A woman has the age she deserves.-Coco Chanel
She sweeps into the office with a flourish, filling the place with her commanding personality. Because she can be curt, some of the staff members avoid her. She usually refuses to step on the scale to have her weight checked and reveals her septagenarian status only with reluctance.
Long ago, I recognized her as being “old school” since I have known other women of a certain vintage who were outspoken and uncommonly crusty. She reminds me of a few of my parents’ friends who engaged confidently and forcefully in every social interaction. She remains stylish, if a bit dated, and is fond of expensive perfume.
Her office visits have never been complicated. Her cancer was successfully removed with a surgical procedure over five years before and, except for some scar tissue and dryness, she has no other problems. She has no difficulty talking and she remains cancer free. Everything, from my point of view, is perfect. She is one of my “saves,” someone who had been cured of cancer with one of my surgical procedures. “Everything looks fine, Mrs. Anderson,”
I told her at one of her visits. “You are doing great! No sign of the cancer. There is nothing worrisome.”
She glares at me. “Nothing, eh? I would NEVER have another surgery! Never!”
She continues. “This life is terrible! Why can’t you do something about the dryness? Why does my tongue feel so tight all of the time?” “Oh,”
“And another thing! Why does my tongue burn so much when I eat Mexican food? I used to love spicy foods, but I can barely tolerate them anymore! Oh, this is terrible!”
So it goes. I try to explain the mucosal changes. Scar tissue is less flexible. The linings are thin and sensitive. Things are never the same.
She is not satisfied.
As she gets up to leave, I find myself apologizing. “I wish things were different,”
I say. "See you next year?" “I'll call when I'm ready to come back,"
She turns as she reaches the door and tosses me a patronizing look. “Oh, it’s OK, I suppose,”
she decides. "I know you did your best.”
Then she gathers herself up and heads down the hall.
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I love older people; one day I want to be one ... in fact, one day I want to be one just like this!
Congrats on the save. That must feel so good.
sounds like she enjoys complaining... but underneath it all appreciates that you saved her life.
It must be frustrating to have some of her concerns.
I'm the polar opposite of that. My Mother spoke what she thought and could come across hard. when she really was not that way inside.
years a go when my firstborn was a baby, I decided to sell cosmetics for Mary Kay so I could make my own hours, have an income but choose the time I could be with my baby.
They had a saying in reference to having a skin care program... that I still abide by today..although now with a different company.
At 20...you have the skin you've inherited.
At 40... you have the skin you've made.
And at 60... you have the skin you deserve.