Transcript of 11th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Kelly Wiseling, Wednesday, December 9, 1998 at 2:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Kelly.
Ms. Wiseling: You must have magical powers, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: Pardon?
Ms. Wiseling: I can't believe you actually got me an appointment with CalaCare HMO. I'm very impressed.
Dr. Balis: So you did see a doctor?
Ms. Wiseling: Yes, they set me up with a general practitioner. The primary care physician referred me to a chiropractor.
Dr. Balis: A chiropractor? Really?
Ms. Wiseling: Yeah, I was surprised, too. My primary care physician said that acupuncture and chiropractic care are much more effective than western medicine when it comes to pain like mine.
Dr. Balis: I see. Is your neck better now?
Ms. Wiseling: Yes, it is. It's still a little sore and stiff, but it's much better than it was before. It's such a relief not to have that constant pain.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad to hear that.
Ms. Wiseling: Me too. At first, I thought this guy was a quack. I'd never been to a chiropractor before. When I first walked into Doctor Canaan's office, I thought, "This guy is really weird." He had an office on Chestnut Street, in the Marina District, which--as I'm sure you know--is an upscale neighborhood full of yuppies. I saw a lot of overdecorated storefronts there, but his office was something else.
Dr. Balis: How so?
Ms. Wiseling: It was...well, it was weird, like some new-age barn. Everything was made of an unfinished wood. The rooms had high ceilings and these spotlights, but everything was dimly lit.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Wiseling: And it smelled funny, too, like a musky perfume.
Dr. Balis: Incense?
Ms. Wiseling: Yeah, maybe that was it. I was put off by him too at first.
Dr. Balis: Why?
Ms. Wiseling: Doctor Canaan's very intense-looking. I thought he was mad at something, but maybe that's just the way his face is because once I started talking to him, he was very personable. He had a thick accent--some sort of European accent. I had a hard time understanding him. He was nice, though. He wrote down some things that I didn't understand, but he didn't make a big deal of my deafness. And he had a nice touch. His hands were warm. Why is it that most doctors always have cold hands? Well, at least the ones I see.
Dr. Balis: So your spine adjustment went well?
Ms. Wiseling: It startled me, especially the part where he did my neck, but I felt much better afterward. I was in such a good mood when I left that I walked home.
Dr. Balis: You walked home? From Chestnut Street? Don't you live in the Richmond District?
Ms. Wiseling: Yeah, it was a nice long walk, and the stars were bright. I cut through the Presidio.
Dr. Balis: That's not a wise thing to do, Kelly, especially at night.
Ms. Wiseling: It was okay, I was in a safe neighborhood. Besides, I really wanted to get out and walk. I hadn't had any exercise in several days because I was in so much pain.
Dr. Balis: Did your chiropractor recommend any exercises for you?
Ms. Wiseling: Yeah, he gave me a Xerox handout, but I haven't had time to read it.
Dr. Balis: Kelly...
Ms. Wiseling: I haven't had time, Doctor Balis. I barely had time to eat and sleep. Besides, I'm going to see him again today, after work.
Dr. Balis: You are?
Ms. Wiseling: Yes, he recommended that I come back for a follow-up. I'm still having pain, though not as much as before. I'm looking forward to it.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad you were able to get treatment for your neck. How was your week otherwise?
Ms. Wiseling: It was okay. The usual, you know, working a lot. Last Friday, I actually left the office at five o'clock so I could go out and do something. I went to a Christmas party at the Deaf Center with my roommates. I don't usually like to go out with them, but it was Friday night, and I didn't feel like staying home. So I thought, why not?
Dr. Balis: How was it?
Ms. Wiseling: It was okay. In many ways it's like a high school dance. I saw a lot of people I knew. When the party started, they had a woman performing this type of dance where they use ASL to interpret song lyrics. The signs are incorporated into classical and modern dance styles. The performer was very good. I had heard about her before, and that was why I wanted to come.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Wiseling: While she was performing, my stupid roommates were making fun of this guy. I now call them "Deaf and Dumb" with an emphasis on the dumb. They're like teenagers--when two or more of them get together, their collective I.Q. goes down.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. How did you respond?
