10 Times When The Doctors Were The Crazy Ones
When I was 19, I went to see a gynecologist at a local community clinic. During the exam, she noticed that I had stretch marks on my abdomen.
"Have you ever been pregnant?" she asked me, to which I replied, "No."
"Are you sure? Because you look like you have stretch marks, and stretch marks only come from pregnancy."
Any idiot knows that stretch marks don’t always mean you are/were pregnant. Truth is, the stretch marks were from fluctuations in my weight. I left angry.
My old my dentist. One side of my face was broiling in pain.
"The problem is in your mind, nothing is wrong with you," said my dentist, as I wept in excruciating pain. "I'm sure it's just stress."
I begged. I pleaded. He told me I was overdramatic and sent me home, where I writhed in pain.
Happily, I babysat for a family where the dad was a dental surgeon as well. And when the pain got too bad, I called Dr. Levine and basically said I need help or he was going to need a new babysitter, since I couldn't live like this. Dr. Levine told me to come in first thing in the morning.
When I got into the chair, he took my hand (and I do not like being touched but I was almost limp with pain) and said "Elke, I swear to you, I will not allow you to leave until you are better."
And he kept his promise, and found an enormous cyst that my dentist had overlooked. He drained it, cleaned it and patched me up. He then called my dentist and shouted at him. Felt good.
#8 Birth Control
"We need to get you started on birth control," said Dr. B. the man who'd delivered my baby, Jacob.
I really didn't want to see him again, since he'd been rude during the hellacious delivery, which ended in a C section. But he'd insisted I bring Jacob in for a one-week check-up.
"Why are you asking me about birth control?" I said. "I never asked you about that. I don't want to discuss that with you."
"I know about your birth control mistake," he said.
"What? What are you talking about?"
To my horror, he pointed at my beautiful little baby.
"My son is not a mistake!" I said. I was so angry. I scooped up my son, slammed the office door, and told the receptionist, "I am never coming back again. Your boss is a jerk." She was, by the way, his daughter. I felt pity for her.
That was the last time Dr. B and I ever crossed paths. When I saw his obituary in the newspaper, many years later, I had mixed feelings. That's just the truth.
I'm glad we are past the days when doctors talked to pregnant women and new moms as if they were dim-witted children.
Just 2 years ago, medical incompetence/mismanagement almost killed me.
I had a very severe sore throat and fever, which went away, but 3 days later, a gland in my neck swelled to point of being larger than a golf ball. The swelling happened very quickly, and I had a fever.
My regular doctor took several weeks to get me into his office, then sent me to a fancy ear, nose and throat specialist, in a very expensive office building 2 weeks later. The doctor looked at the swollen gland, and without conducting a single test or examination, stated I had cancer.
I immediately suspected that was incorrect, and asked if cancer normally gave you a fever of 104, and grew to this size within a couple of days. I also asked him if it could be an infected gland. He insisted I had cancer, and scheduled a biopsy for 5 weeks later.
During this time, I grew more and more sick, the swelling got worse, but he refused any treatment, only saying that I needed the biopsy.
I had the biopsy, which showed a severe infection. No cancer.
The doctor, (who was a surgeon) released me from the hospital with some antibiotics, and told me that I would need a specialized surgeon because "This is very serious and life threatening, and it is sitting right on your carotid artery. The surgery is too risky for me to do, because my insurance costs would go up."
Wouldn't you think something so life-threatening would require immediate surgery? Evidently not. He told me he would "get back to me" with a referral, which took another 5 days to get to a head and neck surgeon. By the time I got to the surgeon, I was so sick and weak, that I was unable to stand. One particularly bad night, when I didn't think I would survive the night, I actually wrote goodbye letters to my family.
Luckily, the surgeon was wonderful, took one look at it, and immediately knew it was an infection, and stated that he couldn't believe I was still alive with such a severe infection that lasted so long. He admitted me to the hospital immediately, did the surgery the same day, removed the infection, and left the wound open to ensure no bacteria would be trapped in there.
In the end, I was on antibiotics for over 6 months, had a half-dollar size hole in my neck, and it took two years for my immune system to recover. Thanks, doctor.
