… but not for any dire reasons you might imagine.
Good news: The doctor says there’s absolutely nothing wrong with me.
Bad news: I’ve gradually, reluctantly, and (as of yesterday) angrily concluded there’s something seriously wrong with the doctor.
Surprise: the test results looked good. But in answer to, “Then why am I having these symptoms?” her response was, in rote, rapid-fire delivery: “Maybe you just need to get more sleep, and an average woman should drink two liters of water a day, and be sure to eat three healthy meals every day with healthy snacks in between. And keep up the good work. I’ll see you in a year.”
The hell you will, woman.
On the surface, her departing summary of Ladies Magazine Wisdom 101 sounds like an evasive way of telling me, “It’s all in your head, Cupcake.”
If that’s what she meant, I’d have rather she come right out and say it.
It’s worse than that, though. Because in the five or six minutes she’d been talking at me, she’d made such a series of ignorant errors that I was wondering what on earth was going on. She didn’t know what was in my records, despite having my file in hand. She didn’t remember my answers to questions she’d asked me just last week. She clearly didn’t recall the symptoms I’d come in for. She had forgotten to order a relevant blood test. Then at the end of the appointment, she shook my hand and said, “See you in a year” — twice within about 30 seconds, seemingly without realizing she’d already done so.
Alzheimers? This is a woman about 40 years old.
When I first visited, 20 months ago, I was thrilled with her. She was new in town and before she arrived our small-town doctor pickins had been slim. But I gradually became disillusioned. She didn’t like to be questioned. Her advice seemed rote, memorized, conventional, shallow. If I resisted a recommendation, she’d respond either with snappishness or by pulling out a tragic anecdote about some person (with problems not resembling mine) who didn’t follow his doctor’s recommendations … and died!
Before yesterday, I had already become wary. But she was still the best our town had to offer.
After yesterday, I shudder to think I ever put myself into the hands of someone so negligent and unthinking.
At least I now have test results to take to some other doc. But that doc will have to be out of town, probably in the (heaven forbid) actual Big City far away where I never want to go as long as I live.
And the plain fact is that I hate doctors. And for good reason. I’ve spent most of my adult life successfully avoiding them. But during my younger years when I followed the conventional recommendations, and now that I’ve been forced into their presence again, I’ve had way more bad experiences than good ones.
I know there are competent, caring physicians out there. But I have never seen such a consistent combination of incompetence and arrogance in any profession.
I know I have to try another doc — perhaps a naturopath as a friend suggested, a doctor trained to consider the whole person and not just look at conventional numbers and spout conventional wisdom.
But after being cheerily told to eat healthy snacks by a doctor who had clearly forgotten the potentially ominous symptoms I’d described to her — and who didn’t care about those symptoms solely because the numbers on a piece of paper were all that mattered — well, I’m done for the moment.
I’ll have to work myself up to finding another doctor. But as a profession, they are so bad and so damned superior in their bloody ignorance that right now I’d rather go to some guy who’d rattle bones over my head or search for the source of my problem in chicken entrails than subject myself to another “medical expert.”
Or I’d rather happily believe “It’s all in your head, Cupcake” if by so deluding myself I could escape ever having to deal with these creatures again.