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Therapy queues


The doctor is in...if you're willing to wait a few hours.

In a million years, you will never guess where I stood in line this morning at 6:30a.m.

Go ahead. Try.

Ticketmaster for tix to see the next popular, but sold out Garth Brook’s concert?
No.
Top-rated, coveted charter school to secure a spot for my boys for fall 2011?
No.
Hip new yoga studio for Swami Krishna’s hot yoga flow class?

No.

I stood in line at 6:30a.m. to reserve an after-school therapy appointment for spring and summer for my eldest son. I’m not joking. In order to snag a 4:00p.m., every-other-week appointment, we had to line up, with a host of other patients, outside the doctor’s office for more than an hour prior to the office’s opening.

Has the world gone mad? Queuing up at a psychologist’s office, (who not surprisingly does not take insurance), as if we were trying to get a table at Pizzeria Bianco? I felt like a complete moron.

But what choice did I have? I’ve tried taking my son out of school during the day for what we like to call “talking doctor” appointments. It’s an utter disaster. The conspicuous nature of an early school departure creates so much anxiety in my son that it renders the therapy session completely moot. They need to spend the whole 50 minutes talking him down over his missed class assignments and never get an opportunity to address the deeper, more pressing psychological issues that are causing him distress.

So instead, I opted to wake up at 5a.m. in order to be on the road by 6 and in line by 6:30. We ended up being 2nd in line behind a woman in a folding chair with a thermos of hot coffee who looked as if she’d possibly slept there the night before.

Her son had some serious psychological challenges and she confided that she’d been queuing up like this for 12 years! She confessed to hating the almost humiliating “groupie-esque” process the office insisted on using in the name of fairness. But this doctor had saved her son and helped them to restore some semblance of peace in her family. At the end of the day, it was worth the quarterly degradation of standing on line to secure a post 3p.m. appointment.

We did manage to procure a coveted 4pm spot. And I suppose, if all goes well, I’ll be back mid July with all of the other patients, vying for a 4p.m. fall/winter spot. Those are even harder to get I was told by one of the other veteran moms in line.

Not sure why this irks me quite as much as it does. I guess it sort of takes the personal relationship feeling out of the therapy equation for me. But I’m not the one who needs to feel connected to this doctor. My son really liked him and felt he was someone he could talk to.

So I guess I’ll just accept the fact that being a parent is a lot like being a place-holder in the long line of life. You stand around a lot, wait for something allegedly great to happen, and then, you pay through the nose for whatever it is you thought would solve the problems that ultimately end up working themselves out in spite of your consistent interference.

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About gettrich

Debra Rich Gettleman is a professional actor, playwright and journalist living in Seattle, WA with her husband Mark and two amazing boys, Levi and Eli.

2 responses to “Therapy queues

  1. I am sure you probably thought of this already but, I have you thought about getting your son in for a morning appointment? I have found at when I was in school that going in to school late because you had a “Doc” appointment is less disrupting then leaving early. And if they are near their teen years you get the added bribe of sleeping in later then normal! Just a thought.

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