This week, I had an appointment to meet another doctor in my continuing quest for answers to questions like: This…thing on my esophagus and stuff in my lungs, any thoughts? Can you make it go away? Also, one day when I’m strolling around the neighborhood, is there a chance an alien is going to rip through my chest and scare the neighbors? (Ok, actually that would be kind of awesome. And potentially messy. And painful, probably. Never mind.)
While I was hiking the stairs of the doctor’s office (Unofficial Motto: “If you can survive the wait for the elevator then we’ll see you because clearly you are tenacious beyond words and we can use people like you in the billing department”) I kept thinking about the name written on my little appointment card: Dr. Douglas Ross. For real. I’m just going to admit, I was super excited to meet this man. Dr. Ross! Flawed but extremely appealing doctor on “ER” reruns by day, GEORGE CLOONEY by night!
After working my way through the obligatory new patient stuff, I wondered if I’d be able to calm down in time to give the nurse accurate information when he took my blood pressure. Then I realized how silly I was being. I’m sure they adjust for that when someone is meeting Dr. Clooney, um...I mean Dr. Ross, for the first time.
At last, the door opened and in walked Dr. Ross. First impression: I thought he’d be taller. And that he’d look more like George Clooney. All through question-and-answer time, I kept thinking: Wow. I thought the camera adds ten pounds, but obviously the magic of television has more tricks than I ever suspected.
Oh, I’m not saying this doctor was some Quasimodo-like gnome. In fact, he was so normal looking, I probably couldn’t have picked him out of a lineup an hour later. (I’m not particularly good at remembering a face.)
Finally, he gave me his diagnosis, reminding me that I was there for more than the possible meeting of a celebrity. “I’ve reviewed the reports and honestly I really don’t know what this thing is. I’d like you to see a thoracic surgeon and get his opinion about removing it.”
I’ll bet the real (ok, the fictional character) Dr. Ross could figure it out. I’ll bet he could do it in under an hour, too, especially if we cut out the commercials. In fact, he might even bring in Dr. Gregory House to consult and between the two of them they could come up with an answer in thirty sarcastic-quip-filled minutes. But I’m sure this Dr. Ross did his best. As is the case with most professions, it’s probably a lot easier if you have good writers.
I asked him for reassurance. “This guy isn’t going to meet me at the door with a scalpel, right? Because I really, REALLY don’t want any cutting to happen until we’ve exhausted all other options.” He assured me that I’d be treated as conservatively as possible and then led me to the front desk to schedule an appointment.
My mother is convinced my brain shrinks every time general anesthesia is administered and if I go under one more time my brain will be just the right size to roll right on out of my ear. I’m not going to lie to you; I think she may be right. Because when I walk into the doctor’s office later this week? I’m kind of hoping I’ll be greeted by Noah Wyle.