Celebrate the New!

It’s a new year (and Year of the Dog!) and I’m ecstatic to say hello to a year of positive changes, adventure, good fortune, improved health, mental clarity, and, above all, lots of laughter.

I spent my last week of 2017 cramming in appointments with three different doctors before my health care plan decimated all my benefits.

The first appointment was at a new dermatology office. While changing into a gown, I noticed a tiny reddish-brown smear on the table and tried desperately to situate myself without touching it. What the heck could that be—blood, pus, poop? Only someone with OCD would hone in on such a thing. The doctor, who had no personality to speak of, rushed through the appointment, so I’m still not sure if I was given an adequate screening, but I was too distracted. As I was getting dressed, the smear was gone, so I knew it was either on my paper mini-dress or more likely residing on the back of my thigh. Score: OCD—1, Me—0

Next up was an ophthalmologist whose office had previously given me reason to gripe, but I decided to give them another chance due to the rapidly approaching year end. They served up the correct amount of cleanliness, and I was about to celebrate until the words lattice and paving stones popped out of the doctor’s mouth. Who knew I had construction sites in the dark recesses of my eyes. It was time to beg for an urgent appointment with a retina specialist on the last working day of the year. Score: OCD—2, Me—0

The waiting room at the specialist’s office was a spectacle to behold. The television was trapped on a religious channel with a man shouting, “Jesus loves you” and “Jesus will save you” every few seconds. Not everyone was amused but if you have lattice holes, paving stones, or something worse in your eye, I guess you should be thankful someone is on your side. Technicians sporadically appeared to administer drops to elderly patients with fluttering eyelids. I kept a watchful eye on that. When it was my turn, I made them swab the bottles with plenty of alcohol. I was quite certain I’d be drowning myself in alcohol—perhaps a nice Pinot Noir—once I got home. After much probing, the kind doctor told me my cobblestones were nothing to be concerned about for now. I was relieved to hear this—and don’t cobblestones sound much quainter than paving stones? Score: OCD—2, Me—1. Oh, wait a minute. On the drive home, I realized I didn’t see or ask what the heck he was using to probe my eyes and began to wonder if they were now contaminated with someone else’s mucus. Swell. Score: OCD—3, Me—0

With this crazy final week capping off a turbulent year of challenges, I was eager to make it to the finish line. When the clock struck midnight and the sparkling ball dropped, I turned my back on all that came before and stood ready to welcome a fresh start for 2018.

Have you set any ambitious intentions for the new year?