Now keep in mind that for the last couple of years, the majority of the medical care I've received has been from Parkland Hospital, a local county hospital for those who do not have insurance or can not afford care ("indigents," like me, they are lovingly called). I was all too appreciative to be treated at Parkland, especially considering the number of times I was turned away for treatment. But the truth is, it was sort of a sock in the stomach everytime I went there. For one thing, all the walls are grey. I'm not sure if it's paint or if it's just the color of wear, but it's a sad, dull grey. And the lighting is pretty nill. The place is dirty, overcrowded and always chaotic. In fact, whenever all the Hurricane Katrina stuff went down and they were showing clips of people packed in hospitals and stuff, I was always reminded of Parkland.
For a county hospital, it gets a lot of press. Lots of research is done there, lots of innovations. I'm sure it's like most county hospitals, though- and patients don't get to see this side of Parkland. What we see is the sadness and craziness. Think ER without all the beautiful doctors and caring nurses. At Parkland, everywhere you look, there are sick people lined up in chairs and against the walls. Kids are crying, people are bleeding, and it's just a really sad place. Like a last resort for people to go to, a place of very little hope.
Now, think of the opposite- walking into a big, clean, beautiful waiting room. That's what Dr. Crawford's office was like. These people not only treat medical conditions, they do a lot of things like dermabrasion and medical grade peels, that sort of thing. You know, medical procedures for the rest of the world. Things that don't exactly get done at Parkland.
So keep that in mind when I tell you that the first thing I noticed when I walked into the waiting room were the chairs: huge, tall, clean cushy gold chairs. It's funny now, but at the time, honest to God, that's what I thought. Look how nice these chairs are; these are like movie theater chairs! Look how clean this place is. The next thing that I noticed was how friendly the staff was. It was like a different world. Then we were ushered back to a room, where I was promptly instructed to put on a lovely paper gown, and Dr. Crawford came in.
Dr. Crawford, who Bobby just refers to as Dr. Beautiful, is an older, slightly less attractive version of Brad Pitt in a Ted Nugent shirt. And he uses the word "man" at least once in every sentence. As in, "Lori, looks like God's been good to you, man." or "Okay, man, looks like you recovered pretty well."
And not only that, but we saw the picture of his family. I think they all had their teeth whitened just before the photo was taken. They're ALL beautiful. Like ridiculously beautiful. I kept telling Bobby, "People have to go to school with his teenage kids! Can you imagine? You can't compete with that kind of person!" I can't really describe how freakishly beautiful these people were. In fact, I put a picture together, which is the closest I can really come to giving you an image. It's more accurate than you can imagine.
So we're standing in line to pay, and I turn to Bobby and say, "I think I'm in love with Dr. Beautiful's son." And he admitted to the same. This isn't normal beautiful. This is freakishly beautiful. I bet even his wife wonders if she belongs amongst these people.
The boring details are that I have a follow up on Monday to have a few biopsies. But don't focus on that. Focus on this picture and the fact that I have to face these freakishly beautiful people again with my Target clothing and 80 pounds overweight body in a paper gown.