13 September, 2005

Doctors Hate Sick People

Okay. That was downright bitchy, wasn't it?

Doctors have been much on my mind this last year. To me they're like a vegetarian restaurant. You are glad they're around, you know it's good for you to have them, but you hate to actually go and spend your money there. (Sorry, Dan & Holly.)

Every woman has a horror story about her "Annual Visit", and most men have had to turn their head and cough at some point. I've had gynos remark about the level of my sexual desirability, all while having a greased gloved hand shoved up my nethers. From recent conversations with other women, I know I'm not alone in this. I've had a doctor tell me that I might feel better if I got laid. Okay. He was a doctor so he said "have intercourse". Either way, if you can't scrawl it on a perscription pad you best keep it to yourself. Especially when talking to a sixteen year old girl.

Sharon and I were discussing doctors last week and I shared my opinion with her. After the events of this week and the latest kidney stone, I'm sharing them with myself in writing so that I don't get very upset.

I come from a family of doctors. I wanted to be one, until my D in Algebra convinced me otherwise. (Yes, I retook the class to get a B+, but still...) Let me tell you what I know to be true.

If you can make it through college, getting all As in hardcore science classes odds are you are not only smart, but rarely sick.

If you can make it through med school, where you often don't sleep for 72 hours straight, you are not only smart, but have a great immune system that bears up under pressure. And you're rarely sick.

If you can make it through internship and residency, where you often work without sleep for 48 hours at a time, surrounded by gravely ill people and all manner of disease, you are a person who is able to rarely be sick. And you start to see yourself as superhuman. In some ways you are. Everyone else gets colds, flu, migraines and cramps. You don't.

And you start to slightly look down on sick people. Sure, they're your bread and butter, but they're not as Super as you, in all your Nietszchian ability to remain untouched by God, germs and life.

Even if you don't look down on them, if you retain your ability to see them as more than an insurance card-carrying sack of germy phlegm, you don't fully understand. Odds are you don't get what it's like to be debilitated by disease.

I know I'm generalising here, and I know that I'm cranky after talking to the nurse at my own doctor's office.

But still. There it is.

My rules for finding a sympathetic doctor:

1. Try to find one whose had a history of illness in their family. Doctors who grew up with a sickly mother or sibling are usually much better at understanding.

2. Never go to a urologist who hasn't had a kidney stone.

3. Always have a sense of humour. It jars their reality a little bit.


At 1:04 PM, September 13, 2005, Blogger HUCK said...

Try being married to a Nurse Practitioner...

Of course, she is never sick, and when I am, I might as well be the actual disease that I am harboring.

You may have hit on a new topic for a daytime talkshow.

Hey... what are you watching right now?

At 1:23 PM, September 13, 2005, Anonymous brittney said...

Either way, if you can't scrawl it on a perscription pad you best keep it to yourself

Better living through chemistry...

At 1:36 PM, September 13, 2005, Blogger Aunt Lydia said...

I wholeheartedly agree. My rule for finding a sypathetic doctor is to find one with two X cromosomes. While this isn't foolproof, I have better luck with girl docs.

At 1:36 PM, September 13, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

I've had all types of things written on a prescription pad, including "lose 40 lbs". Then again, that WAS my uncle.

When my grandma retired from medicine I got all of her old useless perscription pads. They should have been destroyed, but somehow I got them. I had the most fun making up strange prescriptions for my brother and sister.

"Don't Talk For A Whole Day"

"Watch 3 hours of TV"

Probably a good thing I didn't go to med school.

At 1:38 PM, September 13, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Lydia, you may have hit on something.

I've never gone to a female GP or fam prac. Something tells me that having a period just might make you more sympathetic.


I am watching myself be destroyed by the Hive in Alpha Centauri.

At 4:36 PM, September 13, 2005, Blogger Sharon Cobb said...

Hi there,

I am so sorry about your stone! UGH. Those are sooooo painful.

Try my GYN Doc Bruce B. His former wife had lupus, so maybe that is why he is so compassionate.

I had the same thinking as Lydia, and got my first female Internist. She seems okay, but not very warm, so it may be more of a Doctor thing than a gender thing.

At 5:44 PM, September 13, 2005, Anonymous Sarcastro said...

I, too, have better luck with girl docs.

You don't want someone with Man-Hands doing your prostate exam.

At 5:55 PM, September 13, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Speak for yourself.

I'm sure there are big fans of this who would disagree.

Personally, all I can say is ....


At 6:04 PM, September 13, 2005, Anonymous Sarcastro said...

You can take the fist, I'll stick with a finger.

A female Army doctor conducted my pre-induction physical. She had hands like a catcher's mitt.

At 6:14 PM, September 13, 2005, Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

When I was diagnosed with chronic headaches a few weeks back the doctor simply recommended that I read a book called Cure Your Headache. He just wrote that title on his little prescription pad and gave it to me. Mrs. Camino got home and saw it and then held it up and said, "Wasn't that what he was supposed to do?"

At 6:24 PM, September 13, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

That's when you need a patient's perscription pad that says "get bent, Doc."

Whatever happened to the Camino Inferma Cabesa?

Sinuses or Liquor? We never did hear the end of that story.


Sar, she was just getting you used to being screwed by Uncle Sam. [insert drum riff here]

At 7:56 AM, September 14, 2005, Blogger Michael said...

Wait....a doctor at told you at the age of 16 you needed to get you some?!?

At 12:07 PM, September 14, 2005, Blogger melusina said...

Yes, well try having a doctor husband, a doctor mother-in-law, a doctor father-in-law, a doctor brother-in-law, and a doctor sister-in-law.

And the doctor husband keeps bringing home germs from the hospital and making ME sick!

On the whole, the doctors I have seen here in Greece seem more sympathetic. They take more time with me and pay more attention to what I say. Of course, doctors here probably don't want to piss off the relatives of other doctors.


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