Sometime during the first year of his residency Dr. B. high fived me in hallway of the mental health department where we both work. Dr. B. is a favorite among the staff, and is an all around great guy. After we high fived in greeting I proposed to him, “Let’s high-five-fake-low” – a move my brother taught me in adolescence. With the latter, the hands reach up to high five, but continue downward and slap together near the greeters’ hips.
Dr. B. is in his last year of residency, and high-five-fake-low is our usual greeting. We’ll make eye contact in the hall way, walk towards each other without speaking, then pause when we are standing next to each other to complete the salutation. Usually we stop and score ourselves, as if we have just completed an Olympic event. The scoring depends on how much of our hands connected and the sound they made. Colleagues have observed our greeting, and expressed a desire to also have a special “handshake” with Dr. B.
This greeting with Dr. B. is a small way that I brighten my day. I hope it brightens his too. When we live with chronic illness, we need to seek out opportunities for fun in order to balance out our daily struggles and have as good a day as possible despite our issues.