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|Hypochondriac (standard:drama, 974 words)|
|Author: Jadely21||Added: Aug 02 2007||Views/Reads: 1983/0||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Very short story about how quickly things can go wrong in a simple trip to the doctor's office.|
Cancer. It was said to be one of the five “hot button” words in medicine. You know, the words that immediately provoke a certain response from people. And on that day, it certainly did just that for me. We were sitting in the doctor's office, my mother and I, after months of her insisting that some phenomenal thing was wrong with her. I wasn't convinced. I came from a long line of hypochondriacs that could always find something wrong with them. And in this day and age, it seemed that all you had to do was find the right doctor, give him your diagnosis and he would agree with you while scribbling some miracle drug on his prescription pad. My mother had been to three different doctors by now, all of which said it was nothing serious. Irritable Bowel Syndrome probably. None of the drugs they gave her appeared to be working, but they just hadn't found the right one yet. None of her symptoms were particularly alarming anyway. Indigestion, fatigue, cramping – that sort of thing. The most serious of them all had just started in the past few months, the intense bloating. Her stomach would swell to the size of a full term pregnant belly and she was unable to eat hardly anything for lack of space. But that could all be attributed to gas, or this IBS they were insisting she had. I believed all of that until just a couple of days ago. Finally, my mother had made such a fuss about there being something more serious wrong with her, she had gone into the doctor's office completely fed up and demanded they find out what was wrong, even if it meant an invasive operation. They hadn't operated of course, no reason to. They had caved and told her they would do a CAT scan – just to be sure. Obviously, I didn't go with her to get her CAT scan. It would come back normal and she would be appeased and sooner rather than later, her symptoms would disappear. Case closed. I had been so wrong. I didn't start to worry until her doctor had called her to come in for her results a little too quickly. No, the doctor didn't usually see patients on Fridays, but he wanted to see her. And yes, the doctor was generally at lunch about noon, or more importantly, in surgery – but he would make a special trip over to his office because he wanted to see her. Even still, I was only slightly concerned. Just concerned enough to ask for a small extension of my lunch break to go in with her. Okay, so I had been wrong. It must be some sort of tumor they need to remove surgically or something. Some thing that's not dangerous, but needs to come out nonetheless. I had other things to worry about anyway. Only a couple of weeks ago had my boss just waltzed in one day and informed me that she would be needing someone full time in the fall so she had hired someone to replace me. And oh by the way, I wouldn't mind training her would I. She had started that Monday, the new girl. Sticky sweet and irresistible she was, I couldn't find one single thing wrong with her. And in my ever present “yes ma'am” nature, I had agreed to train her over the summer. So this thing with Mom better be nothing. It wasn't anything. It couldn't be. Just another hypochondriac in the family. I was probably next in line. As we waited in the doctor's office, I was preoccupied with work. I didn't really want to stick around for the summer, but what other choice did I have? It was good money for a working student. The doctor opened the door and came in and greeted us absent-mindedly. He would be with us in a minute. I could tell their normal employees were all at lunch. There was only one receptionist in the office and nobody else in the waiting room. Strange. The doctor mumbled something to the lone receptionist and it was apparent that she was getting a bit flustered. Maybe she's new. There appeared to be a flurry of action going on through the huge open window that led out of the waiting area and into the rest of the office. I could hear the doctor speaking in a strained tone to the woman as if he had lost something, or as if SHE had lost something. Over the next minute or so, it was clear that they were looking for something – a file. Obviously, I thought, it had to be Mom's file. There was nobody else in the waiting area. I briefly wondered if they knew that big window was opened and that we could hear their heated exchange. The doctor was getting increasingly annoyed. I shared an interested glance with Mom who was picking up on the same things. Finally, the doctor – still dressed in his scrubs from surgery – got so annoyed that he raised his voice saying “I need to tell this woman she has cancer!” At first, I thought I hadn't heard him right. So I looked to Mom, to see if she had heard what I did. She had. She immediately tried to start reassuring me, and herself as well, saying “he's not talking about me; he's talking about someone else.” He wasn't. Tears formed in Mom's eyes while she looked at me, repeating over and over “he's not talking about me.” Only seconds later, apparently having found that trusty file, the receptionist opened the door to the waiting area and smiled brightly, that bitch, and said “This way Ms. Burns.” And that was the day the bottom dropped out. Maybe I should have listened to my hypochondriac mother after all... Tweet
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