I have somehow become entirely conditioned to believe that visiting the doctor will make me feel better. I'm not sure how this happened. As I reflect on my experience with doctors I realize that such belief has received very little positive reinforcement. This is in no way a negative commentary on doctors. I know that their medical expertise and advice have led to my eventual recovery on multiple occasions. But, while it has never happened, I have come to believe that a trip to a doctor’s office will result in the immediate cessation of ailment.
My doctor has told me that he has done everything he can for me, that it is normal (and somehow healthy) for me to feel awful, and that pregnancy is supposed to be uncomfortable. Even still, when I am feeling particularly miserable, I find myself looking at the calendar and counting the days until my next doctor appointment and, despite my knowledge to the contrary, believing that it is a magical day on which I will suddenly feel better.
While not a single trip to an obstetrician has been able to fulfill my irrational belief, last month’s visit was at least somewhat vindicating. As we were sitting in the waiting room I mentioned to the Texan that our baby had the hiccups. He apparently had never heard of this before, and insisted that it couldn’t be true. Later, while the doctor was listening to the baby’s heartbeat he mentioned that the baby had hiccups. And while I still felt just as nauseated as I had when we arrived, I was thoroughly delighted to declare a professionally endorsed “I told you so.”