We Gotta Communicate—NOW


We Gotta Communicate—NOW, if not sooner.

I was in a doctor’s office yesterday surrounded by communication.

Contrary to popular opinion I don’t go to a doctor every day. However, I am considering the possibility of inviting all of my doctors down to the medical school on the same day to examine me, with all the medical students observing.

Whatever happened to the good old days in the doctor’s office where you sat around staring at each other, trying to figure out what ailed everybody? You had your choice of magazines from 1904 or 1905? Those days are gone forever.

Several doctors are in this practice, so patients of all age groups were there. The first one I noticed was a lady, probably mid-thirties. She was talking to her mother on her cell phone. I wasn’t particularly listening to the conversation, but I couldn’t help but hear, “Hi, mom, I’m at the doctor’s office.”

Instead of frightening mom with the idea she was at the doctor’s office, wouldn’t it have been better for her to wait until she saw the doctor, called mom and said, “Mom, I was at the doctor’s office, and everything’s fine.

Maybe I’m missing something here. Perhaps she was going to give Mom a step-by-step. Call 2. “Hi mom. The nurse just weighed me. Where did I gain that five pounds? Here I’ll have the nurse tell you what my blood pressure is.” Call 3. “Hi mom, I’m here with the doctor. Doctor, could you speak a little louder, this is my mom on the phone, and I want her to know I’m all right.”

There was a couple, probably man and wife, both in their forties, in the waiting room. What caused me to notice them was a noise I heard that sounded like three or four different notes from a bird. It must not have been one of those unusual cell phone rings, because they didn’t answer it. I looked over, and they were both texting, and I mean texting furiously. I guess that bird chirp must have been telling them they had a text message. I’ve seen people punching in text messages, but never quite this intense.

I was tempted to open the office door, and stand there to wait for the paramedics, because they must be having an emergency in the doctor’s office that couldn’t wait.

These people were using their fingers to write the message. I’ve seen people with those little bitty sticks with a sharp point on the end. If I texted, I would need that, because my fingers are so big. Even with the stick I have no doubt when I tried to text my wife in modern day lingo to show her I was up-to-date, it would still be a disaster. I’d be trying to say, “You move me”, and it would wind up “You moron”, and I would accidentally send it while I was trying to erase it.

After the couple was called back to see the doctor, I still heard that chirp through closed doors. I know that went over well with the doctor, in view of the fact there was a sign up telling everybody not to use such devices. I fully expected the doctor to submerge whatever two gadgets they held in their hands until they drowned, and the couple would be calling the paramedics to revive their texting capability, and I’d be standing there holding the door open for the paramedics.

But then there comes the time when you realize sometimes communication now is necessary. A lady who must have been eighty was coming in the office door, and holding the door open for someone with her. Before I saw the person, I assumed it was her aged and infirm husband. With a spring in her step, who came through the door? Her mom.

They sat down and chatted, and that’s how I knew it was her mom, at least 100 years of youth, maybe more. Surely mom was here to see the doctor. When they called out their name to see the doctor, the daughter got up and went toward the back. Mom was still sitting there.

In a matter of seconds I thought I heard a phone ringing. I looked around the room to see what person would be answering. Then I glanced at mom. She was unzipping her purse, trying to get to her cell phone. She talked for about three or four minutes, ended the conversation, folded the phone up, and put it back in her purse.

That would have been one phone conversation I enjoyed hearing, but I wasn’t close enough. Can you imagine what she could be saying?

“Yes, dear, I saw my doctor yesterday. He’s not doing too well. He’s in the hospital. He’s getting on up in age. He must be at least seventy by now.”

“My son is always complaining about his arthritis. Says he can’t get around like he used to. Where’s his spirit? I’ve got arthritis, but I didn’t give up tennis until last year.”

“My daughter is always telling me I don’t eat the foods I should. She wants me to become a vegetarian.”

“I don’t know at my age why people are always so concerned about whether I have made out my will.” When they bring it up, I ask them if they named me as the beneficiary in their wills.”

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