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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It’s Called “Practicing Medicine”

My doctor is comprised of pieces, it seems, of other doctors. I take a mental inventory of the features I’ve seen before. Those are my dentist’s nostrils for sure. That particular hairline once belonged to the ER doctor who noted my blown eardrum, whistled and muttered, ”Well, that had to have hurt, huh?”

And like so many in his profession, he has the hands of a man who washes them every 15 minutes.

He peers into my ears, invites me to stare “through” his forehead as he ensures my eyes are still in their proper sockets, dilating appropriately.

They are.

I’ve been sick for weeks: a fever every night, exhausted by noon, muscle pain, dizziness, with a liberal sprinkling of help-I’ve-been-shot-in-the-temple headaches.

He puts a thoughtful index finger on his chin. “Are you getting enough sleep?”

“Tons.”

“Appetite?”

“No, thanks. I’m not hungry.”

“Drinking enough water?”

“Making every effort.”

He frowns, runs his fingers under and around my jawline. I am insufficiently lumpy. He asks me to put my chin on my chest, and I do.

He sits down on his little, spin-able stool. Not even noon, and he looks a bit defeated.

“Well?”

He shrugs. “I don’t know. Doesn’t look like mono, or thyroid problems, or allergies. Probably some sort of viral infection, low-grade. Get more sleep and come back in two weeks.”

More sleep? Now who’s the comedian?

“If I get any more sleep,” I say, “I’ll never actually get out of bed.”

He shrugs again. “We’ll see what it looks like in two weeks.”

So there you have it. Sleep and drink water.

Shoot.

42 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Modern medicine is useless. Go to a homeopath. No, not a sociopath, a homeopath. The medicine our doctors practice is a baby compared to the medicine practiced by a good homeopath. Feel better soon.

Doubting Thomas said...

Wow. Modern medicine at its' finest. I'm surprised he didn't tell you to take two aspirin and call him in the morning.

Get well soon, Pearl!

Shelly said...

Good grief. Not much wisdom there, although at least it can't make things worse. Hope you get to feeling betterm and soon!

Vicus Scurra said...

Please rewrite this, with at least 2 doctor, doctor jokes.
Here are two to get you started:
I went to the doctor, and told him that I kept drinking brake fluid. "Are you addicted?" he asked. "No, I can stop whenever I want".

I went to the doctor. She told me I had to stop masturbating. "Why?". "Because I'm trying to examine you."

Simply Suthern said...

Hopefully you will start feeling even crappier soon so you will be lumpier and have something to diagnose just for his sake.

Or just have him put his chin on your arse and kiss it bye bye on your way out to another Doc.

Hope you feel much better soon.

Eva Gallant said...

At least he didn't say take two aspirin and call me in the morning!

Pearl said...

Oh, the laughs I just got! :-) Thank you!

willfulresemblance said...

It is indeed why they call it the practice of medicine because the final secret there is that they only know what they are doing on television and there not always that convincing there either.

Ugich Konitari said...

Pearl, did you get your CBC done ?

ellen abbott said...

and you paid him for that. I try not to let them practice on me.

Symdaddy said...

Poor sickly Perlchen!

I've had a cold and now a chest infection. My doctor doesn't cost me anything ... maybe that's why he never actually prescribes any meds.

Pearl said...

Ugich, I had to look up "CBC", and no, I did not get a CBC. Looks like something I should have though. I'm going to call him back...

And yes, ellen. :-( I paid him. He's a nice man, but the more I think about his willingness to do nothing beyond "let's wait", knowing how much my head hurts, how my appetite has gone (esp at night) and how dizzy I've been is starting to make me angry -- and that's pretty hard to do...

Pearl said...

Thank you, Sym! I've actually made an appointment to get a massage, and have just popped my second -- in my whole life! -- multi-vitamin. I am so tired of not feeling well...

R. Jacob said...

He should have ordered a full blood test work up for starters. Get a bp machine and test your self during the day. I went through the fatigue phase for 6 months, 3-4 hours a sleep a night. Keep us updated!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I wish I could charge through the nose for telling someone nothing important!

Douglas said...

I am not a doctor but I played one once with the little girl down the street when I was 6.

The problem the doctor is running into is common. You see, a huge number of known ailments share those same symptoms. Try running them through WebMD and see. I think he's stumped.


It cannot hurt to take those vitamins. And a massage always feels good (though I don't think they have much of a lasting effect).

Get well, Pearl, we need you to cheer us up. It's all backwards when we have to cheer you up.

Audubon Ron said...

No drugs? Bumnmer.

lisleman said...

He should offer a survey and ask, "what illness would you like today?" Mono would be interesting don't you think?

Joshua said...

Just drink whiskey and sleep.

Water. I meant water.

Dan said...

Wow...isnt going to the doctor really really expensive where you are?? You'd expect something at least, plus a scrip for mind blowing drugs...hmmm.
Oh well at least you didn't go to one of those purveyors of charlatanry like a homeopath or a bach flower flim flammer....
get thee to another MD maybe? either way, good luck :)

Macy said...

Your doctor's rubbish! How can it look like a thyroid problem without you do a test?

The Elephant's Child said...

Aaaargh. How long has he been practising? Does he expect to get it right anytime soon? Get better. Quickly.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about your collywobbles. I've long said they don't call it the practice of medicine without reason. --vanilla

Crystal Pistol said...

