruise around the facility while waiting for the doc...
We finally sit in the hall outside of his office for 40 minutes to wait.
I try to read, but mostly stare at the paper name on the closed door and doze in my chair.
It's been an emotional few days. I'm tired.
Then the doctor arrives.
And my wondering begins.
He is a tad disheveled.
An older gentleman with wild white hair.
This is the man who's hands hold the guy's health?
We enter his office and after a few minutes of confusion over chairs,
we settle in, he on his found desk chair, the guy on a rickety desk chair and me on a medical rolling stool, pushed up against the sink in the corner.
The next 10 minutes are spent waiting as he checks the guy's records
in the computer system.
Click clack go the computer keys under his sausage-like fingers.
The office is long, narrow and cluttered.
The walls are covered with at least 13 diplomas, certificates and
degrees of some kind or another, along with one framed photograph of a lone tree on the bluffs looking over an ocean.
I sense it is not a local ocean.
The very tall shelving units are crammed with books, magazines, and periodicals...
and a few scattered framed family photographs, a stone carving
and one empty basket with a tall handle, Easter basket style.
The floor has stacks of more written materials. Everywhere.
And some paper trash.
I keep looking.
I keep thinking that I hope this guy knows his stuff.
The guy feels confident. He's met the doc before.
As the doctor is reading his computer screen,
he announces, "I am your doctor as well as a researcher.
I will fix up everything, including your future".
I listen to his accent and add that to the impression of his environment.
His desk is as disheveled as he is.
Covered in more written materials,
a mug, two over-sized empty paper Coke cups
and a large empty water bottle.
There's a basket which holds a wood mask in one corner.
In the other corner of the desk sits and open Chinese Take-Out food style gift box.
It's green glittered with red & white peppermint candies on it.
Has that been here since Christmas I wonder?
And then, as if this is all super normal...
I hear an instrumental version of "Oh Christmas Tree"
float in the open door.
Is this some episode of The Twilight Zone???
At the far side of his desk stands a tall 4 drawer file cabinet.
I can only wonder, what is in there?
On top of it sits scattered artifacts:
A doll with beaded hair
Another, bigger doll...a woman figure with a beaded bodice.
Wood animals, a cup and twisted candlestick holder.
There is a thumb piano.
There's some wooden stick with its end beaded...
beads cascading down and dangling mid-air.
I want to get up, move behind him and pick up that beaded wood stick.
But, I don't.
Finally, he asks for the door to be shut
and shares his understandings with us.
Things are not perfect.
But, they are far from anything to worry about.
In fact they are darn good!
Next appointment January 2015.
On our way out, I ask to photograph the wood mask in the basket on the desk.
Sometimes, this is what going to the doctor looks like.
There is really nothing more to say.
Photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2014
Photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2014