Friday, June 17, 2011

the thing...

I went to see the Doctor yesterday. First thing he does is look at my face and says, "Does that thing bother you?"  I look at him and say, "No it doesn't bother me." I think to myself, "Should the thing bother me? He has only seen me at least 25 times. Does he need to make a little extra cash out of me for a thing removal?

Here it is under my lower lip... the thing --

the thing

The hair you see is from my head. My facial hair is down to a dull roar these days. ;-) But there it is. There I am warts and all. I don't think it is a wart, but you get what I am saying. I am not very much into vanity. I have some make-up that I used once, since I bought it four or five months ago. I get a hair cut every once in awhile, and I am thinking about letting my hair just gray in naturally with my dark brown hair. One less consumer of dark brown toxic waste, I figure.

Back to that Doctor. After we are done discussing the thing I tell him about my knees. I tell him they have been bothering me since my twenties (I'm in my late forties) and that they have been really bothering me lately. Swelling and.... He stops me there and yells to somebody to x-ray both knees. OK great. I will see what is up. I have already discussed with him at previous appointments about my weakness and numbness in my hands, my back, blah-dee-da, which I am sure he doesn't remember. I also have brought up the possibility of Rheumatoid Arthritis (I had an Aunt who had it) but he said even if I had it there was nothing I could do but manage the pain.

He certainly never reads my chart. It is always like I am seeing him for the first time. He kept calling me Rueshell (like it was my first name). I didn't bother correcting him. After sometime, I meet him in his office. He throws the x-rays up in the light box on the wall and says, "arthritis" throws the other x-ray up "here too. He speaks to me in a way that makes me feel like I have hysterical woman syndrome, or I like I am looking for a fix of Oxycontin. "Take Ibuprofen three times a day for a week, then stop and use it when you are in pain." I say, "My knees make a pop...." He interrupts, and says "Of course it hurts!" "Arthritis hurts!" I give up and just shake my head in agreement, thinking about yet again, trying to find a physician that sees me as a whole person. I do get my prescriptions filled. But I have to tell him, one by one what I take, while he talks to his computer about error codes. I repeat myself a few times. Later, at the pharmacy, I find out he has forgotten the whatever milligram Ibuprofen tablets he said he was prescribing me. Whatever. Before I leave his office, I am cringing inside and remind him that I need to get a recheck on my right breast. They found a thing there and want to watch it. I tell him that they told me (I have the paper) that they want to do a mammogram and an ultrasound to compare the thing from six months ago. No, I am not taking a picture of that thing and posting it here! ha-ha! He says I don't need both (not reading my chart) so I refresh his memory, "No, they told me in six months I need both a mammogram and a sonogram to recheck. He says OK then you need to schedule one. I said "I need a referral." At this point I scream inside my head: DEAR BABY JESUS HELP ME! No disrespect, I was just asking for some extreme pure and divine intervention. So he hands me what he hand me and tells me to come back in September. I go to the receptionist's desk. She starts asking me about my breast, loud enough for the whole waiting room to hear. I felt like just lifting my shirt up and saying "here, have a look." She calls to make my appointment and tells the lady I have been there before and proceeds to spell my last name incorrectly. I say nothing. She hands me the referral and I leave. A three hour tour.

I am not mad at Doctors. My step-dad is one, and my Mom is a midwife. Well, they are both retired now. But I do know what good care is. If I have to work that hard to get my name right, I don't think I should put my trust in any sort of care. I wish I had my old Doctor, Doris.  I gave her one of my paintings when I moved. She LOVED it and told me she wanted to be on the guest list of my first Art Gallery Opening. She saw me through quite a bit.

Anyway. My insurance company got ripped off. But I need to get the mammogram and sonogram done, so I need to follow through and get 'er done.

One thing I know, I have been healed of many ailments. Self healed, here in the mountains. It has knocked quite a bit of inner turmoil right out, and my body has responded favorably. Except for these darn knees. But I walk up and down the hill, visualizing my legs getting stronger, and as I milk my goat I visualize my hands healing. A natural daily farm physical therapy, where I am the therapist. My kids, my Rusty, my land, my animals and myself are a force that keeps me up and going. I am too young for all of this sick business.

Maybe the thing will someday just fall off my face. :-)

Thanks goes out to Eden, from Edenland for the close-up picture. She is so brave with her photos and never fails to crack me up. She takes pictures of herself in the most precarious situations. She is brave with the camera. So she has inspired me to post an enlarged photo of the thing. I dedicate the photo to her.

Well, out to weed the garden. I am sure it is much more pleasant than it was earlier, in the heat of the afternoon.



  1. You are absolutely right. Doctors [and nurses] too many times fail to recognize that there is a real live person sitting in front of them. A person with concerns and fears. We even call those concerns 'complaints'. How did it come to be that a medical problem is called a 'complaint' anyway?
    I work in an ER and can tell you first hand that there are sooo many rules and 'protocols' that we have to follow that sometimes the patient is the least of our concern. Sad, isn't it? While those protocols are in place to insure that patients are protected, those protocols suck the very life out of healthcare professionals, reducing us to automatons.
    When I'm the patient or when someone I love is the patient I'm pretty tough on the docs and nurses. I let them know at the git-go what my expectations are and that I'm the one 'driving this bus'. I am paying them, not the other way around. I expect them to listen to me without judgement, to BELIEVE what I say and to be respectful of my time. I promise to always tell the truth and not waste their time with long-winded stories.
    Honestly? I would have said 'I'm sorry - you seem distracted. Would it be better for me to reschedule this appointment because it doesn't seem that you aren't paying attention to what I am saying.' Not in a nasty way. Just be honest. Trust me. He'd remember you next time :-)
    That 'thing' is part of what makes you YOU. I hope your other 'thing turns out ok - keep us posted.
    I'm a fan of Eden too :-) Spicey, just like you!

  2. Sorry about you doctor woes...

    We all have 'things' Crow. I like to think of them as extra bits that give us individuality.

    It's a bit of a postcode lottery here too with GP's (general practitioners here in the UK).

    There are people in British healthcare that truly care though.

    John who's blog 'Going Gently' works in healthcare and regularly posts some heart-warming stories.

    Thank God not every doctor of medicine has had a 'caring-ectomy'!

  3. I find doctors to be SOOOOO annoying sometimes...especially when they know MY body better than I do! Be sure you get your "things" taken care of...:)JP

  4. I'm looking for a new doctor, too. The final straw was when I had a bout of fluttery heart (valve disease runs in my family) and went in to talk to the doctor about it. He had his nurse take an EKG that literally took less time to run than it did to apply the leads, and then condescendingly informed me that sometimes stress can cause us to think....

    Yeah. Yours as well as mine is pretty clearly 'hysterical woman syndrome'. (My Mom got that BS once, too - her doctor prescribed valium for her 'nerves'. She went to a different doctor and found out that she had a dangerously low level of potassium.) I'm currently looking for a woman doctor who'll actually listen when I speak and not dismiss my concerns like I'm an idiot.


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