Did you ever meet a doctor who was a real A-hole? I mean, not just on Gray’s Anatomy or something, but real life? I thought so. As my brilliant dermatologist-to-the-stars says, “You know what they call the person who graduates last in medical school? Doctor.” This week I met one such so-called physician.
She came to me highly rated, from a trusted source. And she’s gotten some award from something. I was really hoping for a general doctor who could pull things together for me and find why so many separate things, mostly nerve problems, haven’t been working quite right in the past two years. But I must say, the doctor had an appointment in less than a week from when I called her. That is not SO often the case when you venture into Top Doc land. I get to her cramped office and spend half an hour filling out five pages of forms, and finally I am ushered into Dr. L’s office.
For the next fifteen, she curtly asks me questions, most of which were in the forms I had already filled out—what meds do I take, do my siblings have diseases, blah blah blah. As I have given out this information 10 million times already I try to recite it quickly, from memory. Apparently, I am looking into space, not into her unfriendly face, because she says, “Why aren’t you looking at me while you’re answering me?”
I say, slightly flustered, “Because this is upsetting and I don’t want to get upset and I want to make sure I remember everything.”
“Hmm,” she says. I tell her about one of my main problems, and even though she’s never heard of it before, she says, “Well, I can’t do anything about THAT.” I tell her about other things that I and other doctors have noted—awkward gait, vertigo, falling, arthritis that makes it painful to get up and down stairs. But also that I walk 10,000 steps a day, try to be active, try every health improvement modality I can. She says “Well, the medicine you’re on is making you gain weight. Anybody would have an awkward gait if they gained weight.” (I’m not sure that’s true, but thanks a lot, Dr. Fatter-than-I-am). I ask about the vertigo and she says, “I could send you to ten doctors and they’d all tell you you have vertigo. Some people have vertigo. It’s a disconnect with the vestibular system.” Yeah, thanks, l know it’s a disconnect with the vestibular system, lady, I didn’t hop out of the pea patch yesterday. But WHY is it happening, is it dangerous, and how do I get rid of it because it sucks is really the issue, not “some people have it.” This isn’t freaking Reddit’s “TIL.” This isn’t a PBS special. It’s my LIFE.
And then, showing she hasn’t been listening to a freaking thing I’m talking about, she starts giving me a lecture on exercise and how my body has probably gotten used to the 10,000 steps I walk every day (which is five miles and I’m sorry, that’s a hell of a lot more exercise than most people get). She looks at me as if I’m a complete liar—which is the way she’s been looking at me from the beginning anyway—until I show her my pedometer and how it showed more than 200,000 steps for the month, and this was on the 17th or so. But she just waved her hand and said I should get a treadmill, and make it go on an incline. I think, wow, you are an idiot. I just told you that it HURTS to walk on an incline because I have $#@^^ osteoarthritis. And if my body is used to walking, how is walking on a treadmill such a big change? It’s still freaking WALKING. And she says there’s nothing she can do to connect my problems, it’s all because, as she so tactfully said, I’m depressed and overweight. So basically to her, I’m completely lacking in credibility so she can give me the most generic, useless information you could give to practically everyone in These United States—try losing a few pounds. Ironically, this nasty witch has definitely made me more determined to do so—I actually joined weight watchers this week and actually MEASURED OUT the amount of nutella I was ingesting. But I haven’t been to a single other doctor who has looked at the collection of symptoms I have and has been so cavalier about them. It’s hard to say what is wrong, but I don’t think walking inside instead of outside is gong to be a lifechanger. Oh, and this harpy set me back $850 for her so called services. I just want to thank all the 13-year-olds in my junior high who used to insult me for free. That was SUCH a savings. I walked out of there feeling not only as if I were monstrously obese but as if I had been totally dismissed, ignored, treated like a Munchhausen Syndrome patient and utter faker, and with little information that was actually good for me—does she really know that it’s a good idea for people with arthritic knees to go uphill? Why is she telling me to change my medications that have been carefully prescribed by my other doctor and then say, “Don’t trust the advice of someone who isn’t your doctor.” It didn’t look as if she knew a damn thing about exercise anyway, with that fat-ass body of hers, but I not only wish I could get my money back but that I could take one of those mythical pills that could suck the memory of meeting her right out of my consciousness. Especially the part where I wrote the freaking check.
Although I think I might join a gym, just to be on the safe side.
Writing Prompt: Ever deal with an obnoxious doctor???? What happened?