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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Doctors of Death or How I Absolutely LOATHE Going to the Dr.'s Office

Yes.  I know.  This isn't anything new for me.  I have ranted upon this subject before.  I don't like doctors of the medical variety.  Medical doctors don't like me.  Doctors and me do not mix.  They expect things from me I don't want to give.  I expect them to not say anything about my weight.  We don't mesh very well.  Usually things go downhill in a speedily fashion that has people lurching for their smart phones so they can post it on YouTube as fast as they can.

I have a doctor now who is my general practitioner guy.  I'll call him Dr. T.  Dr. T. doesn't bug me about the weight and I don't lie to him.  I don't say, "But I've been eating carrots and cabbage for three years straight and I haven't lost a pound."  I don't say, "I don't understand since I just ran the Boston Marathon last week and I was third place."  I don't say, "But I'm not really fat, I'm just big-boned."  (That one always makes me laugh.  Lots of people with big bones on this planet.)  I don't tell him the big whoppers.  He doesn't bug me about the 'W' word.  We have a tacit agreement.  I enjoy that.
So when I have to go, like to repeat my blood work, and run into women like in 'Trip to the Dr's Office or How I Spent Time in HELL with a Woman Who Could Outcomplain Me Any Day of the Week,' or I have to listen to a lecture from eminent medical professionals, I'm not happy.  Allow me to clarify.  It makes me want to NOT go to the doctor anymore, ever again and with never on top like a big fat red cherry.  HIM, to whom I'm married, often has to threaten me when I put off going to the doctor.

About a week and half ago I got a head cold.  (So I thought.)  But it never got really bad.  At least, not until about five days later and it wasn't a cold but a sinus infection.  Poor HIM, I woke myself up snoring, so I know HIM wasn't sleeping peacefully either.  I sounded like a freight train on crack that was crashing through a stadium full of junkies.  But I hung tough.  I waited.  I waited.  I knew that if I could just tough it out then I would get well and thus AVOID the dreaded trip to THEM, the medical professionals of DOOM.  Then HIM realized I was running a fever.  And I sat down one evening and volunteered, "I think I need to go to the doctor tomorrow."  Naturally, HIM was concerned that I was dying since I very rarely volunteer to such psychological torture.

The next day HIM even made the appointment because he thought I might back out.  (HIM cut me off at the knees in a very clever coupe detat.)  Off I went.  La-de-dah.  The wait wasn't long.  I got weighed and I hissed at the scale liberally.  The nurse took my stats, jotted a note or two down, and told me Dr. T. would be in soon.  A few minutes later in walks someone.  Obviously she is NOT Dr. T.  She is about twenty-eight years old, lily white, and as perky as Kyle the Flight Attendant.  Excuse me, **KYLE** the Flight Attendant.  She tells me her name although I was sick enough that I didn't really care and says she's on a student program and can she speak with me first.

I was less than enamored, but I didn't have anything pressing.  So the student doc goes through pretty much what the doctor does.  She talks to me.  I tell her sinus infection.  She asks about my symptoms.  I tell her sinus infection.  She asks about if I'm achy all over.  I said I'd gotten over my first heartbreak decades before.  She doesn't have a sense of humor, which is a damn shame.  She rechecks my vitals, shoves a tongue depressor down my throat.  (I believe she might have mistaken me for the woman who starred in 'Deep Throat.')  She listens to my lungs and then goes to check my records.

Here comes the part where I start to get irritated.  (As I often do, especially when I'm sick and spending time in a place that I actively dislike and get charged an extraordinary rate for it as well.  Hell, I get irritated when I'm feeling good, too, but that isn't the point in this story.)  "I see you're a diabetic," she says.  "Do you check your blood sugar every day?"

"Borderline," I say.  "Dr. T. checks it every 3-6 months."

But really, here's the part.  THE PART that chaffed my ass raw.  The student doc says in this sort of chipper-oh-how-can-I-not-say-it? tone of voice, "Have you tried losing weight?"

There were so many responses that whirled in my teeny tiny brain that I think I short circuited for a moment trying to figure out which one was most appropriate and wouldn't get me arrested.  I briefly considered asking her at which school in South America did she do her medical training.  Then I pondered asking her if she really thought I had a weight problem.  (It's hard to do that with a straight face.)  But what finally came out, after she obviously thought I had flaked out on her, was an irritable, "What does that have to do with a sinus infection?"

I get defensive about my weight.  (That's putting it mildly.)  I exercise.  I try to cut back.  I haven't been doing as good lately.  I yoyo.  I've lost as much as a 100 pounds once.  I've been insulted over my weight.  I'll never forget the one doctor who told me, "You know, overweight people get sick more often."  So I go into the doctor's office with a chip on my shoulder.  Someone should gag me before I go in and force me to write all my responses.  It might work out better in the long run.

Anyhoo, Student Doctor Girl attempted to volley that one out of the court with some convenient medical talk about statistical averages about illness and obesity.  I countered with, "So, if I was skinny, I wouldn't have gotten a sinus infection?"  (OMFG!  How could I have missed out on that one?  All these years, the skinny people on Earth have been keeping this secret from the fatties!  They never really get sick.  Only fat people get sick.  Only fat people get colds, sinus infections, and other illnesses.  The skinny people have been pretending.  Fat People!  Listen to me!  Time to rise up against skinny tyranny and revolt against skinny people everyone!  Make them eat Ben & Jerry's by the gallon until they pork out!  Make them eat the fattest burger in fast food!  (Incidentally, that's Wendy's Triple Baconator with 1,350 calories, 90 g fat (40 g saturated, 3.5 g trans), and 2,780 mg sodium).  Here's a picture because I can't believe anyone can eat this unless they're sharing it with two other people, and that's coming from a fat woman who knows.
(Insert diabolical mad scientist laughter here.))  (Can I mention that I've never actually eaten one of those?)

The Wendy's Triple Baconator
Well, the long and short of it, was that by the time Student Doctor Girl was done in my room, the shine on her was a little dulled.  She had met FAT Woman and she had lost.  Not only had Student Doctor Girl failed to convince FAT Woman that she was a drag on all things medical and that she was an unproductive fat member of society, but Student Doctor Girl had not come away with her usual feelings of smug skinny superiority.  (I secretly placed Ben & Jerry's in her lab coat pocket to make her weak.  It was Cherry Garcia, followed by Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough in the other pocket.)

Then Dr. T. came in and said, "Thanks for talking with the student doc," to which I responded, "No problem, except maybe the sinus infection."  And of course, it was a sinus infection.  I could have saved them all a lot of time and trouble if they would have just listened to me.  What can I say?  (That I haven't already ranted about?)


Anonymous said...

I changed my primary care physician partly because she looked too glamorous, which made me feel even more frumpy. There she was in her royal skinnyness, with the hair, the nails, the legs and the high heels. She's 15 years younger than I am and always made me feel fat by comparison. She was clueless, always making me feel like any and all of my problems were in my head or due to my lack of self control. Thank you for making me feel much better!

P.s., I now have a male PCP who's my age, not so perfect looking, and empathetic - I am much happier.

Carwoo said...

Gotta love free enterprise and the ability to change docs if you wanna.