A couple of things I wanted to to clarify:
- Orange did not, in fact, spontaneously accuse me of having a stick up my ass. She simply agreed with me when I asked whether I did.
- Although I address my patients in a formal way, I don't think my manner with them is formal. I welcome—no, encourage—their input, laugh and joke with them, pat their shoulders. A few of them routinely hug me, and a couple have kissed me. (One kissed me on the lips once. An experience I hope is never repeated.) And despite my byline, I have never actually uttered the words "That's Doctor Mama to you," except in jest.
I ended up meeting her at the hospital and staying with her the first few hours. She's doing okay, but she has a pretty scary condition, and a lot on her plate. Her husband is being a father finally (with the help of his mother), but I'm not sure it will last once she gets home. She's talking about changing jobs to decrease the stress in her life. I wish she'd change husbands instead. I've been filling in for her as much as I can at the office; one of my mothers-in-law is staying with us, so TrophyHusband has help at home ... and I'm terribly, terribly grateful that this is pretty much the extent of what I have to grumble about.