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The Disappearing Doctor

by Diane King

When my oldest son, Dion, was six years old, my husband and I took him to a child psychologist. He did some unusual things to cause us to think there was something wrong. For instance: He found a dead snake, painted it blue with water-colors, glued it on a board and put it on one of the basement steps. When I came downstairs, I stepped on it and nearly died! For some reason, Dion liked to play tricks on me and they were getting a little out of hand so to speak.

We had one appointment with a doctor in Omaha, Nebraska. I'm going to call him Dr. Everett. We made another appointment for the following week, but on the day of the scheduled visit, I got a call. A man caller said that I was supposed to meet another doctor at the Nebraska Methodist Hospital that afternoon instead of going to Dr. Everett's office. I took my mother and Dion and Scott with me.

I went to the receptionist's desk at the hospital and said, "I've got an appointment with Dr. Sloan at 2 p.m."

The lady stopped me before I could say anything else. She smiled and said, "There isn't any Dr. Sloan here."

I returned the smile and said, "Oh, well, he's a child psychologist and he's taking over for Dr. Everett. I'm to meet with him in room 16."

"Ma'am," she said, "this is a hospital. We don't have counseling sessions here. You must be mistaken. And besides, room 16 is a linen storage closet!"

I was embarrassed for not getting my information correct. I went to the waiting room and told my mother about my error. As we were leaving a tall man with an old fashioned suit came up to me. "Are you Mrs. Zessin?" he asked. "I'm Dr. Sloan."

"But the lady over there said they didn't know you and that room 16 is a storage closet", I whispered. "I'm glad the receptionist messed up and not me!"

"I'm not a staff doctor here," he said. "I'm on a special assignment." He took me into room 16. There was a desk, two chairs and a window without a curtain. He asked me and Dion many questions. He asked to speak to Dion alone. Then he called me back in.

"Mrs. Zessin", he said softly, "there is nothing wrong with your child. He's just insecure right now. He's had to move and change schools and he's left his good friends. He doesn't need a psychologist. All he needs is some attention."

He walked me and Dion out to the waiting room. He turned and left.

We waited for a while but when the doctor didn't come back, I went up to the same lady and asked to pay my bill. "I told you that room 16 is a linen closet!" she snapped. "What do you mean you saw the doctor there? You couldn't have!"

She escorted me to room 16. The desk and chairs were gone. The room was lined with shelves that held bedding and towels. I excused myself and left.

I wondered to myself, who's crazy, me or her? If I'm nuts, so is my mother. She talked to the doctor too! She saw us go in the linen closet. I sat at a desk! Not on a towel shelf! I called Dr. Everett's office the next day to inquire about the billing.

"What bill?" the lady receptionist asked. "You paid in full last visit and you missed your appointment yesterday. Where were you?"

"No, we made the appointment," I said. "Your male receptionist called me and said to go to the Nebraska Methodist Hospital."

"Nebraska Methodist?" she laughed. "What for?" Still laughing she added, "We don't even have a male receptionist!"

Dr. Sloan had to be an angel. He was never heard of again. I didn't have to pay the bill and his message was right. I believe God sent that angel for Dion.

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