Well, here you go

By Mir
March 19, 2012

In the continuing saga of My Oh My What Exactly IS Wrong With This Chickadee Kid, Anyway… a while back one of her doctors sent us to another doctor who sent us to a third doctor. And she told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on, and so on, and… oh, wait. That’s a shampoo commercial, not what happened to us with the doctor. My mistake. (But your hair really DOES smell terrific.)

Anyway, we met with this new doctor—we’ll call him Dr. Zebra, for reasons which will make no sense to anyone but me and Chickie, who leaned over to me the moment we left his office that first time and said, “IF YOU BLOG ABOUT HIM YOU MUST CALL HIM DR. ZEBRA”—about a month ago and sat in his office and Talked About The Situation while he took copious notes. I find that all good doctors start out with taking a lot of notes which you never end up getting to see, and I strongly suspect them to be a combination of “Kilroy was here” doodles and phrases like “Holy crap this kid is a medical mess but darned if I have any idea why.” He asked both of us a lot of questions about everything that had happened so far, and her symptoms, and her medications, and then he started asking all of the standard “history” questions, like if her birth was normal and such.

“And what do you do, Mom?” he finally asked, pen poised over his clipboard, while I briefly fantasized about answering “I’m a hooker,” just to see if it would break his easy composure.

(I never actually do that, of course. It turns out that saying “I’m a writer” evinces plenty of interesting reactions, anyway, and I don’t feel quite as dirty. Still dirty, of course, but better than the alternative.)

Predictably, Dr. Zebra asked me what kind of writing I do, and I gave my standard answer about freelancing from home, some magazine work, but mostly blogging, and apparently I was the most interesting person he’d met all day.

“BLOGGING? Really?” Maybe he’s never met a blogger. Or maybe I said “blogging” but he heard “dolphin trainer.” I’m not sure. Regardless, the pen went down and he had a slew of questions for me—none of them, I don’t think, relevant to Chickadee’s condition, unless blogging often leads to offspring autoimmune dysfunction?—including a pointed request for my website address.

I don’t really like to give out my blogs to people in person. I prefer to believe that everyone who reads me lives inside the computer. That’s perfectly normal, right? You shut up.

I sidestepped the first request, and eventually we got back to, you know, discussing the child and her condition, and then we made plans to return to his office for more testing as soon as they could get it scheduled. We were about to head back to the desk to get on the schedule when he asked me, again, for the site address. So I gave him my business card, and promptly forgot about all of that.

Like I said, that was about a month ago. Chickadee and I are spending the whole day at his office today, because today is the day that she has to run through an obstacle course for a rawhide. Wait. No, that’s something we do with Licorice. Frankly I’m not entirely sure what all poor Chickadee is doing today, but I blindly agreed to it because the fact of the matter is that if someone claiming to be a doctor said to me, “If you just bring her back here, we’ll have her balance a ball on her nose and clap for some sardines and that will allow us to finally, definitively diagnose this nightmare once and for all,” I would sign up without so much as a blink. That’s what it’s come to.

So we showed up bright and early and then someone who was NOT Dr. Zebra came out to get Chickadee for her first set of tests, and at first I was surprised, a little, but then I remembered that usually Busy Doctors have underlings to do that sort of thing for them. And Dr. Zebra is clearly very busy—his office is always packed—and again, whatever they need to do, it’s all good. I don’t care who does the tests, or what the tests are, or how much Chickadee screams (kidding! there hasn’t been any screaming) (that I’ve heard), it’s fine with me.

The morning passed fairly quickly, and Chickie was an excellent sport about it all, and then we were released for a lunch break and directed to return at 1:00 for the remainder of the testing. As we were about to leave, Dr. Zebra appeared in the doorway (probably to grab another patient from the waiting room) and he spotted us.

“Hey, how’re you doing?” he asked. I said we were fine, headed out to lunch and would be back, and he said, “Very good, very good. Hey, I haven’t read about myself online, yet!” I laughed and he laughed and we left.

“WHAT THE HECK,” I said, when we got into the car. “I tell your doctor I have a blog and now he’s waiting for a post? THIS IS WHY I NEVER TELL PEOPLE.”

Chickadee couldn’t respond. She was too busy laughing at me.

Hey, Dr. Zebra? Here’s your post. I think you’re swell. Handsome, too. Now stop reading my blog and diagnose my kid, mmmkay? Thanks!


  1. Kate

    I kind of can’t imagine anything worse than being nudged with HEY WHERE’S MY POST. Wait, your child’s doctor did it, so there you go. That is worse.

    Is he called Dr. Zebra because of the “when you hear hoofbeats” adage? Or because he is a striped, hoofed mammal? I sort of hope it’s the former.

  2. Aimee

    Yeah, Dr. Zebra, I second that!

  3. Sharon

    Oh Gosh…I hope he responds! Hi Dr. Zebra…fix Chickadee OK? Thanks!

  4. Leslie

    Hi, Dr. Zebra! Please be good to Chickadee, and her Mom, too!

  5. amy

    Of all the things you every thought you’d have to go through, this was never one of them, eh? LOL!

