Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

My husband is a chatterbox. It&'s bad enough when we do something grueling like
buying a car and he needs to impress the sales guy with what a tough negotiator
he is, but it is particularly annoying when we drive two hours to see my specialist
at the University Hospital and he spends half the $600 appointment trying to
impress her with what he knows about my somewhat rare condition. My good
friend tries to take me but she can&'t the next visit and I know he will want to
reassert himself. How can I get him to shush so she can speak? It&'s the doc I
need to hear from.

Dear Not/Patient:

You have a two-hour car ride in which to plan for a successful visit. But nothing
will work as you wish without you reminding your husband, both in the car and at
the threshold of the doctor’s door, that you are paying for you to hear her not for
her to hear him. In a marriage with established patterns, this may surprise him,
so be ready for some pushback, but make your point as strongly as you can.
In the car review the current state of your condition, recent lab tests, how you
have progressed or backslid since the last visit, and ways that you have complied
with or had problems implementing your doctor’s instructions.


Ask hubby lots of questions and let him exercise his vocal cords. Then agree on a
list of questions you want to make sure are addressed: diagnosis, prognosis, activities,
prescriptions, proscriptions and mandates for daily life, etc. Ask him to frame the
questions while you take notes, and then read it back to him. Lastly, extract a
promise that he will let you interact directly with the doctor, with the assurance
that only after all the items on the list have been addressed, and you have asked
her if there’s anything else she needs to say to you, will he begin to speak. Yes
that will be hard, but if he values your health he will comply.