But instead, I bring you:
A FOLLOWUP VISIT WITH DR. LADY-BUSINESS
As some of you might remember (except I did send the men away that day, and I’m warning you right now, men who are not into these things, you might want to go do manly things right now. And men that are perverts, you should stop reading just because ew), last month I had a couple of visits with Dr. Lady-Business. I escaped with my parts intact, so I considered that a win.
In order to not have Dr. Lady-Business remove my internal organs, he prescribed pills which made me into a total and utter insane person who cried over things like OMG I AM OUT OF ICE CREAM SANDWICHES and I THINK THE SUMMER IS ENDING. Those symptoms passed, eventually, so I thought I was in the clear.
I was so not in the clear.
Two weeks ago apparently I had a very bad reaction to the pills which I will not detail. Suffice it to say I would not wish this reaction on my worst enemy. (OK, that’s a lie. And you know me too well for me to get away with that. You know I totally would. I hate my worst enemy and if this happened to her she’d deserve it, and more, because of the bitchy over-the-top things she did to me. But I digress.)
I called Dr. Lady-Business’s office after a few days of thinking I was pretty much on death’s door. Now, you’re wondering, aren’t you, why I wouldn’t call sooner? Because I am pretty stoic about things. I mean, yes, I bitch and moan and think I’m dying, but that’s all a front, really. I usually don’t even bother going to the doctor for things. So for me to call the doctor about something means something is very, very wrong.
My conversation with Dr. Lady-Business’s office:
Me: I need to make an appointment with Dr. Lady-Business as soon as possible, please. I think I might be dying. I’m having a reaction to the medication he prescribed.
Nurse: He’s out of town.
Me: Um. OK. I can see someone else, then. I just need to be seen.
Nurse: No. You need to see Dr. Lady-Business.
Me: I don’t think this can wait. Did I mention the dying? That I might be doing?
Me: Hmm. OK. Thought you might not have heard me or something. I don’t think this can wait. When is he coming back from his trip?
Nurse: A week from now. I’m sure it’s nothing.
Me: What is?
Nurse: Whatever’s wrong with you.
Me: Oh, I can assure you it is.
Nurse: These pills have severe side effects. We have people calling about them all the time.
Me: What? I – no one even told me this. Why wouldn’t someone tell me this?
Nurse: I’ve said too much. You’ll really have to wait for your appointment. With Dr. Lady-Business. And only Dr. Lady-Business. On Monday.
Me: So, what if I die in the meantime?
Nurse: You won’t. Also, if you get better, please call and cancel the appointment. There are people who actually need the slot.
Well! This was a reassuring and not-at-all rude conversation with someone you can tell TOTALLY CARES ABOUT MY IMPENDING DOOM. So I waited, and waited, and waited. And then, on Saturday morning, I started to feel better. I thought about cancelling the appointment, but I wanted to have a discussion with Dr. Lady-Business. I felt like maybe we needed to talk about some things. Like:
Since these pills are something you expect me to take on a regular basis, will they cause these side effects regularly?
Am I totally dying?
And since I have an astronomically high co-pay with my piss-poor insurance, it’s not like he wouldn’t be well-paid for his five minute conversation with me.
I showed up yesterday and first, the parking lot is very, very small. There were two spots left. A woman pulled into one right in front of me. No, I take that back. She pulled into one and a HALF. Leaving me a half-spot. For my full-sized car. I began to back out of the parking lot, because it’s very small and you can’t turn around, and she got out of the car and started air-traffic-controlling me into the spot. I shook my head no and she started FURIOUSLY WAVING ME IN. Also, she was massively pregnant. Well, listen. I am pleased you are gestating. But I will park on the side of the road and walk to the clinic, and you just take up your 1.5 spots, lady. You are aware that even though you’re 1.5 people at the moment you don’t get 1.5 spots, or to make 1.5 decisions as to where other people park, right?
I went in, and the nurse called me back almost immediately. Nice! Running like clockwork! Until:
Nurse: So you’ll be seeing Dr. Lady-Business’s Colleague today.
Me: Well, on the phone the nurse told me I had to see Dr. Lady-Business.
Nurse: No. Dr. Colleague.
Me: I don’t mind, it’s just that last week? I was dying? And you told me I had to wait until this week to see Dr. Lady-Business, and only Dr. Lady-Business. So I find this all very confusing.
Nurse: GO BACK INTO THE WAITING ROOM.
