Saturday, March 21, 2015

In the Limelight, Part 2

Pamela Hsieh
Rehab Revolution
15 September 2010

After my interview, they struck down the set and we moved to another place in the same building, I think, to lunch together before my neurosurgeon, Dr. Yamini, was due for photographs with me (unplanned ones, but the marketing rep was certainly quick to seize the opportunity!) and filming.

The catering was rather tasty, and as everyone ate, I got to further expound on stuff I hadn’t been asked about during interview to sate other crew workers’ curiosity. And tangentially, I learned a bit more about the film production process.

Dr. Yamini was brought in shortly after lunch. I was invited out into a more picturesque part of the bridgelike hallway and photographed very, very close to my doctor. (I had never seen him this up close before, but I think for him this was among the least invasive ways he’s viewed me, as this is the man who’s literally rearranged the inside of my head before.)

It might be worth mentioning that this was also how we were reintroduced. I hadn’t seen him in ages, for natural reasons like no longer needing follow-up appointments, living away at school or being abroad, and also because I never seem to be able to get ahold of him whenever I try to visit randomly. I imagine his workday being ever so slightly more demanding than my own (I spent most of my day today in my kitchen). Ha!

So it was the scenario went something like this (excuse the lack of indents):
Photographer: Get in close! Pamela, turn slightly towards me! Two more inches!
Me (inching in): Well hello.
Dr. Yamini: Hi there. So how’ve you been?
Me (8 inches away): Very well, thanks! I’m surprised you agreed to come to this, doesn’t seem like your kind of thing.
Dr. Yamini: Well, they had to hunt me down. Called me every day.
Photographer: Closer! Now keep talking!
Me (6 in. away): (To photographer) You know, we would never naturally talk to each other this close in real life.
At which point, the photographer came to show us on his DSRL camera how far we still looked in the pictures despite us practically touching noses. So apparently this was not a weird awkward-reunion sort of prank, but actually a pro photo-taking thing.
After these uncomfortably contrived photos (which were, actually, of real conversation between us despite the weird situation), Dr. Yamini was led off to his set, a blaringly white hallway to use as a backdrop to him in his signature white coat. I sat behind layers of camera equipment and watched what went on behind the proverbial screen.

You must know at this point that Dr. Yamini has always been a rather softspoken and introverted fellow, one of his many endearing characteristics — which was exactly why I had to refrain from laughing when they asked, “What makes you proud to work at the University of Chicago Medical Center?” The first thing that came into my mind was, “He doesn’t even know the meaning of ‘proud.’ ” And indeed, I think his answer came from the part of his mind that sort of panics and creates something that sounds semi-decent, but obviously that’s what editing is for. Wink, wink.

Two things of note from his interview:
  1. Obviously, to those of us laymen without training in neurosurgery, the entire idea of fiddling around and repairing brains and spinal cords is practically an act of God. So one of the questions they asked was, “How does it feel to have saved Pamela’s life in such a way?” or something of that nature. The way he responded was totally him. I’ve always told everyone he is the least God-complex-y of all people in general, and let alone a neurosurgeon. To him, his line of work is simply just what he does — routine, careful work he’s been trained to do so well over so many years. (Um, yeah. He’s been with University of Chicago since I was eleven.)
  2. When describing my hospitalization, he mentioned the importance of family and treating family members especially in the case of pediatric care (I may have been nineteen, but my father had asked them to keep me in the children’s hospital, in favor of its more lighthearted ambience). And unprompted, he mentioned that my “father never left [my] side.” (So, I’ll take this chance now to thank my dad again for his support in my time of need — and following yesterday’s posts, this may have been due!) 
His part of the interview was interesting for me to hear, and he was also in a way lucky — the hallway in which he was set was long, so the crew was able to hide behind screens and curtains. So for him, it was probably not nearly as intimidating, though considering his personality, maybe it still was.

After his segment, my neurologist Dr. Tao was brought in for photos (again, seizing the opportunity with my still being there — like a weirdo. You must have gathered by now that to me being at UCH is not the worst thing in the world. It was only when I needed to be there that I did not want to be), and then they did a brief interview with him on his outpatient care for me, which was entertaining for me, actually. One of the crew members (or was it marketing?) found him exceedingly cute because he also has a quiet and kind quality to him (maybe that is just a trait of those who specialize in neuro?).

So what do we gather from all this? Well, I guess, if you actually know me in person and you see me on television one of these days, do not be shocked. Mainly I’m pumped because not only did I get to participate in hospital advertising and get to weird lots of people out at the U of C gym (hehe), but I also have had tons of opportunities to spread the word on “this here” blog. So it was win-win-win! (Third “win” being all the lucky folks who find out about my attempts at spreading and inspiring awareness to the masses via these articles/ads.)

Conclusions? Let’s make it happen faster! Please help me get more exposure to the blog by sharing posts you like/find helpful on any of the social media buttons below — and/or add a comment, or follow me @RehabRevolution on Twitter! Thank you!

“Normal” posting (i.e., therapy suggestions) to recommence tomorrow.

To our healing,

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