Things that are Relatively True –or- Lies at the Doctor’s Office
LIES NURSES TELL YOU
The doctor will be in to see you in a moment.
What she means: Now that you’ve waited in the waiting room, make yourself comfortable in this room where you will surely wait for thirty more minutes. Feel free to lay back on this extremely flimsy paper, be sure to peruse the magazines other sickly people have touched, and please have the decency to wipe the drool from your face when the doctor comes in and wakes you up.
This shot will be in your hip.
What she means: This shot will be in your butt.
Regarding above shot – This medicine is pretty thick, that’s why it’s taking so long to inject.
What she means: This shot is made of nearly solidified poison and your butt will now hurt worse than your throat ever did.
You may have gathered that I visited the doctor today. I don’t like going to the doctor. As you might have suspected if you know me, it’s not for the normal reasons. My reluctance to visit the doctor springs from two deep-seated fears.
1. Going to the doctor’s office means admitting I have lost. And when I say “I”, clearly I mean my immune system. I hate losing.
2. I don’t like admitting I am in pain, so when I do (i.e. going to the doctor’s office), I am terrified that my symptoms will immediately go away, my germs will take a hike and the doctor will look at me skeptically and tell me there’s nothing wrong with me. And I will feel like a baby.
It’s clear that I have some issues. I blame number one on the fact that I am the oldest kid in a family of Type A personalities. I blame number two on my friends.
There were two embarrassing circumstances involving visits to the ER that played out a bit like number two, one in high school and one in college. They remind me of an episode of Arrested Development, in which GOB (Will Arnett) and a woman (Amy Pohler) end up married in Vegas “through a series of escalating dares”. Only in my case I ended up in the ER after a series of escalating bouts of paranoia and WebMD diagnoses.
Once, in high school, I had sudden fever and aches while my parents were out of town. Thanks to the slip of paper with the standard TSS warning in every tampon box and a phone conversation with my best friend, I ended up at the hospital. While living in the dorms at ACU, I had sharp, persistent pain in my lower abdomen (on the side where the appendix is) and at the time I was rooming with a bonafide WebMD pro. I ended up in the ER at 3am with another one of my best friends and her boyfriend on his birthday. Not sure if he ever forgave me for that. Both times I felt fine by the time the doctors came to look at me (hours later, as any passerby could tell there was nothing wrong with me) only to find out that I had a virus and probably gas, respectively. Mor ti fied.
So today when my strep test came back positive, it took every thing in me not to leap down from that bench with flimsy paper and do a victory dance, as if I needed to tell Doc “I told you so!” What kinds of professionals do I need to talk to about this?
And anyway, while on the subject of half-truths, here’s one I told my nurse today:
My diet is “good” to “excellent”.
She asked me to rate my diet from “poor” (Yes! We’re poor! Oh wait, not what you mean? Ok.) to “fair” to “good” to “excellent” to “vegetarian”. Not sure how vegetarian made it above excellent, as I remember eating a lot of French fries while I was a “vegetarian”, but I digress. Aaaaanyway this is how I rewarded myself after hobbling out of the office 1 1/2 hours after my scheduled appointment time. Nothing like washing down some high-fructose corn syrup with some high-fructose corn syrup.