logo 2252

Welcome to Pulse

Telling the personal story of health care..by and for everyone--patients, health professionals and students of narrative medicine.

Subscribe/Energize


new subscription

Join the 10,000+ who receive Pulse weekly



energize subscription
Energize your subscription

Stop by the
Pulse newsstand
to
keep Pulse vibrant!

Our goal this year:
500 energized subscribers

So far: 398
(updated weekly)


 
 
Short pieces on a new theme every month
 
morevoicesblue
 
This month...
  Paperwork
 

A Date with Mom

 
I rush into the waiting room, trying to make it on time. Mom is sitting in the chair, patiently reading her romance novel with her ninety-nine cent bifocals. Calm and relaxed, in contrast to my frantic entrance as I juggle my schedule to try and make her appointment.

“You made it!,” she exclaims, genuinely happy that I am there.

 “Sure mom, you know I told you I’d be here for you.”

 Then the interrogation begins.

 “So, mom, did you bring all your pill bottles for the doctor to see?”

“Well yes, I have all the ones I have been taking.” She dives deep into her purse, plucking each one out and setting them by the magazines strewn haphazardly on the waiting room table.

A bit concerned, I probe further.

“Are you not taking all the medications your doctor prescribed you?”

“Well, I did stop the one that I think is making my hair fall out.”

“How long ago did you stop that one?"

“Oh, I think a few months ago. I just figured I’d tell her when I saw her today. Right?”

I'm beginning to wonder: Have I become the helicopter daughter who tries too hard to make the most of my mom's twenty-minute appointment? Have I become a theater director, tweaking each line of my mom's script to maximize her performance?

But I continue: “Mom, let’s look at your list of questions to ask the doctor."

“List? I don’t have a list. I just want her to sign my pharmacy rebate coupon. I certainly can remember that.”

Our conversation continues as I struggle with which role I should play: doctor, daughter, or parent.

Then we sit quietly for a few minutes before the receptionist door opens, and the nurse calls her in.

“Let’s go, Mom, I think you’re ready now.” And the performance begins.

Jo Marie Reilly
South Pasadena, California

Comments   

# Colleen Fogarty 2016-05-01 14:46
Jo Marie, From the opening moment, I am "in" this story with you. I'm imagining what you've had to juggle to make it to this visit, to be "present" with your mother, and to coach her as well as let go; always balancing and examining your role, relationships and sphere of influence!
Marvelous Story!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Jo Marie 2016-05-05 03:26
Glad it grabbed you Colleen. It sure is a challenge balancing mom, daughter and doctor!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

Latest Comments

  • Fear No Evil
    Deborah Kasman
    Scott, this is truly beautiful - and a reminder that Love does so much more than Fear....the way you ...

    Read more...

     
  • Fear No Evil
    Scott Newport
    Thanks Scott, loved the story and enjoyed how the last line allowed me to giggle silently in my ...

    Read more...

     
  • Fear No Evil
    Susan
    Mr. Janssen’s contributions to this world are greatly appreciated, both through his service to others ...

    Read more...

Pulse Links