A patient imagines a conversation with Alexa

When Hubby isn’t around to act as a sounding board, when I’m not feeling well, I talk to my dog.  She sometimes gets a fearful, tearful earful.  I think if I could channel her thoughts to Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant, our conversation might go something like this:

Me: Alexa, it took seven days of seeing dentists for someone to listen to me.

Alexa: I didn’t know you were a 7th Day Adventist.

Me: No, seven dentists.

Alexa Oh, I misunderstood. That’s why communication is so important in medical care, isn’t it?

Me: I’ve had knee surgeries, sometimes feeling like I didn’t have a leg to stand on.

Alexa: But you did. You were able to chase your mom down the street, when she would wander due to Alzheimer’s. You didn’t have time to wonder or ponder why she would wander. You just had to shake a leg, as your dad would say, and go make sure that your mom was safe.

Me:  I had to see my doctor on my birthday last year, for an uncomfortable procedure.

Alexa: Aren’t you glad there’s a doc there to help, so you could be around to celebrate yet another year. That’s a nice birthday present.

Me: I have a scar on my knee from surgery.

Alexa: Did it define you?

Me: No.

Alexa: Moving on. And aren’t you glad you can move?

Me: I loved macadamia nuts. It reminded me of Hawaii., but I became allergic to them. One cookie showed that.

Alexa: You’re one smart cookie to then see a doctor who prescribed an EpiPen and to pen this post, giving others some insight, and maybe making them feel less alone if they have medical issues. You have an EpiPen and a pen to write, right? What more do you need?

Me: Thanks, but there’s more. I’ve had two sinus surgeries, yet I’m plagued with sinus infections. The X-ray showed that I have sinuses.

Alexa: Your hubby always told you that you were thick-headed.

Me: No one likes a smart aleck, Alexa.

Alexa: Sorry.

Me: You know, I have scoliosis.

Alexa: And you married a man who always has your back.

Me: I have Schatzki’s ring, fibrous tissue in my throat, that has to be dilated every so often.

Alexa: You always wanted a ring.

Me: Speaking of which, I got allergic to metal.

Alexa: But you still have mettle, inner fortitude. Which is more important in the long run? (Even if you’re not one to have a long run.)

Me: I always thought I’d be like the nursery rhyme, “Jack be Nimble,” but I’m more like “Humpty Dumpty.”

Alexa: First of all, there’s no wall (from which to fall). Secondly, not only are you an intact egg, but a good egg to boot.

Me: Thanks, Alexa.

Dog: Woof woof.

Me: Thanks, Pooch.

R. Lynn Barnett is the author of What Patients Want: Anecdotes and Advice and My Mother has Alzheimer’s and My Dog Has Tapeworms:  A Caregiver’s Tale. She can be reached on Twitter @rlynnbarnett1.

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

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