|my room in its current incarnation|
Dr. Kent came by our house on his way to the hospital this morning, which was at about 6:15. He said he didn't want me to have to get up and come into his office or the hospital. I'm quite aware doctors do not do this for many patients, and that it's not because of anything special about me that affords me such care, but rather, it's because my dad is important and because most doctors really like my mother that I receive red carpet treatment. My parents knew in advance that he was coming. I wish they had told me because I would have at least brushed my teeth and hair before he got there, as opposed to making him wait for four minutes. I will not allow anyone outside my immediate family see me in the morning before my teeth and hair have been brushed and my face has been washed.
He noticed that the stuffed panda he had given me on the day I was released from the hospital was in bed beside me. I explained to him that even though some people may consider me a little old to be sleeping with stuffed animals, I still hadn't quite gotten over having my remaining stuffed animals from childhood accidentally tossed into the dumpster when my family made our last move, and since the panda is the only stuffed animal I presently own, I reserve the right to enjoy it. He told me I should not feel bad, because he knew for a fact that his younger brother, my Uncle Scott, has to share his bed with my Aunt Jillian's terry cloth Casper the Friendly Ghost doll that was her mother's in childhood and that Jillian had coveted for her entire childhood until her brothers finally talked her mom into giving to her when she was something like 23.
He also noticed that I was wearing one of the nighties his wife had made for me. It's kind of funny because the bedding I currently have on my bed consists of a music note comforter in black and white with the comforter reversible in white with large pink polka dots. The top sheet is pink, and the fitted sheet is white with large pink polka dots, matching the underside of the comforter. The pillows match both motifs. (My musical keyboard rug is on the floor. ) The particular nightie Stephanie (his wife) had sewn for me was pink with white polka dots in the exact shade of pink as the background of my comforter, so they were perfect negative images of one another except that the polka dots on the nightie were not quite so huge. He asked if I always dressed to match my bedroom. It's a really comfortable nightie, and I'll wear it a lot. It's long enough that I don't have to wear bottoms with it, although Stephanie did make short bottoms to go with it, but right now having anything fitting, even with very loose elastic, isn't comfortable against my midsection even though the actual incision is below waist level.
We talked more than we ever have before. He apologized for his actions in interfering with Jared's and my relationship, and said he can see now that it was clearly the wrong thing to have done, but at the time he thought he was doing the right thing. I accepted his apology. He also said that with the way Jared has been acting lately, he may have unintentionally done me a favor, and that Jared doesn't at this point in his life deserve anyone as nice, smart, or pretty as I. That part embarrassed me a bit, but I just said thanks and let it go. He said that we're both too young for anything serious at this point in our lives, as we'll all be making decisions, hopefully about what medical schools to attend, and that at our ages, relationships should not play a part in those decisions, but that kids our age should be going out and having fun with others our own ages, and it would be nice if Jared were to get his act together sufficiently so that we could occasionally hang out or attend functions together. He expressed appreciation for my brother Matthew being such a good friend to Jared and said that even though Matthew often seems like a birdbrain to me, where Jared is concerned, he's often the only voice of reason to whom Jared will listen.
He told me that he knew I had absolutely nothing to do with the tattoo, and I should not feel in any way responsible. He also admitted, which somewhat blew me away, that Jared probably should not go on a mission. He said there have been people who have regretted it, and Jared probably would have resented, possibly for the rest if his life, the mission putting him two years behind in his schooling. I totally agree, but Dr. Kent is so very Mormon that hearing the words come out of his mouth caught me thoroughly off-guard. He told me that if his son had to walk around with a tattoo on his arm, there were a whole lot worse things than "ALEXIS" that he could have had engraved into his skin.
He did a great deal more talking than I did, partly because I was still half asleep and partly because I was somewhat stunned by most of what he was saying.
The physical exam was quick and mostly painless, although it can't be entirely pain-free to have someone prod a site where your entire midsection was sliced open and stitched up less than a week earlier. He said the outer wound was healing very nicely and that he hoped my scar would be minimal, not that I'm going to go around showing off that part of my body on a regular basis. He also said all indications were that inner incisions were healing just as well. I'll need an ultrasound in about four weeks to confirm that the inner workings are healing as they should be. He asked if I had any questions or complaints.
My only complaint was that I had been denied the privilege of playing the piano -- particularly the new one -- at all, when it seemed that it would be a relatively harmless activity in which for me to engage. He said that he agreed with me that it should be accessible on a very limited basis. He said he would tell my parents that if I had an ordinarily good day with no new problems, I should be allowed to play for fifteen minutes this afternoon, and that the length of time should be increased by five minutes each day. I thanked him profusely. I asked about the violin. He said we'd have to wait a bit, but maybe in a week to ten days I could start with small intervals, as I would now be doing with the piano. Using the bow arm of the violin involves quite a bit more strain to the midsection than does playing the piano.
Dr. Kent then asked a favor. He said he had heard the new piano had a very nice touch and resonating sound, and he asked if I would be terribly offended if he played it before I was allowed the opportunity. I told him it was the very least I could do for him. I got out of bed and followed him -- rather slowly, but I got there -- down the hall and into the loft sitting area. I sat in a rocker-recliner, which he put into the reclining position by pulling the lever on the side, and he tossed a blanket throw over me that he had picked up from my bedroom. He asked if it would be a problem to play when Matthew was still asleep. My dad, who had wandered into the loft, said that Matthew would sleep all day if someone didn't wake him up at some point. My mother also made her way into the loft and sat on the sofa.
Dr. Kent played a few scales to warm up, then went into a Chopin etude-- probably something he had learned as a kid. He and all his siblings took lessons as children. Then, because he knows I like Billy Joel (one of the four larger-than-life framed black-and-white portraits on my walls is of Billy Joel; the other three are of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven), he played Billy Joel's "She's Always a Woman." It's a beautiful song, and it always makes me think of Jillian's and Scott's wedding because they danced their first dance to it.
He pronounced it an exquisite instrument. He has a Steinway, which my mom also does downstairs in the living room, and the Steinway has always been considered the gold standard for pianos except for those people amongst the Bosendorfer snob group. Steinways do have a clarity in their bass notes that is, so far, unmatched by anything else on the market, including Bosendorfers. Still, for overall sound, despite the lower price tag, if given a choice, which I wasn't, I think I'd still choose a Kawai over a Steinway. There's something in the tone quality that I don't hear in other pianos.
Dr.Kent left, reminding me to stay out of automobiles unless absolutely necessary, and saying that he'd be back in a couple of days to check on me again unless he heard sooner from me or from my parents that there was a problem.
It was a most unusual doctor appointment, and a most enlightening one. I think both of us are guilty of having misjudged each other. It's nice that we seem to have ironed out our differences. Whatever does or does not happen with Jared, it's highly unlikely that his father will be a factor.
Buenas dias, senors, senoras, senoritos, y senoritas!
# the artist still known as Alexis.