Hello, Doctor

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 19:12 -- lb.

Location

31217
United States
32° 53' 13.0056" N, 83° 29' 8.4876" W

I walk into the doctor’s office.

She looks at me.

I see her thinking,

Okay, no worries

Look at this girl

Thin

Tall

Young

No drinking

No smoking

No drugs

No sex

Shiny hair

Painted nails

Minimal makeup

She’ll just need quick checkup

Nothing fancy

She doesn’t look sick.

 

This doctor is very wrong.

 

I love that moment

When they’ve had a busy day

Flu, strep, crying babies

And they look at me

A teenage girl who makes her own appointments

And think

Ahhh, a break from sick kids

Dramatic irony for an audience of one.

 

She looks at my chart.

Her face drops

oh.

well.

oops.

 

And suddenly, things click

She realizes why.

Why I made my own appointment

Why I said my birthday in numbers

Why I carried my insurance card in my wallet

Why I left the intake form blank

Why I spelled out my last name

Why I cared more about my blood pressure than my weight

Why I stayed seated whenever I could

Why I swayed when I stood

Fuck,

She thinks

This kid is sick.

 

 

I’ve been through it a million times

Every doctor needs the same recap.

They all ask:

What medications do you take?

How much?

How often?

What tests have they run?

What did they say?

Has anything changed?

Do you exercise?

What exercises do you do?

How often do you do them?

Is your mother coming?

Are you sleeping okay?

Have you noticed any side effects?

What about new symptoms?

What exactly are your symptoms?

All of those?

Always?

 

I’ve gotten good at answering.

For example:

The doctor asks,

What medications do you take?

I look at her and say,

Midodrine7.5milligramseverythreehours

In a single breath

Like one long word

Repeat five times

Input different meds, dosages, frequencies

BOOM

Answered three questions in one.

I’m way too good at this.

 

By the time I walk out,

Her view of me has changed.

She sees me and thinks,

That poor girl

She’s so

Responsible

Trustworthy

Brave

Weak

Fragile

Medicated

Drawn

Helpless

Hopeful

Interesting

Unlucky

What a tough life

She’s an awfully sick kid.

 

It seems like I’m angry

But I promise

I’m not

It's understandable

There’s a reason they call it

“Invisible illness”

I look healthy

Not trainer-nutritionist-kale-lover healthy

But still. Healthy.

I get why they assume I’m not sick

But it gets exhausting

Answering the

same

goddamn

questions

over

and

over

and

over

and

over

and

over

It gets on my nerves

I’m only human

A malfunctioning human

But still. A human.

 

I don't want pity

Or sympathy

Or even empathy

Dr. whoever-you-are

Please, just...

Please.

Help me.

This poem is about: 
Me
My community
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

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