The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Friday, September 22, 2006

Deem me Ready

By Anne Chudobiak

When I learned this past summer that my family doctor had unexpectedly retired, I felt vulnerable, exposed, as though the curtains on my windows had been replaced with threadbare sheets. It wouldn’t do, not at all. I started making phone calls, but the answer was always the same: “Not accepting new patients.”

“Relax,” I told myself. “You have a wonderful dentist. The funniest accountant. A good endocrinologist.”
But I was on edge.
“How old,” I wondered, “is the pediatric opthamologist, anyway? Sixty? Sixty-five?”

You’d think I’d be happy to encounter Dr. K at a party, and I was--for a while. She was young--my age?--and available. A general practitioner. But then she said something that, if not exactly stupid, was less than wise. “I’m trying to teach him my language,” she said, indicating her two-year-old. “I’m supposed to speak it on Mondays, but I don’t know. It’s not working.”

“I like my doctors to be older,” I told a friend later. “At least ten years. With kids who are bigger than mine.”
“Hmm,” she said. “When I see a doctor, it’s for a diagnosis, maybe a prescription.”
The next day, I called Dr. K. My appointment’s in December.

The medical system is no place to look for advice.
The government has made other provisions for that, not the least of which is the QWF mentorship program, where you can apply for a professional writer to hold your hand as you emerge, a doula for the arts. I might give it a try. Why not? It’s got to be easier than finding a doctor. Right?

p.s. The deadline is October 20. QWF, update your site! (Edited to add: Omigod, they did.)


Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

We were crushed, as well, when our baby doctor retired. His motto, always delivered with a smile, was that every child eventually catches up. Same goes for writers, I suppose, them that keep working at it will eventually get good, mentorship program, or not.

Fri Sep 22, 08:00:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

I love the image of curtains replaced with threadbare sheets to describe feeling vulnerable.

Fri Sep 22, 09:59:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

Locating a GP is terrible these days. I'm trying to hold on to mine as she moves into part time (she's in the same child rearing years as me). I'm on my best behavior with her staff - never know when I'll need to be squeezed in, same day. Good luck with Dr. K....and may your arts doula bring you comfort!

Sat Sep 23, 09:16:00 am GMT-4  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anne, I loved this article on medical issues in Canada - one near and dear to your heart as well. Gorgeous baby. Thanks for that, Diane

Thu Sep 28, 10:38:00 pm GMT-4  

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