Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You Are My PCP: A stream of consciousness post

Remember those, longtime CG readers?

"Unto the East" now to include an introduction by Piper Beatty and cover art by Salina Marie Gomez! So exciting! Do NOT miss your opportunity to pre-order the chapbook! It's the only way to guarantee you'll get a copy of this limited edition print! Orders will be held for purchase when the book is released in March.

Click HERE. to order!

Onward . . .

About my appointment today, kinda, but really just a reflection on the idea of the PCP. This is a creative piece and not literally what happened today. But everything below has happened to me at some point in my life.

You are my PCP and despite your name you are not a drug I did in the 70s, you are my primary care physician. You must see me because you are my physician of record, and I must see you because my insurance requires it. We do not want to see each other again, we are adversaries. I regard you like an elementary school principal and I am a naughty seven year old. You regard me like a nuclear grenade and you are a soldier required to throw me, not able to decide which direction. I will walk into the room and you will cautiously shake my mother's hand, oh good, you brought your mother. You will wonder if I am a child or if I am an adult and you will remark that you are not quite sure how I was assigned to be your patient, you will smile and then ask me casually to review my "full medical history." I will stare back at you, where should I begin? I ask this literally, you think I mean figuratively, and I start to tell you how I was born in 1980. Why were you diagnosed?, you will ask me. Any surgeries?, you will ask me. You will ask me strange questions like how did I come to have this disease if neither of my parents did, if I ever worried about my cholesterol since I eat "so much fat," if I am bulimic or have a history of it. You will look at my fingers over and over again and you will hold onto my skinny wrist. I will wonder where you went to med school and how you ever finished and know that the answer is simple: barely. We will spend the better part of thirty minutes working over my history, I will watch you toggle frantically from the notes you are typing to the notes you have received about me over the year. I will remark that you must not have ever read them, and you will deny this is true. Of course I have read them, I am your physician of record. I have written all of your referrals. I am in charge of your care. Of course, I will reply. Of course you are. You are in charge of me. I will smile politely and after bringing you up to speed, after telling you about my 29 years of life, after noticing that you are about five years older than me, you will ask to listen to my chest and I will say, what for? I thought you didn't want to see me. Just kidding. And you will put your clammy little hands on my gorgeous chest under my thin cotton shirt as though it really makes it easier to hear, as though what you hear in my chest will change everything between us, and for that penance along with the drive and the talking and the two oxygen tanks I have wasted, I will walk out with a piece of paper from you that says I am allowed to live.


  1. Unbelievably well written...brilliant. One of my favorite favorite pieces...holy cow. Can't find words.

  2. Next time some idiot asks if you are bulimic while looking at your hands, tell them that with CF you don't need to throw up to be bulimic, you simply have to skip your enzymes. I hate PCPs.


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