Thank you to everyone on Facebook who recommended a good therapist in New York. You’re nice people (and apparently rather troubled). I promise to look into it this week.
Today I went to my family doctor for a check-up. After the nurse took my blood, Doctor R enter the examining room and sat across from me.
“I hear you wanted to ask me something, Neil.”
“Yes, I wanted some recommendations on seeing two other professionals.”
“First, I’ve been feeling congested lately and I want to see an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor.”
“Fine. Let me send you to Doctor Grossman at NYU. He’s very good.”
“And then, I was wondering if you know… because I was thinking of going to…. well, like a therapist.”
“Is that rotator cuff still bothering you. I can send you to that physical therapist in Flushing.”
“No, not a physical therapist.”
I noticed Doctor R checking out my shoulder. I pointed my finger upwards towards my face to help him understand what type of therapy I was discussing.
“Oh, I know someone very good at Queens College,” said Doctor R. “She’s the chairman of the speech therapy department.”
“She’s a speech therapist.”
“Why would you send me to a speech therapist?” I blurted out.
“I thought that’s what you wanted.”
“Is there something wrong with the way I speak? Jesus, now I’m really paranoid. No, I’m talking about…”
I pointed my finger upwards again, this time directly at my head, as if I was about to shoot myself with my index finger. The doctor’s “speech therapy” comment made me so anxious, I couldn’t think straight or come up with the right word.
“…I’m talking about… what do you call it. I can’t think today. A head therapist. A brain therapist.”
“A psychiatrist?” he asked.
“Yes! Well, no. A psychiatrist sounds too serious. I just probably need a regular therapist. Not anyone with a fancy medical degree. To talk to about things. Someone’s who relatively cheap. But still good.”
“I see. An inexpensive therapist who’s still good.”
“Yes,” I said.
“I know of one person. But would you mind seeing a therapist who shares his office with an auto body shop on Queens Boulevard?”
Note: The previous was mostly true, except for the last line, which was thrown in at the last moment for humorous effect.