Monday, August 25, 2008

The Hospital As "Pick-Up Joint"

Every once in a while, I try to post something that is a little more light-hearted, not so doom and gloom, something on the lighter side of being chronically ill. It doesn’t always happen, but today, you are in luck.

The last few weeks of doctors’ appointments got me to thinking…

Yes, at first glance, this whole idea (as the title of the post suggests) might sound disgusting and repugnant.

But for a 20-something with several chronic illnesses who feels like she spends more time at doctors’ appointments and waiting for prescriptions than anywhere else, it makes intuitive sense. I see my doctors more than I see a lot of my friends.

Now, to answer the obvious question, it hasn’t happened yet. I haven’t dated anyone I’ve met at the hospital. I haven’t actually met anyone yet (in that sense)... But in reality, why not?

It’s not as if I go to doctors appointments with the express goal of meeting someone. And I certainly don’t go roaming the halls playing Florence Nightingale. But in the back of my mind, there certainly is a little bit of thought brewing that well… maybe it’s not such a bad idea.

And I’m not talking about dating my own doctors, because that is wrong… on so many levels. But doctors that I’m not a patient of aren’t off limits. And there aren’t too many other people my age that grace the rheumatology clinic, so chances are, we wouldn’t even have diseases in common, if I met a patient.

On the one hand, this post is meant to be humorous and satirical. On the other hand, I’m really serious. I know, though, that there are a lot of potential complications I’m leaving out (on purpose).

I mean, I don’t really go to bars because I can’t drink and the smoke bothers me. Basically, I go to class or work, go to coffee shops, and go home. So, if I’m not meeting people in any of those places, that only leaves one potential place.

And just think about it. A backdoor tryst with a young resident? It’s so soap opera-esque, it just might possibly happen.

Because let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger, and certainly, this body of mine isn’t either.

I know, this brings up bigger issues in my life, like the fact that I’m single and alone, and have no romantic prospects lined up for, well, let’s just say, the foreseeable future. But the point is, I’m single, alone, and chronically ill. And as we all know, chronic illness complicates just about everything.


  1. I have convinced myself I will never be married again. I can relate to what you are saying about not being out in the typical meeting places. I never go out. I never did. I met my first husband in high school. After that, I am completely lost on how to meet anyone new. I spend my time in front of the computer or with my teenagers. Of course I go to the grocery store and the post office. Which by the way, someone did try to flirt with me at the post office once. But, after he said "this is a good place to see pretty ladies" our conversation was over. :-)
    So, what can we do? I have decided to just sit back and do nothing. If there is someone out there for me, he will have to find me. You are a bit different because you are so much younger than me. Your odds of catching a nice young man are much greater than mine. Who wants a fat middle-aged woman with two teenagers, an ex-husband and a chronic illness?? I wonder if Bret Michaels is doing Rock of Love 3... LOL just kidding.

    -- solaroil

  2. I have two comments I'd like to make:

    1) My good friend, who is on dialysis awaiting her kidney transplant, has met a wonderful man who is also on happens.

    2) If we don't see ourselves as fabulous - why should anyone else? Face it - we are and that's all there is to it!

    Let's not shut the doors on ourselves before anyone gets a chance to knock.

  3. Thanks for your take on this. (And for the self-esteem boost!)

  4. I was 23, and had spent weeks in and out of the hospital. I'd missed Thanksgiving and Christmas as an inpatient, and felt like all my friends' lives were moving on in all these exciting ways and I was just trying to survive. It was New Year's, I felt awful, but forced myself to go out. And, as you probably know from the book, I met my husband and we were engaged 7 months later.

    Point is, even when your body feels like it's falling apart and even thinking about dating takes effort, you never know who you'll come across at just the right time :)

  5. I'm amused, don't you worry. :)

    Let me just remind you, Leslie, that you are a fabulous Chronic Babe, and there's nothing wrong with a little medical romance...

    Be well,

  6. You young gals can be that optimistic. There is a big difference between 23 and 40.