  6. Kelly

    Haha. This made me laugh. Now everytime I see a new doctor I’m going to see if Dr. Zebra fits…

  7. Billie

    Haha! This made me laugh as well and I have to ditto Leslie’s comment.

  8. bonuela

    if it helps, i also pretend you only exist in the safe bubble of the internet. i mentioned one of your posts on my facebook and a casual acquaintance told me “i work with mir’s sister in law”. i immediately plugged my ears and commenced la-la-la ing. i am not sure what i was afraid of, but it felt all kinds of wrong to talk to someone who knows some of your offline stuff. good lord, what if she used otto’s real name? what if she had seen pictures of chickadee and monkey on the woman’s desk? it could cause the world to tilt on its axis at the very least.

    that being said. you know you can trust dr z to cure your child because if he doesn’t it will be blogged about!

  9. bonuela

    p.s. since he is a blog fan, how about showing him the old posts on chickadee’s skin issues from day one and see if he can figure out a pattern and how it relates to what is going on now?

  10. elz

    Now we know why you didn’t call him Dr. Hyena or Dr. Feral Pig b/c that probably wouldn’t go over too well! I hope Dr. Zebra is the super smartest doctor there ever was.

  11. Linda Sherwood

    I so relate to the idea that everyone who reads what I write lives inside my computer.

    When I wrote a column for the local newspaper, I was grocery shopping and the cashier recognized my name.

    I immediately freaked out and was mentally trying to recall what I had been doing and saying and what I purchased and if any of the above was horrifying because she figured out I was the one who writes the column.

    Buying tampons as a normal person? Not horrifying. Buying tampons and realizing the cashier just read about some intimate detail of my life, horrifying. :)

  12. Lucinda

    Dear Dr. Zebra,

    Please fix Chickie because we all love her and want to see her better even if we don’t know her in real life. And I’m sure you are the smarted doctor in the world and will be able to make her all better.

    Mir’s loving readers.

  13. Beth R

    Um, fix the sick and you’ll get a blog post? How’s that sound for a deal?

    I’m sorry, Mir, I shouldn’t be laughing, but it is funny.

    Here’s hoping something good comes from a day of tests other than Chickadee earning her obedience certificate!

  14. Annette

    I think that is a sign of a good doctor… One that has personal interest in his patients:)

  15. meredith

    He does sound like a good guy. I hope your daughter’s health problems can get fixed by him.

  16. Arnebya

    So, Dr. Zebra (since we all know you are reading these comments!), figure it out, okay? You know once you’re immortalized in the vastness of the intercommunicatorwebs transponder thingamajig you absolutely have to live up to the expectations of others. HAVE. TO. I do wonder, though, if you’re black w/white stripes or white w/black stripes. (I totally just stole that from Madagascar b/c it’s been on everydamnday for two weeks straight. Why, yes, yes I am ruining my toddler, thanks for asking. BACK TO DIAGNOSES!).

  17. Lou

    Hey Dr. Z! If you fix chickie you will be an instant celebrity! I’m just saying!

  18. Tracy B

    That is too funny! So, if you comment Dr. Zebra, be sure toe use Dr. Zebra as your name so we’ll know. :) Oh and fix Chickie, please! Mir is about to have a nervous breakdown and ALL of us depend on her daily. Thanks!

  19. Em

    I have definitely never seen Dr. Zebra in here. I have been meaning to ask you to defrag – it is a bit cluttered in here and would it kill you to add another hard drive, for vacationing purposes? Just because you happened to bring up the living conditions here inside your computer.

    Now that fame is in his hot little hand, I hope that it doesn’t go to his head. Time to get crackin’ and diagnose our Princess Chickie.

  20. Anna Marie

    Shout out to Dr. Zebra! Please fix Chickie! Kthxbai.

  21. Jennifer

    I know people in my real life, but it always kinds of weirds me out when they talk about it. I don’t mind if they read it; they just need to shush about it. Besides, that’s what comments are for.

    I hope this encourages him to find a nice fix for Chickie. That way he can be lauded and loved by us all.

  22. Paula

    Dr. Z, we’re totally counting on you to come through for Chickie and family! That being said, I love that you have a Doctor that shows an interest in Chickie and family. We’ve gone to the same Pediatric Group for 16 years because of just that.

  23. Nichole

    “I don’t really like to give out my blogs to people in person. I prefer to believe that everyone who reads me lives inside the computer. That’s perfectly normal, right?” <– Yes. I hope that's normal.

  24. Veronica

    I’m going to guess that Dr Horse has had no luck diagnosing your kid? (Zebras are cool. We have the coolest groups and the weirdest symptoms. Really.)

  25. laura

    I’m a hooker. AAAAAAhahahahhahahahahaha!

    Also? I felt the need to pass on the s-l-u-t song to my daughters, which provoked this response: “Thanks Mom, you’re a slut too!”. AAAAAAhahahahhahahahahaha!

