Stuff I Talk About

by Christina Ledbetter


My doctor is converting his practice from paper to computer. I had an appointment on Wednesday just to get some prescriptions updated, and once Dr. J called me back to the examination room, he showed me the new contraptions and told me what he liked and what he despised about the whole thing.

“Look,” he said. “In order to open this screen, I have to close out every other screen! I can’t even minimize them!”

“That’s so stupid!” I agreed, looking at the screen with him.

In addition to the new system, he also installed a special health care voice recognition software that understands medical terms and complicated drug names. And he was really excited about that part.

“Watch this,” he said, moving his head a bit closer to the laptop. “WAKE UP.”

MATERNAL GRANDFATHER HAD DIABETES,” he said, and I watched the letters and then words pop up on the screen under my family history tab.

And so it went, through family history, my own medical history, and finally, drug allergies (for some reason I go nuts on most drugs, limiting my doctor to, like, two different meds that were invented in the seventies he can prescribe me for various ailments).

Now at this point, I had not considered the close proximity of the examination room to the patient waiting area. My doctor’s office is quite small, with only one receptionist and no nurses or techs or anyone else. So when I’m in the waiting area, though I can’t make out what is being said in the exam room, I can at least hear muffled voices.

It’s really quite charming…

Until this stupid voice recognition thing wanted to know about my current health issues.

WAKE UP!” Dr. J shouted to the screen…


I crossed my legs and uncrossed them, nervously thinking of the strangers in the waiting area… Who heard this? If it’s a really old lady I don’ think I’ll care. She’ll probably have IBS, too. But what if it’s young people? What if it’s, like, someone I know out there, which under different circumstances would be cool – “Hey! I didn’t know you go to this doctor, too!” But this won’t be cool at all. It’ll be like, “Hey! Uh, I was just in for some shoulder pain. Good to see you!”

But I never found out who was in the waiting area, because when I left I sort of speed walked/jogged out the door and didn’t make any eye contact with the figures I saw sitting in the chairs.

Before I go, (and there’s just no good transition here, people), I wrote a Jesus-type blog for another website that you may read here if you haven’t had enough of my shenanigans on this site. And I promise I don’t mention the IBS in the other post.

And by the way, sometimes I ask people to comment here. DO NOT comment and tell me about your IBS. I don’t care. I mean, I kind of care, but I don’t want some loon being like, “Hey! Let me tell you about my journey with this…” However, if you’d like to comment with funny animal stories and/or tips on how to navigate the sale closet at Anthropologie, feel free.


Categories: This and That

4 replies

  1. Good ol’ Dr. J. I’ve got some doozy stories as well.

  2. Why do they put a big rack of clothes in the middle of the Anthropologie sales closet? Nobody can walk around in there, so I just don’t go in. It seems like they don’t want us to buy stuff from there! (There ya go!)

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