Dear Doctor

Dear Doctor,

I warned you I’m a little phobic of injections. It’s not my fault you didn’t take me seriously.

It may not be a phobia, but it’s  definitely more than just a fear. I can see you don’t understand that. At all.

When a needle sticks me, (apart from the psychological part, fear) I start to cry.

I don’t care if you think I’m childish,I don’t care if you think I’m overly dramatic,

For the simple reason that you are not my friend. You are my doctor.

I don’t need your sympathy, or want it.

What I do want, is: after it’s over, when my burning face vibrates, and my arms,

And my legs feel too light and too leaden by turns,

When my breathing is coming heavy and when I’m shuddering from the shock,

When I ask you, dear doctor, through my chattering teeth and wavering voice, to

“Please give me a minute” to collect myself, I expect you to give it to me.

I understand you see many patients. I understand many of them may be exactly what I profess I am not. But that is irrelevant to me.

When I am covering my mouth while crying in gasps, ashamed, trying not to make a scene, and I ask you, firmly but politely, for “just a minute”, I expect you to look away for sixty seconds until my breathing is back to normal. Not mock me and refuse to let me cover my trembling mouth, while asking unrelenting questions in a misguided, patronizing attempt to “divert” me.

I know it may be hard for a learned, busy person like you to understand, but most of us really do know what’s best for ourselves. Not in everything, but at least the basics.

I don’t care if you go home and make fun of me to your family. I don’t care if you never understand this thing, this fear, but I don’t believe that understanding is a requisite for you to show some courtesy as a doctor to your patient. You may owe me no courtesy, but I have not paid for discourtesy either. I have paid for medical care, and that includes giving me a minute to catch my breath.


A Disgruntled Patient

P.S. Trypanophobia, a fear of needles and injections, includes among its symptoms: feeling faint, nausea and panic attacks. My exact symptoms. Just so you know.

P. P. S. I would’ve included a picture, but I’m phobic. Pictures also cause some symptoms. And yes, that’s a real thing.

P.P.P.S. I won’t be back.



Learning to Use the Remote

Daily Prompt: Moment of Kindness

June 20, 2013

Describe a moment of kindness, between you and someone else — loved one or complete stranger.


Almost ten years ago, I embarked on my saddest flight journey ever. I was leaving behind my life and people I loved, and I felt lost and as if everything had been wrenched from me, although I didn’t know how to put it in words at the time. My travelling group had an odd number of people, and, with my luck, I happened to be the one assigned to sit alone. Stewing in the aisle seat, not my seat of preference, anger, hurt and frustration welled up inside me. Abandoned.

The flight had one of those television screens built into the back of the seat in front, so I pulled out the remote and tried to find something to watch. But with my luck, guess what? I couldn’t figure out how to make it work. The frustration increased, and I’m not sure I would have been able to stop myself from breaking down if what happened then hadn’t happened.

“Can I help you?” the passenger beside me asked. Needless to say, I gratefully accepted his help and learned how to navigate the remote and the television. Just then, I got a call from the rest of my travelling group. They’d arranged for a place for me next to them.

From what I remember, my co-passenger was Hispanic and in his late twenties. Probably just another guy on just another flight. But he was more than he will ever know to me that day. I still think of him with gratefulness. It’s amazing how something as simple as helping someone out with a remote lingers in people’s memories. He didn’t have to do it, but he did. It wasn’t a huge favor, nor did it right all the wrongs in my life; indeed, it didn’t better my situation at all. But it made me smile. It eased the sting a little bit and reminded me that there is still good in this world, although (again) I couldn’t have put this into words at the time, nor am I sure I even understood why it made me feel better. But it did.

So, Man Who Helped Me, if you happen to be reading this, know that what you did for me that day I deeply appreciate. I hope I have done/will be able to do, for others, what you did for me.

A Curious Find

Today’s Write Now Prompt by Today’s Author:

The kids must have dragged that thing out of the trunk in the loft.

“Did you hear that?” I mumbled sleepily.

