I hate going to the doctor. Not that many people really enjoy it, but I really try to avoid ever going to the doctor (aside from my yearly appointment where I get the prescription that keeps me from having to go through another 40 weeks of torture commonly known as pregnancy).
Sadly, the result of my recent three-week cold was an extremely painful acute sinus infection. I can wait out a cold with the help of some aspirin and decongestant. I cannot wait out an infection that feels like someone pummeled me in the face. Ow. When this lovely sinus infection paid me a visit, I had to break down and go to the doctor.
The first doctor I had growing up was an enormous old German guy who had an office in a converted 1950s house. The waiting room had Formica everything and smelled like pills and rubbing alcohol. The long hallway back to the exam rooms were lined with shelves filled with glass jars of all sorts of pills, salves, tongue depressors, and cotton balls. Now that I think of it I have no idea if it is legal for a doctor to dispense meds directly from his office, but that was possibly before any laws regulating such things.
The two exam rooms were separated by a double doorway that had a curtain instead of doors. You had to walk through the first one to get to the other one. The first room had a large panoramic photograph on the wall of the doctor in younger days, standing with his five sons on the rim of the Grand Canyon. They were all wearing bell-bottom pants and had Dukes of Hazzard hair. I always wondered how the doctor evolved from the man in that picture into the large, frightening, million-year-old bald man in the doctor's coat who gave me shots. He barked rather than talked and I couldn't understand anything he said because his German accent was so thick. I distinctly remember many times sitting on that cold exam table, starting at that photo, and waiting for shots.
The only time I remember being in the other exam room was when I cut my forehead open running through the house and falling against a table leg. Blood was everywhere and my mom took me to the doctor to get butterfly stitches. It must have cost a lot to get them, because the other two times I busted my head open, my mom and my aunt did the butterfly stitches themselves. Yes, I still have scars.
The doctor I went to for my sinus infection is nothing like that doctor. He is young, probably only 8 or 10 years older than I am. He carries a laptop with him everywhere and types into it as you talk to him. Maybe he is typing what you tell him or maybe he is chatting on Facebook. I have no idea. Either way, his office seems very technologically advanced and he is not scary. I still hate going there. Something about putting my well-being at the mercy of another person who sees hundreds of people a week and often, if not directly inflicting pain on someone has to tell people to just deal with pain, gets to me. Being dependent on him to provide treatment that will actually help, makes me feel like a little girl sitting on an exam table in a converted house waiting for something I'm dreading.
Like I said, I still have scars.