Wednesday, February 23, 2005



I was vaguely aware that D had been complaining of dizzy spells for a couple of days.

"It's a good thing you are off today," LZ said. "D has to go to the doctor."

"What for?" I asked.

"He was throwing up half the night," LZ said. "How could you have missed all the commotion?"

"I guess I was sleeping," I said.

"You have to get an afternoon appointment," LZ said. "He's got the play this morning."

"He's at school?" I asked.

"He felt well enough to go, and he didn't want to miss the play, but I still think he should see the doctor."

"OK," I said.

"Just call the office, make an appointment, and make sure you get to school in time to sign him out and get him to the office. It could take a while for them to page him and for him to get his stuff. Get to school at least 45 minutes before the appointment."

"OK," I said.


"How do you feel?" I asked D.

"I think I'm fine now," he said.

"No more dizziness? I asked. "No throwing up?"

"I said. I'm fine," D said.

"So this doctor visit, it's probably a waste of time, then," I said.

"Probably," he said.

"Well, let's get going," I said. "We wouldn't want to be late."


I remembered the doctor from when the Things were born. She had burst into the hospital room and made a few pronouncements in a thick East European accent.

"Now, the hard part is just starting. You think it is over, but no. Now the hard part starts. You mark my words."

"Come see me in a week or so. Maybe ten days. You make the appointment."

"Do not use wipes on the bottom. Paper is fine. Wipes. Bah. A waste of money."

She burst out.

"What in the name of God was that?" I asked LZ.

"She's our pediatrician," LZ said.


We were in the examining room.

"I'm looking forward to seeing Dr. GN again," I said to D.

"You know her?" he asked.

"We go way back," I said.

And as if on cue, Dr. GN exploded into the room and began barraging D with questions.

"So, you are sick."

"And what is the problem?"

"Dizziness? Dizzy spells? How often? And you did not faint?"

"And the vomiting. How many times? Before meals, or after? Do you feel nausea now"

"Headache? Pain anywhere?"

"Appetite? You have appetite?"

"Is the throat sore? I'll check now. Open wide. There is no strep. We don't have to test."

"Now we check your brain. Because of the dizziness."

"Stand up straight. Now put your arms out like monster. Like zombie. Now, with eyes closed, count to fifteen."

"No. No No. Arms must be out straight, and also hands. Like this. Watch me."

"One, two, three, four.... Now I am dizzy. Maybe I faint. Maybe my brain is wrong. Ha."

"Now I am fine. I will just sit down for a moment. In one moment I will feel better."

"And you, your brain is fine. You have a little congestion. Maybe a virus. Who knows what goes around. Take decongestant. I have samples. In one week, maybe ten days come back for recheck. You make appointment."


"You were right," D said, "that was a waste of time."

"Better safe than sorry," I said. "Let's get home."

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