  26. Frank

    Couple things… first, the doc dude now has an army after him. Hope it has the right effect.. Second.. if he comes thru, you should TOTALLY give him some face time / blog love on your other outlets. Not so sure how you will work him into that ‘thrifty shopper blog’… details. Keep the Dr Zebra moniker but give credit to the first Doc that will have earned it…

  27. Jessica

    I love that we are all computer dwellers. I mean, think about it: we all have different types of houses. Mine is one of those portable houses that I can take with me wherever I go. It’s pretty handy, you know. ;~)

  28. dad

    A Doctor not totally committed to Occam and/or Sutton is hard to find.
    When he generates a successful diagnosis I will gladly give him a pony and friend him.

    Also, the fame that would ensue and all the advertising your blog would provide would make him a supercyberdoc.

  29. Daisy

    Dr. Zebra, really. Please figure out what’s up with Chickie. Then fix it. Okay? Thanks!

  30. jodifur

    I believe that not only does no one I know in real life read my blog, no one I know in real life can find my blog. Because I don’t use my last name on line. And no one can connect the two. My fantasy world is nice.

  31. Dear Dr. Zebra

    …. Please fix Chickadee. It doesn’t sound like any fun. K? K. Thanks!

  32. kylad859

    Oprah/ Dr. Oz Mir/ Dr. Zebra
    just saying.

  33. Patty

    I thought this post would end by Dr. Zebra coming out and telling you that after he read through you archives he suddenly realized what’s been going on with Chickie.

  34. Chuck

    I think “I’m a porn film director” would be even better than the hooker reply.

  35. Bryan

    I am very happy living here in Mir’s computer. The hamster that runs around to spin the hard drive is cute and sweet. I’ve named him Chip, but since it’s your hard drive, you can call him anything you want.

    My sister talked me into abandoning my Internet Blogger Pseudonym and going as myself in front of the world. I feel a little naked.

  36. Karen

    Ooooooh Dr. Z. You asked for it.

  37. addy

    Yes it is normal. All dwellers are of the interweb world. Perfectly normal – moving on.

  38. Shanna

    I needed that laugh first thing this morning. So thank you for that. I sure do hope that Dr. Zebra can figure out what is wrong with Chickadee and get her on the road to recovery. For all the stress that you are under you still are able to make me smile, I hope that you still get a chance to smile as well. Good luck and hugs all around at your house from me.
    You are awesome and unbelievably strong to still be holding together through it all. You know, especially with having to deal with that Otto of yours. ;) Kidding Otto!
    Keep up the good work and I can’t wait for the next installment of Dr. Zebra and his critic of his first mention on the blog.

  39. Liza

    Hi Dr. Zebra —

    I hope you enjoy the nickname, and that you are motivated to upgrade it to The Heroic Dr. Zebra by figuring out what’s up with Chickadee so that her life can calm down and continue on the path towards happy young geek-teen-girl-dom, with only regular geek-girl disruptions, not so much medical drama.

  40. Chris

    Ok. I am so waiting for the comment from Dr Zebra. We are counting on you to help Chickadee!!!! (no pressure or anything)

  41. MichaelB

    Why yes I do live in your computer, and really it’s time for an upgrade! This hard drive isn’t getting any roomier you know!

    Would it kill you to clean off your monitor every once in a while? I’ll handle the cleaning on the inside, but how much puppy snot do you need on your monitor before you can’t see what’s on the display any more?

    And don’t even get me started on the dust bunnies floating around in here, and what’s with all the crumbs you’ve been dropping in the keyboard?

  42. {sue}

    I hope I’m right about why Dr. Zebra is called that. Also, he will gain lots of awesome points if he comments here! And once he figures this out, we need to get you all on Mystery Diagnosis.

  43. Anna

    Em for the win, great comment. And Patty gets a nod, because yes, I was hoping he had read all the years of comments we have read, and he had a perfectly reasonable explanation.

  44. Brigitte

    Another one hoping that Dr. Zebra had pulled off a Dr.-House-ian move by diagnosing Chickie through all the blog posts!

    And I love #41 MichaelB’s comment, except . . . I thought YOU were the one who lived in the computer!

  45. mamaspeak

    No, no, no, no….you WRITE PORN MOVIES!!!! THAT

  46. mamaspeak

    No, no, no, no….you WRITE PORN MOVIES!!!! THAT is the type of writer you are!!! (Clearly I’m totally screwed up bc that’s the first comment I came up with.

    I totally agree w/the whole, “we live in your computer,” thing. That’s how I feel about it too. In fact, I’ve been blogging less, in part, because individuals in my family have been reading my blog & I find myself self-censoring. IMO, that’s the antithesis of why I blog.
    I am praying that they quickly figure out what’s going on w/Chickie (hint, hint Dr. Z) and there’s something to treat it. I wasn’t too much older than her when I was hospitalized for the first time w/what would eventually, (14 years later,) be diagnosed as Fibromyalgia. (I lost 15 lbs in 3 days, I started at 115, so I was 5’7″ & weighed 100 lbs. It took me 6 months of working at it, to gain that weight back. (I should have such issues now.) I suspect if my mom could have articulated it, she would’ve written something much like you have over the last couple weeks.

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