#6 Traditional Process
I was writhing in severe pain, after presenting multiple evenings in a row with severe stomach pains to the same (military) doctor, who kept sending me away with antacids, which I consumed in copious quantities as I wandered the corridors of the military barracks, sleepless and in pain. (Later I learned that I had acute ulcerative oesophagitis that would have been much less severe, had it been treated earlier.)
The doctor stood by my bed looking baffled and frustrated, and asked me, as if I were a major inconvenience to him:
"What do you want me to do about it?"
I managed to squeeze out, between grunts of pain: "I believe the traditional process is diagnosis, followed by treatment."
My biological mother's doctor was a quack, guilty of more malpractice in just a couple of years than I've seen over the rest of my lifetime thus far. (I used to work for a medical malpractice claims company, so I know whereof I speak.)
My mother made me go to this man; even as a young child, I knew he was experimenting on several of his patients because I overheard his conversations.
So, Doctor Quack has me in his office and I'm trying to make sure he doesn't touch me inappropriately as he regularly did to other young girls. I'm also doubled over in severe pain at that point, because of Crohn's Disease.
He looked me straight in the eye and said, "If you weren't so mean to your mother, you wouldn't be in pain. I'm not going to do anything for your pain because you don't deserve relief."
Mean? You've got to be kidding! I spent my first 17 years on this rock trying to take care of her, despite the abuses she heaped upon me.
My husband is bald. There. I said it. (Actually it's not embarrassing at all as I find his baldness attractive.)
But, his doctor did not.
He went in for his annual physical for work and the doctor prescribed him Minoxidil (without asking my husband if he wanted it).
Having worked in the pharmacy industry, I looked at my husband’s prescriptions when he came home and asked him if he wanted to regrow his hair. He said no he just took what the doctor wrote him scripts for. (He has a tendency to over-prescribe.)
So that doctor just assumed that my husband had a problem with being bald. Huge insult....especially since I love his bald head.
#3 Pink Eye
I once had a bad case of pink eye (conjunctivitis.) I suppose that during my period of discomfort I must have rubbed it into the other eye as well. So I would up with two blood-shot eyes that felt like they were full of grinding glass.
I phoned my boss half-way through my shift and told him I simply had to go to the emergency room. The wait was long because they had to prioritize some people ahead of me. Understandable. My case was not life-threatening.
As soon as I got into the emergency room the doctor gave me a baleful and accusatory glare, cocked his head and crossed his arms. "You know how people get pink eye, don't you?" he said.
“Little children get this when they have been playing around in feces."
I am not often at a complete loss of words but this shocked me so badly that I had no good sarcastic comeback. Never having had any leanings whatsoever toward scatological proclivities, I doubted this had caused my problem. I also wash my hands after using the restroom.
"I can assure you that I do not play in feces," was about the only thing I could come up with.
"I'm sure you don't," he said, unconvinced.
#2 Crazy Talk
I'd gone to the doctor with terrible flu symptoms. I had a severe sore throat which had made my voice very hoarse, so I told the doctor about this.
"Oh yes I can tell... that's not your usual sexy voice, is it?" he said.
I just stared at him blankly, fully prepared to vomit on his shoes. But he wasn't finished. Later in the appointment, he was printing off a renewed prescription for my contraceptive pill.
"Now how often do you forget to take the pill? I bet it's a lot." he said, with a smirk on his face.
Again, I stared at him blankly, not sure how the question was at all relevant. I'd been taking the pill, with no issues, for the last six years.
I told him I very rarely forget to take it. Because I'm a responsible, grown woman, who is quite within the realms of capability, to remember to take a pill every day.
Gynecologist: So, why are you here today?
Me: I want to get birth control.
Gynecologist:(looks me up and down) Right… Well I don’t think you should take birth control pills. You are already overweight, and pills will make it worse.
Me: Okay...But I want a fallback method of birth control. Pregnancy will definitely make me fatter.
Gynecologist: Hmm I don't know. You say you want an additional method besides condoms, but I don't want to give it to you because I don't beleve you will continue to use condoms.
Me: But I am telling you I will.
Gynecologist: Yeah, but it doesn't sound likely. Who is your boyfriend? How long have you known him? How did you meet him? What does he do for work?
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