I have a doctor that I have seen frequently over the last 12 years. We know each other well. We’ve become familiar enough with each other that we’ve teased each other on occasion. We even have a mild crush on each other, something my husband knows (actually hubby says it’s a “major crush”, especially on my part), so this is not some major confession here. But there was one time when my doctor and I really pushed each other’s buttons on something.
I guess it was maybe four years or more ago when we had a major “disagreement” on the topic of our ages. My doctor was probably 68 or 69 years old at the time. I was around 42. I have absolutely no recollection of what had been said to motivate the debate, but my doctor was the one that started it. Almost out of the blue, he looked at me and with a teasing declaration said “Cindy, you’re old enough to be a grandmother!”
Boom! A look of shock covered my face, then a few seconds of silence as my mind whirled. “What? A grandmother?!” I exclaimed. Then I thought about it briefly again and said, more calmly, “Well, I guess if I do the math it’s certainly possible.”
Why did he say such a thing? Keep in mind that I don’t have children and never really thought about having children. Then with a burst of playful revenge I pointed straight at him (full arm out) and loudly said “Well, you’re old enough to be a great grandfather!”
“No!” he barked gruffly.
“YES!” I retorted, pointing at him again with full are outstretched.
“That’s not possible”, he said in a crisp manner.
“What do you mean it’s not possible?” I asked in disbelief.
“My grandchildren are too young to have kids.”
“Well, I don’t even have kids!” I countered.
Then silence again broke and that seemed to end the conversation. Honestly, it was quite peculiar. The session ended and I went home, and obviously played the conversation in my head a few times. I wondered if maybe he did, too. Later I would learn that he did, indeed.
I saw this doctor again maybe two to three weeks later. When we both sat down we had shit eating grins on our faces. We went through the standard procedure of me describing my health situation and him asking questions. Then with great mischief, I started it up again.
“Dr. R, I’m sorry about what I said last time. You don’t even seem old enough to be a grandfather, in my opinion.”
“No…”, he said with a wink. “Actually, if you really do the math I guess it is even possible for me to be a great great grandfather, if I was really young, and my kids were young…you know?”
I chuckled at that. “I guess that is true, Dr. R, but know that I’m still only old enough to be a grandmother.” Big Cheshire grin.
The above was the end of that conversation about age, and was yet another sign that we both had some transference and counter-transference issues to work through. But he is a professional and ethical man. He and I have only had a couple of flirtatious encounters (lie), but I continue having my sweet little affection for him (true), but I hold my tongue (for the most part). Now, we just get to the patient-doctor business at hand, but usually with a sweet smile for each other.
My doctor is an amazingly caring and sweet man. His handsomeness and charm must affect many of his female patients. He’s a towering figure at almost 6’7” tall. He listens to me carefully with great interest. He has helped me feel well after years of struggle. I believe he is the Bee’s Knees, and he definitely still knows it. And surely likes it. Again, I imagine I’m not the only one with a crush on him, but perhaps I’m among the younger ones. [Hmm? Actually, I don’t know that for sure. Maybe some are even younger!] Transference and counter-transference in patient-doctor relationships are common, both positive and negative types. Dr. Sigmund Freud described it in many writings and wasn’t immune from it himself.