Monday, May 18, 2009
What's Up Doc?
Now and again I have these exasperating moments when I seriously wonder about the world. I think, “Am I oversensitive or out of touch, or has our culture lost its collective mind?”
The last time I went to the eye doctor’s office in Beverly Hills the Israelis were bombing the Hell out of Lebanon and in their coverage the Fox News team was cheerleading for the Israelis. They simply didn’t cover the human side of Lebanese experience. I couldn’t believe that in a “health profession’s” office anything like this would be on in a waiting room. Remember, in waiting rooms patients are stuck there until their appointments. Patients are there for anything from routine exams, such as my case, to very serious illnesses. Illness or uncertainty about it creates a level of stress to start with. So who in their right mind would subject people with health problems to a military offensive into an urban center? Sure, I know that the Israelis will say that their violence was targeted at terrorists. And I hope it was. But really, the images of large buildings crumbling to the ground (remember that ten-story apartment building?) in an urban center was reminiscent of the Twin Towers on 9/11. But this isn’t about politics and the Middle East.
Today I accompanied my dad, who is having serious tests, to the doctor in a small town in North Carolina. The entrance to the waiting room had a candelabra which gave me false hope about the experience. As soon as we were inside the TV blared at us, rotating the following scenes from a network soap opera. In one a woman was undergoing regression therapy for being gang raped (with flashbacks), in another a man held two women hostage at gunpoint, having already shot one in the arm, and in yet another there was some scenario or other about a murdered baby who may have only really been kidnapped. Not sure on that. The volume level was set so loudly that my dad and I could hardly hear each other talk. Horrible acting aside, we noted how completely disturbing this was for a doctor’s office. He became so agitated that he went outside a few times before he was called in. Luckily, unlike the multi-story facility my old eye doctor was in, this office was on the ground floor so we could walk out to the parking lot. When he was finally called in for his appointment, we said something about the content on the TV to the nurse.
Her response is what floors me. “You’re the first one to ever complain,“ she said. “We just put it on in the morning and people watch whatever is on.”
My local Wal-Mart (it is the only place to shop here for 30 miles) has a wellness section. I found DVDs of nature there just last week and bought one with arial photography of Ireland. The really cool thing I had found the week before at a New Age trade show were DVDs of nature and sacred mandalas by an artist named Robyn Nola. Her work is based on Angels (in a nonreligious way) and is simply exquisite. She photographs nature and works with color to create images that are soothing to watch. She in fact healed herself of kidney disease and strongly believes in nature’s healing properties. I was telling a friend in medical sales last week that I’d love to walk into a doctor’s office and see work like Robyn’s playing. After today, I’d gladly settle for the Wal-Mart DVD of Ireland.
I don’t guess that this will be part of the Obama healthcare industry reform we’re hearing so much about. It’s too woo-woo I suppose and he has enough on his hands. But really, the content in waiting rooms should be examined. Democrat or Republican, we all go to the doctor. Subjecting people to violent images cannot be healthy. And isn’t health/healing the whole point of going in the first place? We have to go to the hospital for surgery next week. In case they’re playing the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” I’m bringing my iTouch w Robyn’s DVDs loaded into it.