Is That What You REALLY Want?

Is That What You Really Want?

Dear Diary,

Today I went to see a doctor about the migraine that I have been complaining about. While there, something interesting happened that I thought I should share with you.

Like any other hospital’s waiting room, there were other women who needed medical attention like me. We all waited having picked our numbers, listening out for our numbers to be called out by the good lady who sat at the reception chewing gum (Let me state here Diary, that I have no problem with ‘gum-chewers’)

She was a bit slow though, if you ask me. Doing what looked like nothing on her computer, then glancing at her phone. She looked like she was composing a message on her phone, pausing to stare into space as if to think, then proceeding to enter more text. Maybe she was sending a text message, or chatting, or “WhatsApping”. Who knows? She sat there doing ‘nothing’ while we, the sick women, waited on the seats at the reception to be seen by the doctor.

The lady who sat next to me smiled at me at some point and said hi. I said hi back, with a smile too. I did not want to be rude, though I preferred to be left alone to my migraine.

The nurse then called out my number, and I stood up. Saved by the bell

“Are you sick” I was asked as my BP, temperature and all were taken.

“Yes” I said. I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t, would I?

“What’s wrong?”

“I have this migraine that won’t go away. My head hurts so bad”, I said with tears in my eyes.

“I’m so sorry about that” she said sympathetically

“But you look ok. No one could ever tell that you are ailing. Your temperature’s fine, your Blood Pressure is perfect…I mean, look at that woman over there”, she pointed at one woman still in the waiting room, who evidently had a problem with her legs. “She can’t even walk and has to be assisted to stand up. Her leg might have to be amputated” She paused dramatically for the words to take effect.

“Look at the other one over there, she cannot talk because her jaw is swollen and you can tell it is very painful.” She proceeded, grimacing as if she was the one in pain “Yours is just a migraine. Are you sure you want to see a doctor? Is that what you really want?” She asked.

I looked at her Diary, because I did not understand what she meant by that question. I really wanted to see a doctor because I had a migraine that was killing me! Was that so hard to understand?

With a nod, and all the politeness that I could muster I said “Yes, it is what I really want. I want to get well. Can I see the doctor now?”

“Sure! If that is what you want…”

At this point, I am sure you can understand my confusion. All in all I went in to see the doctor.

“Hi Sarah, what seems to be the problem today”

“SERAH”

“Sorry?”

“The name is SERAH” I corrected him, rolling the ‘r’ more than was necessary for emphasis. I hate it when people mispronounce my name. I really really hate it.

He peered into the form I had filled out through his thin glasses, slanting the piece of paper towards the light as he did so.

“Oh, Serah. Sorry about that. You have such a unique name”

“I get that a lot”, I told him as I sat down on the chair facing him.

“What causes the migraines? Why do you think you have them?” he asked

“I think it is because I keep hitting my head on the wall so much”

“Mmmmh…” He was lost in thought. “But your stomach is fine right?”

I was taken aback “Yes. My stomach is fine” I answered wondering where this was heading and what my stomach had to do with anything.

“You wash your hands frequently? You eat healthy foods, a balanced diet?” he asked

“Yes I do all that. Again, my stomach is fine”

“Then if your stomach is fine, and the rest of your body is fine. The migraine is nothing really if you think about it. It will go away with time. Just hang in there”

“WHAT?”

“Come on. You should be thankful that you have an otherwise healthy body Sa-Serah” he checked himself as he sought the form for the right pronunciation.

Needless to say, I left his office disappointed.

So there you have it Diary. He said I was fine! That the migraine would go away with time. (Fine, Time – did you see that?) To hang in there, he said. He did not even suggest that I should stop hitting my head on the wall. Nor did he prescribe some pain killers to numb the pain!

Do you know who the Doctor and the nurse remind me of Diary? They remind me of people who advice unhappy women to ‘hang in there’ because even if their husband cheats, he still provides for his children. So ignore the ‘migraine’ and be happy that you are not in a ‘wheel chair’

Do they not see that when my head aches, my whole body suffers? Do I ask for too much when I insist on a clean bill of health, tip to toe, inside out?

Do I, Diary?

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