Ms. Wiseling: I gave them a couple of dirty looks, but those two monkeys couldn't take a hint. The boy had a broad face, his eyes were widely-spaced, and his eyebrows grew together. He had one blue eye and one brown eye. The blue eye was a very bright blue. It was hard not to stare at it, it was very striking. He also had gray streaks in his hair; his hair was dark so the streaks stood out. Later, Angie told me he had Waardenburg's Syndrome.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. That's quite a rare genetic disorder. I've read about it in medical texts, but have never actually seen anyone who had it. Only a very small percentage of the deaf population has Waardenburg's.
Ms. Wiseling: Yes, that's what Angie said. She showed me some stuff on the Internet about Waardenburg's Syndrome after the party. It was interesting. I felt bad about not approaching him. I usually don't have a problem going up to someone, but I felt funny about saying hello to him.
Dr. Balis: Because of his appearance?
Ms. Wiseling: No, that wasn't it. He looked different, but it was actually quite attractive. I didn't want to seem like I was feeling sorry for him. Most disabled people are sensitive to that. I did feel sorry for him--he didn't join in the party, he was by himself. Angie had seen him around the campus a few time before. She said his family was new to the area.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Wiseling: For some reason, I've been thinking about him a lot. I keep remembering his eye, that one bright blue eye. I wonder if he feels isolated.
Dr. Balis: Is that how you felt when you first came to San Francisco?
Ms. Wiseling: Yes, and I still do sometimes. Even with the Deaf Center and my roommates, it was hard the first few weeks. Getting the job at SII really helped. Even if I don't talk to that many people, I like being around them.
Dr. Balis: I see. Did you enjoy the party?
Ms. Wiseling: It was okay. I liked watching the performance. I didn't stay long. That guy and my idiot roommates put me in a strange mood.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Wiseling: That Angie's a weird one. I don't think I like her.
Dr. Balis: Why do you say that?
Ms. Wiseling: My roommates said that Angie's boyfriend was a lie. She doesn't even have one. She made one up so she could seem normal. Why would anyone make up a story like that?
Dr. Balis: Any number of reasons--insecurity, wanting to seem like everyone else...
Ms. Wiseling: Yeah, but that's the sort of thing a teenage girl lies about. Angie's almost thirty. And she did something else that bugged me. She came home a little after I did that night, after the dance. I was washing dishes, and she started telling me about her day. She put her arm around me and put her hand on my ass. The way she was pressing up against me, it was like she wanted to...well, you know.
Dr. Balis: What did you do?
Ms. Wiseling: I backed away from her and went to my room.
Dr. Balis: How did Angie react?
Ms. Wiseling: She asked if she could come in, but I said no and locked the door.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Wiseling: I feel so stupid. Just a few weeks ago, I couldn't stop thinking about her. Why was I so hung up on her? She's not even that cute.
Dr. Balis: You've said that your first sexual experience with a woman--with Angie--was very emotional.
Ms. Wiseling: Yeah, it was for me. I guess that's why I was so into her. It's like I was on drugs, or drunk, or something. Now I see her and think to myself, "So what?"
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Wiseling: I feel so stupid.
Dr. Balis: Infatuation is common among people of all ages. It's not unusual to develop emotions toward someone after a single sexual encounter. You don't need to beat yourself up about it, Kelly. But I do want to caution you about having casual sex when what you truly desire is a relationship...
Ms. Wiseling: Yeah, okay.
Dr. Balis: Kelly, I'm going on vacation for the next few weeks. If you need to talk to someone in my absence, Doctor Whitestone will be filling in for me.
Ms. Wiseling: How long will you be gone?
Dr. Balis: I'll be out until the first of February.
Ms. Wiseling: February! That's almost two months.
Dr. Balis: Yes, I'll be taking an extended vacation.
Ms. Wiseling: That's one hell of a vacation. Why didn't you tell me sooner?
Dr. Balis: It's something that came up recently.
Ms. Wiseling: Is this because of what happened to your dad?
Dr. Balis: Well, I do want to spend time with my family, yes.
Ms. Wiseling: Oh, okay. Hope you have a good holiday.
Dr. Balis: Thank you, Kelly. Goodbye.
Ms. Wiseling: Bye.
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