Dec 30, 2014

A Visit to Another World

The doctor’s office

I know that its impolite to talk about your health and no one is interested, but… I had an experience today that necessitates my telling you a little bit about what got me to it.  In September, a gastro-interologist discovered, through an endoscopy, that I had a condition called zenker’s diverticulum.  It is a small pouch in the esophagus that makes it difficult to swallow.  This is something that usually occurs in the elderly (I guess that’s me).  Anyway, he referred me to a doctor (not her real name) who he said was the best otolayrnologist “on this side” (meaning the Windward side).  Of course all of my friends googled the doctor and found out that as an Ear/Nose/Throat person she is also a plastic surgeon.  As one of them said, “she does at least six things.”    One of them found an expert in taking care of zenker’s diverticula at Tripler (alas I am not in the army).  All of them warned me to look elsewhere.

At any rate, I kept my consult with the doctor thinking that I could always go to someone else.  Today was my appointment.  I was accompanied by Ian, who had his own questions to ask.  We reached the offices, where it seemed that we could choose from two doors.  We chose the door on the right and entered a narrow space that was a bad imitation of a Japanese toy shop.  Along one wall (pictured here) were at least 1,000 cartoon animals made out of what appeared to be rubber or plastic, topped by Pooh and Eeyore and some other animals unknown to me.  They were behind glass with a sign that said “Do not let your children touch the glass” (nothing about adults not touching the glass).    On the other wall was a Japanese vending machine with snacks and drinks, and a sitting area which was an exact replica of a Subway restaurant table.  There was also a small window staffed by someone in nurse’s garb (where I signed in).  It was flanked by a window displaying things for sale, including swimmer’s ear stuff and lipo-flavanoids.   At the top was a shelf with plastic mannequin heads that were wearing hats (I could not determine if these were for sale).

I felt like Alice fallen through the rabbit hole in a whole new meaning of the phrase.  There were two articles in plastic frames, both about hearing aids, neither about the doctor herself.  We did get a glimpse of what was behind door number one — among other things, a life- sized Spiderman with a cheese head.  Before we had a chance to flee, or an opportunity to explore the rest of the contents behind door number one, I was summoned to the small window (actually all I had to do was turn around from my seat at the Subway table)  and told that they did not take medicare patients any more (I AM elderly) and they were terribly sorry but I could not see the doctor.  ”That Accounts for a Good Deal,” said Eeyore gloomily. “It Explains Everything. No Wonder.”

So what can I say but I am not her target audience, which appeared to be small children or manga fans who do not hear very well.  No mention of surgery for matters of the throat, where I am worried about my vocal chords and my carotid artery.  So in the end, we did not get to see the enchanted world behind door number one, and I am glad they do not take medicare.

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Gloria. Circa 1955.



Gloria. Circa 2012.




Other than working for the American Red Cross in Korea for two years, Gloria Garvey has lived in Hawai`i since 1971. Her opinion and other writing has appeared in: The American Philatelist. Honolulu Weekly, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, The Star Advertiser, Hawai`i Reporter, Pacific Business News, Island Scene, The Design Management Journal.

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