samedi, avril 21, 2007

Being patient

I'm not sure why both my gynecologist and opthamologist are both very bright, and extremely chatty. Let me take that back. It's quite a good evolutionary adaptation for the gynecologist to keep up an uninterrupted flow of chit-chat. The operative idea, I suppose, is to keep you so distracted that you don't pay attention to his or her bright shining instruments, gloves, and various other instruments out of the plot of some grade "B" adventure in sadomasochism.

I'm very fond of Dr. Z-we've known one another so many years (he knew me back when I was single the first time) that there are many rabbit trails we can go down without much effort at all. That's why I try to make sure I'm on his schedule first thing after lunch-otherwise, like so many others, I could be sitting there mentally saying goodbye to one suburban train after another while he talks hospital ethics or religion with another woman in stirrups.

I don't feel the same anxiety with Dr. Z that I do with Dr. G, my eye doctor-another brilliant, cosmopolitan Jewish guy who knows his Old Testament almost as well as he knows his irises.
I really don't like having my eyes dilated, and so spend the night before in fear-a waste of a good night's sleep.

Strangely enough, I played mother confessor for Dr. G yesterday. He wanted to talk about truth and relativism-is there absolute truth or are we impelled by the desire to seek pleasure and avoid pain? It seemed almost as though he had something to get off his chest-but it was hard to establish just what. Inevitably, however, our discussion took us to Virginia Tech-and the mystery of evil. I told him he was talking to a woman with a professional interest in religion, and he told me that I, more than some other people, should be able to understand relativism as a sign of respect for God. He apologized for talking for so long (imagine how the 90 year olds waiting to see him felt) -and then we finally got down to the exam.

I'm not sure what I learned, except that Dr. G was grappling with the same horror and sadness that overwhelmed a lot of us this week-even scintillating minds cannot protect our grieving and anguished spirits.

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