Then, after a lengthy wait, because I obviously screwed up their scheduling, I was shown back to Dr. Lady-Business’s exam room. My favorite nurse was there. She’s the only one in the office I like, because she is covered in tattoos and has a hair color not found in nature and hipster glasses. I feel like she doesn’t belong there. I enjoy her. Lydia the Tattooed Nurse told me to wait and that Dr. Lady-Business was showing around a medical student (still? It’s been over two months since my first appointment, does that med student live there?) and would I mind him watching? Since I wasn’t going to be all spread-eagled for this visit, I didn’t mind. I believe that children are our future! And that they need to learn about side effects of medication!
Dr. Lady-Business came in, followed by the YOUNGEST MED STUDENT I’VE EVER SEEN. Seriously, Doogie. Doogie was watching my consultation. It was so off-putting I can’t even tell you. He looked like he couldn’t be more than 20. But probably he was at least 26, right? Something like that? That made me feel ancient. Poor little Doogie. He looked uncomfortable.
Dr. Lady-Business’s office has recently upgraded to laptops for their records, and Dr. Lady-Business does not enjoy the digital age. His manner of dealing with the laptop is to bang on it, chimpanzee-style, with a loosely-clenched fist, while asking me, THE PATIENT, why it’s not working. (Once, the answer was, “I think you have to have it turned on, but I could be wrong.”) This went on for a while, and then he asked me why I was there. Here, in all its glory, is the best consultation between a doctor and patient that might have ever happened, ever.
Me: I had severe side effects to the medication you prescribed; I wanted to discuss them. (I explained them here. I’m not going to rehash this. I guarantee you, you’re better for not knowing.)
Dr. Lady-Business: Yes.
Me: So I guess I’m wondering, first off, are these going to keep happening? On a recurring basis?
D L-B: Probably not.
Me: Probably not. Can you elaborate?
D L-B: I didn’t tell you about these side effects because the odds of them happening this severely were very slim. I would think that each month they would be less severe, until they are not severe at all.
Me: OK, so I should or should not keep taking the same exact dosage of pills that almost killed me earlier in the month?
(Dr. Lady-Business then began grunting and smacking around his computer keyboard. I heard a muffled noise behind me; it was Doogie. Doogie attempting not to laugh. I feel really bad for Doogie. Although he is really learning what NOT to do when he goes into practice, I suppose.)
D L-B: Yes. Keep taking them. Until December. We’ll revisit the situation in December.
D L-B: Did you notice any changes in mood while taking the pills?
Me: Good GOD yes. I cried over ICE CREAM SANDWICHES. And CELL PHONE COMMERCIALS. And I thought, well! I lost my mind! Until I thought to read Wikipedia.
D L-B: We really don’t recommend getting medical information online.
Me: No, you know what? I don’t recommend it, either. I recommend getting it from my doctor. Except, oh, you know what? HE DIDN’T GIVE ME ANYTHING OTHER THAN A PRESCRIPTION AND A FARE-THEE-WELL.
D L-B: Sometimes these pills cause mood swings. That might get better. It might not. It depends on the individual’s mental stability.
(muffled laugh from Doogie)
Me: I am going to pretend you didn’t just imply that I brought a bag of crazy to the table and move on in the conversation.
D L-B: Also we probably need to deal with these tumors.
D L-B: You have tumors, right?
Me: Not that I am aware of, no.
D L-B: I don’t know if I’m looking at your chart or not. Do you think I have your chart up?
Me: I really have no way of knowing that. I’d hope so, though. Since I’m the patient you’re seeing at the moment.
D L-B: (poking laptop) Oh, yes, this is you. Yes. Tumors.
Me: So, was anyone going to call me with these test results?
D L-B: They’re not serious tumors. We don’t think, anyway.
Me: I think you’re kind of discounting my tumors.
D L-B: We’ll look more into them in December.
Me: Unless I die first because they’re the super-fast-moving death type of tumors.
D L-B: Odds are in your favor that they’re not.
And – I am totally not even kidding? THAT WAS THE END OF THE APPOINTMENT. I hope Dr. Lady-Business signed Doogie’s permission slip so he won’t get counted as absent from kindergarten.
On the way home, the strip club right around the corner from my office (it’s actually in a really classy part of town, so the strip club’s a little out-of-place) had a big sign up that said “We will never forget 9/11” and that was really the best thing I’d seen all day. Usually, that sign advertises coming attractions, like “Performing in October, Cherries Jubilee and Pussy Galore!” So this made the strip club both patriotic AND classy and I’m sure their clientele is richer for it.
What did we learn from this appointment?
I NEED A NEW LADY-BUSINESS DOCTOR.
And that strippers love America.