I avoid doctors. I avoid needles. And I try to avoid doing anything that causes me to need either one, like breaking my leg or stepping on rusty nails or developing an IV drug habit.
Unfortunately, there does come a time where one can be forced into the doctor’s office, at which point they inevitably discover that a) you have been avoiding medical attention for years; b) you have a list of ailments, but don’t want to discuss them; and c) you have no idea when your last tetanus shot was. “Sometime in the 90’s” is – apparently – not a valid answer.
A few weeks ago, I had occasion to visit the doc, but first I had to find one. My insurance had changed since last time I sought medical attention. If I’d had my psychic with me on this journey to find a doc, it may have been easier to pick out one that’s right for me, but I was forced to rely on criteria I just invented.
First criterion: is their office close by? I believe in decreasing stress by traveling the shortest distance possible.
Second criterion: are they female? No offense to male docs, but I don’t want to discuss females issues with you, like the fact that I might cry at a Hallmark commercial or how bad cramps can be because let’s face it – you don’t REALLY know, do you.
Third criterion: are they young? This is a tricky one. If you get an older one, they’ve been around the block, seen it all, and don’t get too excited if you carry a few extra pounds.
On the other hand, they die. Then you have to choose another one using your criteria.
If you go with a younger doctor, they know all the latest and greatest since they are more recently graduated.
On the other hand, they tend to get a little excited over things like slightly elevated blood pressure (white coat syndrome, people!) and not excited enough that age has brought an enormous amount of hair growth on my, ahem, chin. Because let’s face it – they don’t REALLY know what’s that like, do they.
Also, I have reached an age where I am now older than the young ones. (what?).
Fourth criterion: there isn’t one. Now I just have to randomly choose from my list.
So I did and I met Dr. Lori. Not only did I get to discuss the weight issues I’ve been battling for as long as she’s been on this planet – yes I have tried it all, doc, except that whole “drink your own urine and lose weight” thing – I got to talk about things that involve needles, like tetanus shots that now come with a chaser of pertussis because whooping cough got tired of being invisible and has returned with a vengeance.
And then the talking stopped and the needling started.
A week later when I went in for a follow-up visit, I pointed out to the doc that I still have a huge discolored bump on my arm from that damn shot. She says well, at least you have a good immune system heh heh heh.
I showed it to the phlebotomist. She said “OMG it’s hot to the touch and hard as a rock. I can’t believe it a week later. That’s kind of weird. Put a compress on it.”
I showed it to the other nurse. She said “Wow, I can’t believe it. Put a heating pad on it. Oh, and are you allergic to flu shots?” Do you mean emotionally, because YES. YES I AM.
Okay, she says, now don’t tense up. We don’t want an enormous discolored flame-hot bump on your arm for five more weeks, do we.
No. We don’t.
Copyright © 2010 Melody Jones