What’s Up, Doc?

Posted on in Healthy Living by Lisa Daron Grossman


I’ve been having an affair. Well, to be honest, I’m having more than one. You see, I’ve been cheating on my general practitioner for about five years now.

I know that cheaters always say this, but none of this was premeditated. It was an accidental mistake. Is that redundant? I don’t care. It was. I accidentally started seeing 2 doctors, and now I’m seeing 11. The problem was that once I started, I couldn’t stop. It was a doctoral addiction to healing my undiagnosed ailments. And when I became bored with Western medical practitioners, I began trying on alternative ones for size. I was open to anything: naturopaths, qigong specialists, new age chiropractors, shamans, Australian gurus, hugging gurus, fairies, wizards, magicians, and everything in between. And what I came to realize over time is that dating doctors is synonymous with dating men.

Let me explain. One day last month, a new disease came in the mail in an envelope addressed to me. I rarely get handwritten mail, so I ripped it open, hoping for a love note from the one that got away. To my surprise, instead of said love note I had received a love diagnosis from Dr. Larry. “Dear Lisa, you have tested positive for celiac disease.” It was a handwritten love letter from the 11th doctor I just recently started seeing.

Now, let’s talk a little bit about Dr. Larry. He’s not my usual type. In fact, he’s nowhere near my type at all. I didn’t find him online, and my friends didn’t set us up; my dad did. And there is something you need to know about my dad—he never sets me up with anyone. There’s something else you need to know about my dad—he loves Dr. Larry. Actually, I’m kind of embarrassed to admit this here, but Dr. Larry has been my dad’s gastroenterologist for over 20 years. Yup, Dr. Larry is a gastroenterologist. So I declined seeing him year after year because aren’t gastroenterologists for old people with bowel problems? “Dr. Larry is not my type,” I would shout at my dad, over and over again. To which my Dad would reply, “Just give him a chance! Maybe you’ll like the guy.”

The truth is, I didn’t run from Dr. Larry just because he was into stomachs. It was because I’m more into alternative guys-—you know, kinesiologists and acupuncturists. So for me, seeing Dr. Larry was equivalent to dating a Tea Party candidate—ancient and against everything unconventional. But my dad kept the pressure on, and the sicker I became, the more desperate I was to find Dr. Right.

Now, I do know a thing or two about dating. I know how it goes when you’re single and searching; you have to play the field. So while my pops was putting on the pressure to “give Dr. Larry a chance,” I was dating 10 others.

There were:

  • » The spiritual chiropractor
  • » The barefoot Nigerian bug juice importer
  • » The NYC shaman lady
  • » The expensive, alternative, hip, New Age-y, “as seen on Dr. Oz” doctor
  • » The acupuncturist who doubled as an actress
  • » The Australian guru songstress
  • » The colonic lady from Rosy Cheeks Wellness
  • » The old woman who talks with wolves
  • » That doctor who cures trauma by singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”
  • » And of course, my general practitioner—who I hadn’t seen since 2010

There in lies the problem: there were too many options. And too many options led to casual encounters, and casual encounters decreased the severity of the relationships. So really, I was loosely dating 10 doctors. The commitment conversation had yet to come up, or if it did, I would skirt around the issue. Like when the lady from Rosy Cheeks Wellness asked me to schedule my next colonic, and I politely replied, “Oh yes! I would love to see you again, but I have to check my schedule.” This is how I seemed interested without having to commit. I like to always keep my options open.

I finally agreed to see Dr. Larry in October, after the continued persuasion by his biggest advocate, my father. As I had assumed, his office was filled with people over the age of 70, and when I went to check in at the front desk, the nurse gave me a look that I interpreted as, I’m pretty sure you’re not his type. It was my first blind doctor date, and already I was weary of judgment.

Dr. Larry looked younger than I had anticipated, and we spent quite some time talking. He asked me a lot of questions, and when I spoke, he maintained eye contact, and I could tell he was really listening. Not only was he listening, it was like Dr. Larry could see the real me—all of me. I quite liked Dr. Larry, but was the feeling mutual?

“You’re a difficult case,” he said at the end of the visit. I appreciated his honesty, and as I sat on the cold sterile table, making eye contact with him in my light blue gown (open in the back), I had an overwhelming feeling. I felt warm and safe, yet vulnerable. When Dr. Larry put his hand on my shoulder and said, “We’re going to get through this,” it felt like the moment I had been waiting for all my life. Was this my guy? Was Dr. Larry the one I had been searching for all along?

I don’t have the answers yet, but I’m getting closer to the truth. Tomorrow, Dr. Larry will take a look inside of me, witnessing things no doctor has seen before. Some might call this a routine endoscopy, but I like to think of it as a medical journey into the soul. And in a city of endless options, if I don’t slow down and revel in these moments of connection, I might accidentally pass by the guy that’s into stomachs, and maybe, just maybe, he might be the one.

Lisa Daron Grossman is a professional life coach. She helps her clients tap into their inherent creativity so they can live a life that matters. LisaDaron.com

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