Tuesday, May 25, 2004


Back trouble has frozen my body into an unnatural shape, bent at the spine, and, horrifyingly, I can feel it protesting. There is growing tension midback on the left, just below the shoulder blade. The lower back on the right is creased with dull pain.

Fortunately, Tufts-New England Medical Center has sprung to my aid, immediately setting up an appointment with the doctor who will save me from this.

For two weeks from now.

In the meantime, I have giant ibuprofen to shrink whatever it is putting pressure on my nerve and a muscle relaxant to take when I go to sleep. Since I don’t like taking drugs, though, I couldn’t resist sneaking up to my future doctor’s office to petition for an earlier visit. Like, today. Like, now.

But the receptionists were like, no way.

“Two weeks is good,” they told me. “Usually people have to wait a month to get seen.”

“A month?” I asked bitterly, picturing myself gnarled and palsied. “What happens to the patients during that month?”

The good news is that the receptionists called a couple of hours later to offer me time with another doctor -- tomorrow. (Mysteriously, this doctor had two openings in one day, which repeats an experience I had last time I was medically needy: It’s absolutely, without question, impossible to get you in quickly. But we happen to have times available now and now and now and now and now and now.)

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