I Didn’t Expect That

This morning, as I was finishing up The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, my ear doctor’s office called. I had a tentative follow up appointment scheduled for tomorrow evening, before we go away, and there was the possibility that it would have to be moved around the doctor’s surgery schedule, which still wasn’t set last Thursday. I assumed that’s what the call was about, though I was surprised they would call on a holiday. The call was indeed to reschedule tomorrow’s appointment, but not because of surgery that the doctor would or wouldn’t be performing tomorrow. Rather it was because of surgery being performed on the doctor himself today. He broke his hip.

I had a hard time absorbing the news. He’s a youngish man, a few years older than me, so it just didn’t make sense that he would break his hip. His office manager didn’t say how it happened and I didn’t ask. But she said that there were a few patients he wanted to be sure were seen to until he can get back to the office. She was going to arrange for me to see another neurotologist tomorrow instead. I just need to call her back in the morning and find out when.

Again I find myself deeply moved by how well others take care of me. I felt that before I got a chance to feel how frightening it is that someone I’ve come to rely on so strongly isn’t invulnerable. I’m still a little unnerved, but mostly I’m just worried about him. I hope he’s as well taken care of as he’s taken care of me. He hopes to be back in his office about the time I get back from vacation, though he’ll be on crutches for four to six weeks, which shouldn’t prevent him from working. If it had been his arms or hands, I imagine that would have been catastrophic for him. Those hands are magic. I hope everything goes as planned for him, and that he’s as good a patient as he is a doctor.

4 Replies to “I Didn’t Expect That”

  1. It’s a tough notion to take on board – that one’s own doctor is as vulnerable as his/her patients. My sarcoid doc told me very cheerfully that she is being treated by the eye specialist who diagnosed my sarcoid in the first place. I found this very difficult to absorb initially – as if in some way it diminished her authority! I cleared that bit of primitivism out of the way way pretty quickly, but remained intrigued by the strength of the momentary conviction!

    I hope those magic hands are back in practice in the near future.


  2. Yeah, I had a dentist send me for a root canal to the surgeon who had done his, and I had LASIK surgery done on my eyes by a doctor who had had LASIK done on him, but in both of those cases, that didn’t seem too upsetting. In fact, there was a certain comfort in knowing they’d been through what I’d been through. But these were both elective, and give the same sense of vulnerability.

    In this case, I’ve come to rely on seeing my ear doctor weekly and on his being available. While I do genuinely like him and hope that he’s okay, I’d prefer to be able to childishly ignore the possibility that he might need tending to, especially in a way that would interfere with his tending to me.


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