Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I went to the doctor yesterday for the first time in 1.5 years, and I was a bit worried. Who knows what could have happened during that time? In the past eighteen months, wars have been waged, 2 Miss Americas have been crowned, and every orchid in my care has died a parched, merciless death. Seeing as how I have:
(a) not stepped foot in a gym except while playing tour guide at the Googleplex,
(b) continually sampled an inordinate amount of dessert on a day to day basis (despite my myriad resolutions not to), and
(c) experienced true heart burn for the v. first time,
I felt I had a legitimate cause for concern.

This all started a couple of weeks ago. I had a raging headache while at work, which promptly sent me spiraling into panic mode. Rarely do I have legitimate headaches, and even rarer are ones that severe. Drawing only logical conclusions from the fact that my headache proceeded to intensify after consuming half a carton of Mighty Mango Naked Juice courtesy of Google, I immediately catalogued my brain for the most appropriate diagnosis. And then it dawned on me. Diabetes. Yes, the big D. The one that plagued Stacey McGill of Baby Sitter's Club fame. Not even her loopy a's and i's dotted with hearts could fend off that disease. Poor, trendy Stacey - the popular girl with a secret - had to give herself daily injections of insulin while steering clear of chocolates. Consulting WebMD and googling its symptoms only confirmed my suspicions. Adjustments would have to be made. Major lifestyle changes. Shots I could handle, but eliminating my primary food group from my diet? Unthinkable.

In the spirit of my newfound self-betterment resolve, I proceeded to Yelp a doctor and came across good ole' Dr. Dan. As I nervously made the trek to the Financial District - purposefully avoiding the MUNI as the stairs coming up from the Montgomery stop led straight to Specialties - and cautiously set foot in the immaculate, carpeted office space, I immersed myself in a backdated issue of Conde Nast Traveler.

"Spain. Must plan for Spain," I thought.

It was my first time in an office such as this. My medical experiences of the past were littered with lollipops, crying kids, and fluorescent lighting signature of suburbia. Not so with Dr. Dan. For the first time, the potted plant in a doctor's office represented creative design element, successfully making the transition from awkward afterthought serving to occupy dead space. I, officially, was grown up - with a grown up doctor in a grown up office in a grown up city. There were business suits and bluetooths floating past me. And banished were the copies of Highlights, Disney Adventures, and Seventeen, having been replaced by the Conde Nast family, including The New Yorker.

And then I met Dr. Dan. As this sarcastic and surprisingly funny M.D. proceeded to take my vitals, stopping to jot notes in his orange Louis Vuitton planner, I unloaded every possible medical concern I could have possibly ailed from dating back to January of 2006.

"I have this spot on my hand.."
"Can you do anything for scars?"
"I once had an allergic reaction to a hampster.."

Before I knew it, I was waltzing out of the office with a clean bill of health. No prescription. No illegible handwriting. No grave look or compassionate furrowing of the brow. Just like that.

In the aftermath, I have to say I was a little disappointed. All this energy, all this resolve, only to discover that I was/am completely.. normal. It's not that I wanted to be sick - I'm not that ungrateful. I just wanted news. A story. A life-altering motivation to exercise. A minor but interesting diagnoses. It didn't make any sense.. or did it?

Right then and there, I received my epiphany of the day. I visited the wrong kind of doctor. What I really needed was a shrink.


Anonymous said...

i am you and you are me! every single time i've walked into a doctor's office this past year (after a FIVE or so year drought), i've walked out with the welcome diagnosis of "you have no diagnosis!" quel frustrating!

but this entry? was such a treat, what with the stacey mcgill shoutout and the doctor with a lv planner! love you. miss you. stay healthy ;) -eunice

anusmouthyouthful said...

hey ericka! i'm back! this is freaking hilarious. i love how you mentioned stacy mcgill. i wouldn't have even remembered her name. pretending you have diabetes may be a good way to keep you away frmo chocolates. sometimes, it works for me ;)

Sarah said...

aww. erika. i think we all go through the same motions when we detect and diagnose our own symptoms. rest assured that we are healthy and have health insurance so we are way ahead of the game :)

Anonymous said...

Time for you to become a journalist.