Okay, so, long story short, I’ve been sick for about nine months now, wrestling with an unknown. I have seen many doctors, pumped copious amounts of blood into little vials, been strapped into loud machines, shown more of my body to strangers than my partner has even seen, but this last visit takes the prize! It started as the most pleasant doctors visit to date. I’m sitting on the crinkly paper with a New Yorker from 2010 and waiting. Fully expecting to wait another ten minutes in the exam room on top of the half hour previously spent in the waiting room, I was anxious to get back to the article on bug eating as a sustainable earth friendly thing to do. To my surprise, I could not find where I Ieft off before the doctor came into the room. Dressed all in black with thick black glasses, his fluffy snow white hair dolloped his liver spotted face like a pile of whipped cream on a scoop of raspberry chocolate chip ice cream. He spoke like the Grinch when addressing the children of Whoville, all syrupy and thick, drawing looooong and throaty on key points whilst peering over his glasses at me. He was plump and jovial with a charming sense of humor. If he had carried a little black doctors bag, instead of that cell on his hip, I might have Thought he arrived from quite earlier in the century. He listened. He made eye contact. He poured over sixty pages of my charts. He even knew I was a fiber artist. “A little birdy told meeeee.” he gurgled as he peered over his glasses at me. I found myself craving a cup of tea and some cookies. More cared for I have not felt in any other office. As he narrowed down to the beginnings of the first diagnosis I have heard in seven months of illness, his cell phone beeps. He looked at it and said humorously, “Go away, I’m busy.” Amused with himself he lets out a little nasal chortle. You know, just short of laughing, you exhale abruptly through your nose with a hmmph sound. Well, this abrupt exhalation produced a round yellow boogie the size of a large pea on his upper lip. My eyes were tranfixed on that boogie as he quickly wiped it from his lip. It disappeared into his right hand which then went directly to the computer mouse. I nodded absent mindedly at all he had to say, but was hearing none of it. I needed to know where that boogie went. When he finished on the computer I searched frantically around the mouse. No boogie. Where is it? He stood, so I stood taking the cue that the appointment was over, although I missed most of his conclusions. To my horror he reached out that hand to shake mine. I hesitated, but could not be rude. I returned the gesture. Not only did he shake my hand, but he clasped on tightly with his other hand. He held my hand firmly in both of his for at least a very long minute as he wished me well. Smiling and nodding I could feel a transference of moistness upon my wrist. I continued to smile, surpressing my gag reflex, said thank you and hurried to a box of tissues in the waitng room. Not only was the boogie stuck on my wrist but it was trapped under a friendship bracelet which my son had made for me. Wretching and frantic, that little yellow boogie was reluctant to leave my skin. I washed my hands many,many times that day and still I felt the sensation of a cold and slimy thing slithering about my wrist. Ugh.