Written by Stephanie Siam
She sits with her rolling chair turned slightly away from the desk, listening patiently as I explain my symptoms and current state of health. When I’ve finished, she smiles kindly. I’ve seen the smile a hundred times. Not on her. On the others.
“So, you’ve been diagnosed with . . .”
I repeat my diagnosed conditions, again, more slowly this time.
“I see. And where … ?”
Again, I tell her I’ve been treated in various countries: the US, Saudi Arabia, and now Oman. I remind her I also go to the university hospital.
“Oh, so you see Dr. Maha?” She looks up, as though my seeing this particular doctor provides evidence of the reality of my claims.
“Saw. I saw her. She discharged me from her clinic.” I say it as politely as possible, but I can feel the loathing inside. Let’s just say, it was a mutual discharge.
“Ahhhh,” she murmurs.
My husband is sitting on the examination table across from me, waiting for the doctor to say what all the rest have.
“Do you exercise?” she asks.
His eyes light up. Bingo!
“Not regularly. No. I hurt. All the time. Everywhere. Everything. All day long.” I’m there for a referral. But before I can get one, I have to play the game of, “You Should Lose Weight”.