I’m intimidated by doctors. I’m nervous around them. I have a hard time sleeping the night before going to see a doctor. I’ve felt that way since I was a kid. I remember back then somehow struggling to make it through a doctor’s visit because I knew at the end he would open a drawer of candy and I would get my choice of a lollipop or some gum.
Maybe there’s something really vulnerable about admitting I feel sick to someone I don’t know well, and being open to their helping me. I’m scared to confess to being fragile in the moment. Especially in front of someone whom I see as being powerful.
Two days ago I was sitting in a doctor’s office, listening to him speak and feeling my usual nervousness. I tried watching my discomfort in the hopes that I could feel some safe distance, but it wasn’t working well.
Then I remembered an episode of the sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun that I saw a few nights before. The main characters are aliens from another planet in human bodies, observing life on Earth. The high commander of the group goes and gets his first physical. While in the doctor’s office, he becomes terrified and runs out screaming in just his hospital gown.
This helped me begin to relax. I started noticing the doctor as a person, just like me. I was no longer making him someone more powerful than myself. I saw a sadness in his eyes. I recognized that feeling. How it sometimes hurts to be a person. Our hearts are delicate, and no matter how much we try and protect them, we still get wounded.