Doctor, Yes (#534)

After hearing that he had coughed his way through school, I picked Charlie up and we headed for the doctor’s office.
“Doctor,” said Charlie and then added the name of his optometrist. “Different kind of doctor,” I said. “Dokk-torr,” Charlie noted. “Yes.”

We were late for our 3.20pm appointment but I am never sure if this makes a difference, as we inevitably have to sit for quite a while in the waiting room and then in an exam room. Charlie lay down on a bench and almost fell asleep as every seat was taken by nervous parents and sickly children. After his name was called, we up the stairs and he climbed right up onto the exam table, curled up into a ball, and seemed very tiny.

The doctor came in and I stood by and answered her questions as she checked Charlie with her stethoscope. “Everything seems fine,” she said, “except for that cough…..”

She had a prescription faxed over to the pharmacy and soon Charlie and I were heading down the stairs and I remembered why I used always to dread taking Charlie to the doctor: How to keep him comfortable and amused in the waiting room (there is a TV monitor with the latest kid favorites on, but Charlie has never been interested in watching it)? in the smaller, crampt, confinement of the exam room? I remembered how I used to hold him in my lap, and then (when he got too big) to stand by and hold his hands and keep him from wriggling away from the doctor, and how this was often minimally successful. It is still not easy to take Charlie’s temperature because he tends still to pull the thermometer out in a few seconds from his mouth, or his ear, or under his arm.

He said little during the exam; of course, he has said little of late, with his sore throat and cough. As we walked past the crowd in the waiting room—bigger than before—-it occurred to me how little (if at all) he stood out as “disabled” or “different,” words that I have tended so often to use to explain, in short-hand fashion, Charlie.

The kids slumped in chairs in the waiting room or leaning on their mothers, pale-eyed: Here were a bunch of sick kids, waiting to see the doctor and then go home, no more, no less.

Just like Charlie.

5 Responses to “Doctor, Yes (#534)”
  1. kcsmommy says:

    Feel better soon Charlie!

    Maybe some boiled chicken with lemon grass might make Charlie feel better. It sometimes helps Big Brother.

    You take care too Kristina and Jim:)

  2. MommyGuilt says:

    Very well put…just like Charlie

  3. I could have used that! But he is a bit better—we’ll try school tomorrow again.

  4. Julia says:

    Got behind again and am catching up — 2 days before you posted this, I took a friend to a restaurant for chicken & lemongrass soup, I had some myself (I was going to a dinner after I dropped her off), and it’s very nice stuff. The ginger tea was very soothing, as well. (My friend was sick and knew what her body wanted.)

  5. I need to remember the lemongrass….have been drinking sugar cane tea for my own throat.

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