Patient-Patient Confidentiality

I don’t know why I arrived early. Every time I go to the doctor’s office I wind up seeing some highly paid, overcapacity professional approximately 20-30 minutes after the mutually agreed upon time. And today was no exception.

While waiting, and thoroughly engrossed in brain fodder, I expertly ignored the masses of miserable looking people until the direct questions from my neighbor couldn’t be passed off as delirious ramblings, thus requiring some sort of reply. It is a known fact that patients feel the desire to inflate the symptoms of their illness(es), a physiological pouting if you will, so that they can convince others they are not vulnerable human beings and only fall ill to the worst conditions.

But you know, of all the places to conduct small talk, a doctor’s office isn’t one of them. This isn’t the place to one up somebody with your medical condition. And despite the abundance of old magazines dripping off tables, people that actually go to a doctor‘s office are not in the mood to talk about Brittney Spear‘s latest faux paux(that might distort the effectiveness of physiological pouting). None of this stopped Mysteria:

“How long have you been seeing Dr. Q?”

(I’ve spent more time talking to you)

“You know, Dr. Q has saved my life many times?”

(Damn, what the hell is wrong with you? Can I ask her this? Do I want to ask her?)

“I own a place in Florida and NYC, but I come here to see Dr. Q. I’ve been seeing him for 17 years”

(Are you sleeping with Dr. Q? Did you sleep with the doctor?)

“Yeah, Florida… you know, once you leave places like this [DC] the people just aren’t as smart.”

(You mean educated. And I’m sure they’d kick your ass for saying that. Or at least verbally chastise your urbane ignorance.)

I hear my name called.

“Mr. X… hi, I’m Dr. Q”
(Thank you, thank you, thank you… yeah, I bet you slept with Mysteria.)