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The Weekly Visit
Mrs. Bradwell was perched on the paper-lined cot. Dr. Revere had told her several times before that she was welcome to sit on the normal chair in the examining room, but she said she liked leaving a butt imprint on the paper. Dr. Revere could only blink at that.
She waved her fingers at him as he stepped inside.
“Here I am again, doctor! I just can’t seem to stay away.”
“Yes, you do have that unfortunate side effect.”
“But you see, it’s my knees, they have that terrible trembling and twitching, I just can’t help it, and it is oh-so embarrassing at card parties. Velma Winters is always saying that someone’s dentures have escaped and are click-clacking away, but it’s always my knees knocking about!”
Dr. Revere looked over the top of his glasses as he pretended to write something on his clipboard. “Yes, those symptoms seem familiar. In fact, I think you’ve recounted that story that past two times you were here.”
“And Florence Pease, well, she knows that all that clacking is me and she cackles every time she hears it. It’s dreadful!” Mrs. Bradwell smiled sweetly at Dr. Revere. “You would never cackle at me. You’re such a good doctor.”
Dr. Revere cleared his throat. “No, certainly not. But let’s talk about these symptoms. You mentioned them in your last visit and I thought the medication I prescribed would get rid of a few of them.”
“Oh, yes, the medications! I put all of them and their little pink bottles on the shelf of my cabinet were I can see them if I open the cabinet up,” she paused for a minute, quickly giving Dr. Revere a nervous smile. “And I do so love getting new medicines, in fact-”
Dr. Revere tapped his clipboard with his pen. “Hold on a minute. We need to go over this slowly. You can see the bottles if you open the cabinet door?”
“Well of course I can see the bottles when I open the door.”
“But last time you said if, not when.”
Mrs. Bradwell opened her purse and pulled out a mirror and lipstick. “What’s the difference with two tiny words?” She pursed her lips and smeared on an outrageous shade of red.
“Those two tiny words could make a big difference,” Dr. Revere said. “You do know those are daily medications?”
“I need you to look me in the eye and tell me that you take your medications every day.”
She blinked at him. “You don’t trust me?”
Dr. Revere shrugged. “Nothing personal.”
Mrs. Bradwell frowned and tightened her lips. “Well, I never.” She stared at Dr. Revere and he stared back. “I take my medications everyday.”
Dr. Revere kept looking at her.
Mrs. Bradwell frowned even more deeply. “When I open the cabinet.”
Dr. Revere smiled. “That’s better.” On his clipboard, he drew a two circles, a little one a top of a big one.
“But it’s just so hard!” Mrs. Bradwell said. “The hinges are so stiff and the handle gets stuck, you simply do not know the trouble I go through to get that thing open.”
Dr. Revere nodded. He drew fat lips and tiny stick arms on his little person.
“And really I don’t mind coming here.” Mrs. Bradwell batted her eyes. “It makes no difference to me.”
Dr. Revere drew a pointed tail and horns. “Tell me, Mrs. Bradwell, can you even tell me the names of your medications.”
“They’re in French. I can’t read French.”
“They’re not in French.”
“Some other terribly complicated language then! I don’t know, and I don’t think it really matters. After all, I trust you completely.”
Dr. Revere finished the shading around his cartoon’s wild eyes and clicked his pen. “Well, the only problem I see here is that you aren’t taking your medications. Just take them daily and not even Velma Winters can complain at your card parties.”
Mrs. Bradwell smiled at him. “Oh, you understand so well. That’s why I love coming here.”
Dr. Revere smiled without showing his teeth. “You’re welcome.” He backed out of the examining room and retreated into his own office.
He could hear Mrs. Bradwell talking to the receptionist as he closed the door. “You’d better schedule an appointment for next week, dearie. You never know when the medicine cabinet will sticky and hard to open. That thing is so temperamental.”