Monday, March 5, 2012

I Think I Acted Like Sheldon Cooper. Doctor Sheldon Cooper

(from last Friday)

I never try to give the 'in-training' medical students a hard time at *all*. I have a problem with honesty. They ask questions (too many, and worded specifically); I answer them honestly. I REALLY have the deepest desire to get out of the office as soon as possible.

The medical student has a primary list to go through, and one of the questions is a varient on getting the patient's smoking history. Many ask, "Do you smoke?" And then I answer, "No." But 4 out of 10 doctors in training mistakenly specify the question, without FULL specification: "Have you ever smoked?" So I always accidentally answer honestly: "Yes. Once. When I was 12. I didn't like it at all." If the student is going to be that specific, the question should go further toward amount of time, ie: "Have you been a smoker in the past and quit.....?", that kind of thing. Instead most of them get annoyed at ME for answering their specific question with precision, exactness and honesty.

Today, like many times, I was only going in for refills. I stressed this. That's all I needed. Instead, a full medical history had to keep going and going and going. If it lasted five minutes longer I would have been banging my head against the wall, or curled up in the fetal position in a corner, rocking, repeating, "No more questions no more questions no more questions", but I fought that intensely because I *know* that when that happens to humans, MORE QUESTIONS DO follow.

Another standard question: "Do you take any drugs?" I've had at least 24 medical students come my way at this particular establishment. I'd never done this before. But I looked at the refill of allergy meds that needed attention, meaning both: "I just want that filled", and, "I take those drugs (can you please have the doctor refill it?)." I just looked. Innocently. Pleadingly. But she actually wanted a verbal answer, so I said, "only these kind".

She noted that I am on an anti-anxiety drug. "Are you feeling _more_ or _less_ anxious?", she asked.

Than who? Compared to what specific time? This past month? As each question comes, I'm getting more anxious, yes, but ...that won't get me out of this infinate loop, so I'll ask her what she means and to clarify.

She didn't really clarify, but she still wanted an answer. Point is, I've been on the drug (that every doctor says is HELL to come off of and dangerous, too) since....the second pre-marital vow from my husband was broken: we passed the five-year mark and he still insisted that I can not, and not ever, go back to school to get my Bachelor's degree. That's when a woman I hadn't met before walked up to me and said, "You remind me of myself before my nervous breakdown."

Anyhow, fidelity vows were broken long ago by him. He was fierce, controlling, and, well, abusive. I was scared of him. My doctor (this was in 1999) diagnosed me as 'anxious' and prescribed the powerful med called 'klonopin'. He never once asked about my home and family situation. What I needed then was a safe house and a plan of how to get out. Instead it took me another six years. Am I still anxious _today_? Sure. Back then I would have been given a thorazine shot for how anxious I was. Right now I'm anxious about all of these medical things happening, and being financially ....what, challenged? I wish that doctor *considered* the possibility that there was a ROOT CAUSE to the anxiety and that it shouldn't be drugged. Now I'm on something that ...well I get anxious thinking about it.

So I told her that I'd been consistently exercising for the past couple of weeks, and was upset about GAINING weight. Apparently, the fact that I had previously been an athlete and that I have no thyroid was meaningless to her. She wanted to give me tidbits about 'portion control'. I mentioned that going to bed with severe stomach pain and intense hunger, for longer than the past two weeks, sometimes not able to sleep because of hunger, was probably an easy guess that I was *not* messing up on 'portion control'. Being the kind of person who read graduate-level texts on numerous topics, and who is twice her age, I did not want to play condescension. So I held back the re-patronizing thought of, "My IQ close to my correct weight for my BMI; please stop the silly information." But she was going to BE on SOME topic for an hour (yes, that long), and I could not stop her from that. I don't know why: I've been able to re-direct my biological mother from a paranoid delusion about 'the DEC dropping mountain lions from helicoptors to kill the deer.' And that's her easy one. By the time I was five I was expert at directing delusional people to something sane. But the medical student was _not_ delusional; the amount of time and effort at getting my 3-minute refills seemed ........whoa, my train of thought de-railed, crashed, was surrounded by ninjas and a helicoptor just picked me up.

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