So I go for my annual mammogram and every year it's the same. They tell you to avoid wearing perfume and deodorant that day, warn you it might hurt, ask you to remove your shirt and bra and stand in a room next to a scary piece of machinery and make small talk with a nurse while she makes a sandwich out of your breast and two sheets of glass. (Inhale.) She says "Breath in and hold your breath and don't move"...walks out the room to avoid the x-rays while you bask in them...and then you do it again, only from a different angle, with her remaking the sandwich in a slightly different fashion, maybe vertically this time in stead of horizontally. Then you go get dressed, sit in the waiting area while they "check the films to make sure they came out clear," and then you are released to go about your life for another year. You have bragging rights when asked by doctors or girl friends, "Do you get an annual mammogram?" and it feels good to know you are taking care of yourself just like a modern, aware, responsible, adult woman.
But on my last visit it didn't go like that. The first part was the same, the cold air on my body, the full court press, the apologies for things being cold or "uncomfortable". You get dressed, you sit, you wait, with your half-read magazine you would never read but it was there in the oncologist's office and what else do you have to do.
But then, after waiting awhile, long enough to read some shallow article about something useless, and then long enough to wonder why I even read that article clear to the end, the nurse comes to me and says something I'd never heard before...she said what you never want to hear..."The doctor would like to see you in his office." Gulp...The doctor wants to see me in his office? Huh? What does that mean? I mean, what does that really mean?
So I go and sit in a quiet little office and wait...and wait...and wait. And finally he comes in and says, "Sorry to do it like this, and I usually don't, but...can you help me get a reservation at your restaurant? I've been trying for weeks to get the date I need for my wife's and my anniversary and your reservationist tells me you're fully booked. So I was wondering if somehow, maybe...well, you know." I wait for my blood pressure to go down, the flush to leave my neck and checks, I breath, and then I say, "Sure, let me see what I can do, doctor."
My husband pointed out a funny thing the other day. Twenty years ago when people made a restaurant reservation they would be certain to tell you if it was for Doctor so-and-so, thinking they would get a better table or get in when the restaurant was completely booked up. The other day I called up my doctor for an appointment and he was all booked up the day I wanted to come in. I mention I'm the executive pastry chef from Tru and then the woman on the other end of the phone said to hold on. When she came back on the line she asked me, "What time would you like to come in Chef Gand?" "Around 2:30, if that's OK with doctor," I said.