A Seedy Story

DR DAVE“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others ... whenever they go."   -Oscar Wilde

When a doctor walks into an exam room, the opening greeting is important in establishing the length, quality and potential pain of that visit. 

“How are you?” I ask.

“I’m in a doctors office, what do you think?”

“Right. Well, what brings you here today?”

“The bus.”  And so on.  

And if your opening gambit is “I’m not a hypochondriac doctor but I think a seed or a cedar is stuck in my...” we reflexively think “Yes you are. It appears as though you’re familiar with that diagnosis.”

“Hello, Melissa. I’m Dr. Hepburn. How are you?”

“Pretty good. How are you, doctor?”

“Well...” I conceded in my usual schtick in order to inject a little disarming disarmament into the visit and basically entertain myself “ stocks are down, my hemmorhoids are up, my knee is sore, my wife is sore, my dog threw up, my hairline is receding rather than reseeding, my son is driving again...” By this time, most patients get that I’m not really serious and some get that I’m not really a doctor.

“Sorry to hear that...” replied Melissa “You’re obviously having a bad day.”

Melissa, 28 years old, had suffered a stroke earlier in the year. 28 year olds don’t usually suffer strokes, they suffer from diseases like acne emergencies on a Friday night (two fresh pimples constitute a full on calamity), cold sores in hot spots and the occasional outbreak of pregnancy. But unbeknownst to Melissa, a congenital malformation had formed in her brain when she was a congenital. It burst at age 28. Fortunately, she did well and seemed to suffer no real ill consequences. She said her memory was affected a little and she couldn’t move an arm quite as well and that her memory was affected and, if I recall, she wasn’t moving her arm, I think, quite as well, but otherwise she was OK. And apparently her memory was affected, poor thing.

She sat in the office with a plastic grocery bag, The Market on Yates, bulging with bananas and Arabian coffee and crackers and stuff. She was also holding a gorgeous, gigantic sunflower with a mass of impressive seeds and a four foot stem. 

“Heck of a flower you got there miss, don’t turn your back on it or your groceries will be gone.” 

“You know, doctor, I get a sunflower whenever I need a little boost because for some reason they just seem to brighten my day.”

I don’t recall what her visit was about, specifically, and I continued on with my day of stamping out Victoria’s diseases, one bad seed at a time. A couple of hours later, Whitley, one of my ultra attractive (my birthday is coming up) staff, came traipsing around the corner, arm extended. “Dr Dave, this is for you.” In her hand she guessed it... a giant sunflower, bigger than a Whitley.  

Melissa, wherever you are, I hope you’re having a good day because really, my dog didn’t throw up over my stocks, wife, knee or any other body part. I wasn’t having a bad day at all. But now I was having a very good day, thanks to you.

I must admit that later on that day I gave away that sunflower to someone who really wasn’t having a good time of things. A re-gifted sunflower. But you planted the seeds. 

I can’t help but wonder if this is how you always were or if this is the actions of someone who sustained a stroke to the unpleasant dandelion lobe of the brain (the cerebellas lindsaylohanus). If the latter is the case, Melissa, then it was a stroke of good luck for those whose lives you enter. If enriching the moment and bringing a smile to the faces of those you encounter is now what you’ve suc-seeded.  

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