Aw man, girl! I'm so sorry you feel ick. I'll bet you wanna fly out your body and wait til it's all done being silly. If you DO have an out of body experience come visit me! It would be fun to chat with ya in spirit. :)

And thanks ever so much for the great advice regarding my trip to Wisconsin. Panty hose, though? People actually wear those? :)

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Ack, sorry you're sick. Could it be fibromyalgia? With that you get a set of tender points in addition to muscle aches. And often mental fogginess or testiness. You didn't mention those, so maybe not. It can be worth looking up, though, just to rule things out. I was actually diagnosed by a chiropractor who recognized it before my doctor did. I can give you her name if you like.

jenny_o said...

Did he not even order bloodwork and urinalysis? Those are the first things done here (Canada) if you go to the doctor with the type of complaints you described. He could have gotten a lot more information that way than just looking at you. Holy cow.

Maybe he was waiting to see if the two weeks would turn things around due to the cost of blood tests? I don't know how those things work in the US.

I hope you feel better soon, Pearl. How you have managed to keep writing is beyond me! You should be taking a break, kiddo.

jabblog said...

I'm sorry you're feeling so rough. I'm not a doctor so won't attempt to diagnose but I hope things improve for you very soon. Drink plenty of fluids (up to you which sort;-0), take echinacea, slow release vitamin C, Omega 3,6,9, MSM, glucosamine,vitamin E, gingko biloba, Evening primrose oil - by the time you've swallowed that lot you'll be convinced you're feeling better - then repeat every day for a month, at least. If nothing else, the energy required to ingest that lot will take your mind off your ills.
Seriously though, I do hope you'll feel better soon.

Gigi said...

Don't you HATE that? And then to have to suffer the indignity of actually paying them for doing nothing!

Hmmm, that may explain why I usually put off going to the doctor.

Feel better soon, my friend.

alwaysinthebackrow said...

Hope that you have sick days from work. It is bad enough to feel crappy, let alone feel crappy at work. Plus, no one will talk to you because they don't wanna be sick too. Sorry.
And wait, isn't your doctor like 12? What does he know, anyway?

injaynesworld said...

Pretty much the only time you'll get me to a doctor is if you have to scrape me off the front of a truck. If I'm not sick, they feel obligated to find something wrong and if I am they don't know what the hell's wrong. Really, they've much better suited to broken limbs and massive amount of blood.

River said...

Heck, Pearl! My doctor would have sent me to the back room for a blood sample at least to see what might be going on. Possibly a urine sample as well and if I'd had any continued raise in temperature he would have prescribed a broad spectrum antibiotic if he thought it might be useful.
There seems to be a lot of this cold/chest infection thing around; plenty of it here in Adelaide at the moment, people coughing all over the place.
I hope you feel much better soon.

Susan in the Boonies said...

One time, it took them 6 months to figure out I had strep.

SIX MONTHS!!!

Be sure they double check for strep, even if you are not presenting with typical strep throat symptoms.

(I wasn't. But I had the headaches, light sensitivity, muscle pains. Just check for it anyway, if you don't get better.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

So sorry, Pearl. It's very frustrating to have a doctor say "it must just be a low grade virus" when you feel like crap. I'm not going to tell you to get more sleep. Perhaps you need to get a new doctor?

If a CBC is your blood panel, he's an idiot for not having you get a standard bloodtest.

At any rate, feel better soon.
xoRobyn

klahanie said...

Oh dear. And I hope your medical insurance covers such advice.
Of course, here in Britain, I can get that advice for free from my doctor.
Look after yourself.
With respect, Gary.

Daisy said...

Hope you soon feel better Pearl. I'm impressed that your doctor didn't rush to give you some drug or other. Sometimes, sleep and liquid is just what allows our bodies to heal.

I had to go to the doctor today for a pre- surgery exam ,,, cataracts, nothing drastic. One of the question he asked was: "Do you ever feel confused or disorientated?" I replied: "No" Found out later I had my blouse on inside out! :-)

Daisy's Barbara

Desperate Housemommy said...

Shoot is right.

Feel better. Don't skimp on the sleep, now.

Belle said...

A fever every night? And for weeks? Yes, I'd see a naturopath or another doctor. Naturopaths can find things doctors can't. I'm very sorry to hear you have been so sick. Please let us know how it goes.

HermanTurnip said...

Whoa! Hold on there. No need to go and shoot the old guy. Give it two weeks, and if there's no improvement *then* come back fully loaded...

powdergirl said...

Aw. Sorry you're sick Pearly Girly.

I know this sounds overly simple, but you need to drink hot water with honey and lots of fresh squeezed lemon juice. William Throckmorton the Third should be making it for you right now.

And I KNOW your mother would approve of this remedy : )

Tempo said...

Having read the post and most of the comments I must recommend you head straight for Doctor Mum. She'll have you put right in no time...though it might hurt a little.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Yeah, we struggle and slouch into the doctor, wait for an hour, endure the hacking of everyone else in the waiting room. Only to have Doc say "It's viral! Nothin' I can do! Get some rest, drink some fluids!"

Bouncin' Barb said...

I'm late to this post but wanted to share this with you. I had this same problem and after a month of come back in a week, it turned out I had an extreme case of mono and the older you are when you get it, the worse it is to get rid of. Six months I was so sick I wanted to die. Keep an eye on this one. Please!!!