Thanks to Kaiser, today I had my bi-annual medication checkup for my Zoloft. Since I didn't remember about it until twenty minutes into a park playdate, I had to bring the rug rats. Our conversation in the car went like this:
Pip: Where are we going?
Me: To the doctor.
Stink: To my doctor? For my body?
Me: It's actually my doctor. For my... head. He helps me when I get nervous.
Stink: I get nervous, too.
Me: Really? What do you think it means to be nervous?
Stink: When you have to jump alot because you have to pee and you're not near the Scooby toilet.
Me: What should Mommy do if, even after using the toilet, she's still nervous?
Stink: You should try to keep your brain in your head. You know, not give it up. And not sing so bad.
Me: And how can I do this?
Stink: Think happy thoughts.
Not bad for a four year old.
When we finally arrived at the waiting room, Pip sat herself at a plastic table and began eating grapes. Stink, on the other hand, scanned the room, looked at one somber lady, then yelled, "Hey, why is she so sad?" At which everybody laughed. Except the lady. She really did seem sad. (Stink's insistence on turning the faux glass divider into the Indiana Speedway with a Happy Meal car did not improve her condition.)
Stink eventually found a co-driver for his Hot Wheels thanks to a chatty senior named Chuck. ("Not Chuck E. Cheese" Stink confirmed, "Just Old Chuck.") Turns out Chuck's wife has been seeing Doctor K for four years now. "Maybe five." He couldn't remember. All he knows is that his wife is a lot happier having someone to talk to. Lucky for him, he gets to talk to Doctor J. Between both their doctors, I'm guessing they don't have to talk to each other very much, which is perhaps why they've been married for 45 years.
After about a half hour, my doctor, a short, shiny man who never quite looks me in the eye, brought us into a conference room.
Our five minute evaluation consisted of him going over my anti-anxiety dosage. It's pretty minimal, and I told him that it seems to be working, unless I'm premenstrual - then I'm a bitch on wheels. At the mention of my period his hand seemed to shake. I stifled the urge to scream "Vagina for 400!" and instead launced into a dissertation on the reality of balancing motherhood, selfhood, marriage. If he heard me, I couldn't tell. He was too busy scrawling down notes on a legal pad. Perhaps he was afraid that locked eye contact would somehow transfer ownership of the two screaming toddlers to him.
While I rambled, Pip demanded pencils, Stink wrote X's all over the thank you notes that he fished from the bottom of my bag, a sippy cup was spilled, and plans were drawn for a tent city to be erected under the HMO couches.
I finally said, "Look, I know you don't have a lot of time, and I'm not against drugs if my brain is truly deficient in 'happy genes', but I really want to consider the option that perhaps much of my 'nervousness' is due to the constant demands of motherhood - demands that can be dealt with through exercise, postive thinking, prayer and support from my husband and family/friends.
Without looking up, he nooded in 100% agreement. Then Stink started yelling at Pip, "Look at my butt! Loooook at my butt!!!!!" With that, the doc forked over an additional prescription for anti-anxiety "just as backup".
I should have handed it back to him as I'm pretty sure he was projecting his own emotions, but I couldn't catch him. He was too busy running out the door, stepping over apple peels and shuddering, "Take your time leaving... just exit through the waiting room."
I currently have no cash in my wallet, but I do have a certificate for a new drug. It's taking up residency with a $2.50 Wendys gift card. Like the gift card, I probably will never use it, but it's nice to know it's there. But between you and me, I'd take less meds and more Old Chucks any day of the week.