Friday, January 25, 2008

I Hate The Goddamn Doctor

I thought my hatred for the doctor was just on my mind because I went to the doctor today, but then I was rereading chanchow and realized there might be other factors at work, like this post of hers.

My doctor is not a fancy doctor who you can't get in to see. My doctor will give you appointments for the next day, the same day, whenever. So that's nice. My doctor always acts surprised by the fact that I even have insurance. There are homeless people in the waiting room and a cross in the examining room, which is kind of mixed, but there's no shortage of character. They always ask me about whether I drink or smoke, to which my answers are yes and sort of, and then they ask me about drugs, to which my answer is no, and then today the guy was like "Marijuana?" in the full Spanish pronunciation, and I was like the answer is still no, but I'm not sure that he believed me.

None of that's really why I hate the doctor. I hate the doctor because I always feel simultaneously like I'm not worrying enough about my health and my various symptoms and like I'm being a ridiculous hypochondriac. I had this weird bump on my belly and at first I thought it was a pimple and would go away and then it didn't and I thought maybe I should get it checked out, so when I was at the doctor today I said something and she was like, "Oh it's just a cyst, don't worry about it, but if it gets red and starts hurting come see me at once," which manages to be simultaneously dismissive and induce obsessive cyst-tracking.

Also I hate the doctor because I hate having to track my own symptoms. I have never believed that my body will tell me if something is seriously wrong with it -- I go to the doctor to be told if something is wrong with me. (This despite the fact that mostly when I've been really sick it becomes pretty evident pretty fast.) So I go to the doctor and then the doctor asks me whether I have any pain in x part of my body and how intense is that pain and I really feel like they should just run some goddamn conclusive tests so that my subjective assessment of how I feel is not really governing the day.

If I were rich I would totally sign up for that thing where they just test you for everything. And in my fantasy world then you would know exactly what was wrong with you and what was right and you would take whatever pills were needed to correct it and that would be that. Instead, we have a situation where the doctor is like, "Do you feel pain in your upper right side?" and I say no, but now, here at home, I can feel a distinct pain in my upper right side and I feel irresponsible and stupid for being so categorical in my denials earlier.

They were drawing blood, and there seemed to be some kind of staff and equipment shortage, so the actual doctor (I say actual doctor but I think really she's some kind of intermediate stage, higher than a nurse and lower than a doctor, like an evolutionary missing link) did the blood drawing, which is unusual, and she did it without the little blood drawing table and of course she was much worse at it than the actual staff and kept apologizing and worrying that she was hurting me and when she was done she dropped the vial of blood on the floor, but fortunately it didn't break or spill or anything.


Noko Marie said...

I have this feeling mostly at the eye doctor. You're looking through lenses, and things look OK, but not perfect, and then they slip in a different trial lens and things look different, still OK, but not perfect, but in a new way, and they say, "Now is that better or worse"? I'm, like, um, I don't know, can't you just measure something and tell me what the right lenses are? What if I get the answer wrong? Will I have headaches for the next three years?

Anonymous said...

and also, they ask you, evaluating your left eye, if you can read the same line you read a minute ago with your right eye, and of course you remember the series so you know it's a 5 and not an S, but are you really seeing it, or just showing off because you remember it??

Captain Colossal said...

I do sometimes have that weirdo urge to show off at the doctor's, which is a strange and counterproductive thing to feel. And I get defensive about my overall health.

Octopus Grigori said...

I think a lot of (ok, some?) doctors see patients as cadavers that complain.