Reality Bites…Tastes Like Chicken

Yesterday was a day that started out all about me, me, me and ended up with me feeling a whole lot different at the end of the day.

Here is what happened.

GGJ was feeling grumpy. I admit it. My deck is in full flower bloom and the weather is finally hot and…. I am working. A lot. I am reading a new Daniel Silva book and haven’t had a chance to finish it. That alone is enough to put the grump on.

I was already worried about a friend. One of my dearest friends on the planet woke up a few days ago with double vision. As an adult, there are no good reasons for this. There are however a bunch of really bad ones.  So, it’s time for testing and waiting and more testing and waiting.

I had a full book of patients. About half-way through the day I met a lovely man in his late 60’s. Picture a tan golfer type guy. The first thing he said to me was, “I am having a few memory problems.”

I said, “That is okay. I went to the grocery store the other day for one ingredient that I needed to make a special recipe of cookies. Guess what I did?” He said, “Buy everything except that one ingredient?” I said, “Yep, no sour cream. There are no cookies in my house.” And we both laughed.

We were able to do the exam.  The brain is a weird thing. Apparently it has no problem remembering letters… F..Z..B..D..E.

But, it has problems remembering recent events like the British Open or messes up your ability to say what you are thinking. We were talking about stuff and all of a sudden he just couldn’t finish his sentence. I could see in his eyes that he knew what he was trying to say but just couldn’t say it. I told him it was all okay, that we were doing fine. And we were. We got the exam finished and he asked me to write a little note to his wife about the results and if he needed new glasses. I did.

As he was leaving we were talking about traveling and eating- two of my favorite things. He was telling me about loving white peaches from California. I said, “Ooh, you can use white peaches to make a Bellini- white peaches simple syrup and champagne.” He said, “Jill, I have been sober for 30 years.” I made a screeching of the tires sound and said, “Scratch that last part, okay?”  We both laughed again. We shook hands and went our separate ways.

Towards the end of the day my office manager came into my office and asked me if I could squeeze in another appointment for a patient who needed to get in TODAY. I looked at my schedule (it was full) and said, “Pick out a spot. Tell them they might have to wait a bit.”

So I busted my hump and gave it my all. The work-in patient had to wait for 15 minutes. As he entered my office I could tell by his demeanor that he was miffed. The first thing he said to me was, “How much is this going to cost me?” I told him. (Now, I was feeling miffed.)

We conducted the exam. It went fine. After our exam was finished he joined his wife in the waiting area. Ah-ha! Now I get it (and the office manager confirmed it.)

The wife was the one who called and made the appointment. She was the one who said he had to get in TODAY. To her, it was an immediate need. She probably did not tell him we were working him in. To him, we were 15 minutes late and he was spending his money. Neither one of which was on his list to do that day.

Perception. It is all about perception.

Years ago, I was at a health fair. I was selling a nutritional supplement and had high hopes. I was expecting a large turn-out. My booth was next to a therapist who does biofeedback.  She was an interesting and insightful person. She could tell I was disappointed by the lack of attendance. She said, “You are disappointed because reality isn’t meeting your expectation.”

Boy howdy, she nailed it.

Think about it. Most of the times when I get bent out of joint it is because reality isn’t meeting my expectation. What is that old saying/movie/soundtrack? Reality bites??

At the end of the day I finally caught up. Another doctor I work with came into my office and said, “You sure looked busy today.” This is a nice way of saying it looked like I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I told her about my day. We had a nice talk. She also has had a few reality checks lately. She has a friend who is going through a breast cancer scare and other friends who are going through some tough times. We decided in the grand scheme of things we are doing fine, just fine.

Here is the deal.

I was physically, mentally and emotionally able to work my butt off. I did not like it, but I was able to do it. That is a great thing.

My body and mind are intact. That is not something to take for granted. It can be worse. A lot worse.

I made it home last night and went to bed early. I woke up today refreshed and ready to write a little story and head back to work.

I don’t know what will happen today. That is ok. I can handle it.

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I write stories about my life.

One thought on “Reality Bites…Tastes Like Chicken”

  1. On my monitor’s edge: Stress = Expectations – Reality.

    The only one we have primary control over is our expectations.
    Great blog today, GGJ! You got this.

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