“No,” mumbled Dave, equally sleepily. “Go back to sleep; what is it, six o’clock?”

“Okay,” I acquiesced with a sigh, nuzzling my husband’s shoulder.


Around ten, I ambled down in shorts, a sweatshirt and yesterday’s socks to put together some brunch. “Kids?”

I got no reply. I shuffled over blearily to the stove and put some water to boil. I needed tea. “KIDS!” And possibly a holiday.

Somewhere in the house, a door banged, and I heard laughing voices spill out from the upstairs corridor. “Come down for breakfast. Now!” As much as I hated their inability to come down on time, I was grateful beyond words for the extra sleep I got thanks to their disregard for mealtime punctuality.

“Mom, Mom, look at me! Isn’t it pretty?” Emma, all of eight-years old, came barreling into the kitchen, draped from head to toe in a red, flowy….scarf? Tablecloth? What was that? She spilled some pebbles out onto the counter. “These are magic,” she solemnly declared, just as Ethan poked his face around the door. “These trading cards are so cool!” he said exuberantly, holding them up in front of me. Jerking my head back an inch, I blinked. The Fool? The Magician? The Hanged Man? The cards were larger than those of an average deck and had unusual imagery on them, some verging on pornography, others graphic violence. Somehow I doubted this was part of a children’s trading card game. “Ethan, honey, give me the cards for a minute,” I said, taking them from him.

“Ooh a party! Why wasn’t I invited?” came Dave’s voice from the doorway. His grin quickly froze when he saw Emma’s new costume. He seemed lost and, somehow, nervous.

“What’s all this then?” I asked. “Dave, do you have any idea what these are? I don’t think the kids should-”

Snatching the cards from me, he walked across the kitchen, kneeling down near Emma. “Sweetie, why don’t you give that to me? ‘Atta girl!”

Still suspicious, I cleared my throat. “Any idea where they might’ve found this?” I asked Dave, voice tighter than I’d meant it to sound.

“Oh, um,  the kids must have dragged that thing out of the trunk in the loft,” he replied, standing up, still not meeting my gaze. “I’ll just go and make sure they haven’t made a mess up there.” Grabbing the pebbles in one hand, and the cloth and cards in the other, he turned and headed upstairs without looking back. As he climbed the stairs, I noticed him wrap the cards in the red cloth.

Something was definitely up.


Figment’s daily theme:

Your Daily Theme for June 6, 2013
A “meet-cute” is a charming first interaction between two characters who will become romantically involved. (Think the tangled dog leashes in 101 Dalmatians.) Write a meet-cute between two characters.

Headphones clamped around her ears, vacuum-sealed, she couldn’t hear the argument raging just four feet away; couldn’t hear the net café customer yell himself hoarse about having lost his seat to some “random girl off the road”; didn’t see the owner apologetically but firmly shrug a diplomatic “no”; didn’t notice the disgruntled visitor throw himself down on the chair next, sighing audibly. She was lost, fighting far off people from far off lands…and she won. Again. She only noticed when the angry fist-on-table near her shook the table. She looked up, as did he. More than the table shook.

Link to my piece on Figment:

His World

The First Thing
Write out a person’s day in terms of the first things he or she does. An example is provided below:
The first thing she did each day was stretch her toes over the edge of her mattress. 
The first thing she saw was her reflection in the pink vanity she’d gotten when her career aspiration was “princess.”
The first thing she ate each morning was an English muffin, pooled with melted butter.
The first thing she put on was her silver locket.

The first thing he did on waking up was to give that baby dinosaur screech-grunt, stretching as if to make his 6’ 6’1”.

The first thing he wore was his gleaming wristwatch, a reminder of paternity and duty.

The first thing he did after leaving his room was to wake his kindergartner up with a kiss on the forehead, reminding him of happiness.

The first thing he ate was a bowl of Lucky Charms, an unshakable habit since age six.

The first thing he saw when he left the house was the world; and when he came home: his world.

Link to my story on Figment: