Category Archives: Doctors
Until I can find the tangible evidence that my doctor hates my hair stylist, thus giving him the perfect motive to tank my thyroid test, I have decided to blame my depression on The Sequester. I mean, if my problems aren’t the result of thyroid dysfunction, they clearly must have some external cause. And this whole sequester thing is definitely stressing me out.
First of all, I’m totally bummed that “Sequester” has a completely different meaning than the one I’ve known all of these years. Until now, a sequester was something I could only dream about – having the government pay for me to stay in a hotel with maid service, room service, and all of the books I could ever want to read since I wouldn’t be allowed access to any media in case Nancy Grace might somehow manage to cajole me into nailing Jodi Arias to the wall.
When the news outlets started warning about an oncoming sequester in Congress, I pictured the whole muddle of them being locked inside the Capitol until they knocked each other off and one person became the victor – kind of like a mix between Twelve Angry Men, Fight Club, and the cardinals in the Vatican conclave. I was sorely disappointed to find out that this was not the case.
I was even more alarmed by rumors that this whole sequester thing might delay my tax refund. After all, I use my tax refund to pay my psychiatrist, so if I don’t get my refund, I don’t…well, you get the picture.
Of course, I should be completely straight with you, and admit that we have received an unexpected endowment from the county recently. Although, to be honest, I don’t think it would pay for the gas to take the check to the bank, much less thirty seconds with my psychiatrist.
In fact, I find it depressing that the county actually paid for a stamp to send this check to us.
And then Hugo Chavez died. The only person more paranoid than me. The person who said, “Would it be so strange that they’ve invented technology to spread cancer and we won’t know about it for 50 years?”
Remember? I’m the one who said terrorists are poisoning our food. And now I’m depressed. Hugo said there are mad scientists spreading cancer – and he died of cancer.
I think the connections are pretty obvious.
If my doctor had just said, “Your thyroid is wonky, and that’s why you’re depressed,” we wouldn’t be in this big mess.
“Have you had your thyroid checked lately?”
“Well, you just seem to be losing more hair than usual.”
This slightly disturbing dialogue occurred between my hair stylist’s sister and me as she was washing my hair. I don’t think she realized that she was pouring gasoline on a hypochondriac’s fire.
It didn’t help when my hair stylist, himself, said, “Oh yes, we had a client who had thyroid problems. But instead of losing her hair, she lost her eyebrows.”
I think you can predict what I did when I went home.
It says a lot about my husband’s understanding of me when he said nothing after walking in on me in the bathroom with my nose pressed to the mirror, trying to look for evidence of any missing eyebrow hair.
The truth is, I have been thinking of getting my thyroid checked. It was checked 3 years ago, but my sister, Crash, had already planted the idea in my head a couple of weeks ago that I should make another go at it, and I am a firm believer that one medical test is never enough. Especially when it comes out negative. I’m not paranoid (much), but it seems to me that there are a lot things that can go wrong between the draining of my blood in one office building and the examination of it in some anonymous warehouse under a microscope. Just check out the “Non-Fat Yogurt” episode of Seinfeld, and you’ll be
paranoid, moderately suspicious too.
What I’m trying to figure out, though, is how I can get my doctor to just order the tests without me having to go in and explain my rationale for needing them. Because I already paid my hair stylist $150. I don’t see why I need to add a $20 co-pay to the mix.
“Hello? Yes, I wanted to see if Dr. Jimmy can order some thyroid tests for me? No, I don’t need to meet with him first. My hair stylist’s sister already diagnosed me. Plus, I did the internet checklist. Really, the blood tests are just a formality. If Dr. Jimmy wants, we can skip those, too, and he can just start giving me the drugs.”
Yes, I’m sure that would work.
I was happily painting my toe-nails and reading my Oprah magazine when I realized that I need more testosterone.
(Ha. That would be a very funny statement coming from a guy, wouldn’t it?)
I am not a guy.
As a self-diagnosed hypochondriac, I often discover that I need new treatment for my heretofore undiagnosed diseases that my lazy doctors are unable to cure. So, it was with great delight that I read an article in Oprah that identified all of my current symptoms (plus or minus 3 or 4) and the underlying cause – low testosterone.
I informed my hair stylist of this revelation. My hair stylist is suffering from the same exact symptoms. He is a guy. A gay guy. He thinks I may be on to something.
My husband thinks that I am off of something – my rocker.
Here are the symptoms – just in case you are interested in diagnosing yourself: depression, severe lack of energy, inability to focus, blah, blah, blah. See?!!!! You need more testosterone, too.
Wait a second.
I’m watching David Letterman, and he says I’m a hamster, and that’s why I’m depressed.
No, he’s a hamster.
No – hamsters that were exposed to late night television showed brain activity that resembles depression.
I wonder who the hamsters were watching.
See?!!! Inability to focus. Classic symptom of low testosterone levels.
If you are a hamster, and you are reading this – get thee to a testosterone testing technician immediately. You need your energy for running on that wheel.
If you are a person, and you are reading this – get thee to a psychiatrist.
I’ll meet you there.
So, we have an elderly friend, MILlie, who moved into town a year ago. MILlie needs to go to a doctor. Instead of choosing from one of the thousands in San Antonio, she wants to see her former doctor. Which is fine. Except that he is 2 hours away. And MILlie doesn’t drive. For a recap of the beginning of this story, you can go here.
After finally getting the doctor’s correct name from MILlie, assuring her that I did, indeed, intend to have her accompany me on the trip, doing an internet search, calling a wrong number that directed me to the right number, calling the right number only to be told I needed to give them more information which I didn’t have, calling MILlie to get More Information, calling back to give them More Information, not being asked when I called back the second time for the More Information..
I made an appointment.
We were in business. I marked the date on the calendar for MILlie’s appointment and cleared my schedule for our road trip.
MILlie came over a few days ago.
“I need you to cancel that appointment,” she said.
I raised an eyebrow. At least that’s what I think I did.
“May I ask why?” I cautiously said.
She pulled out an entire section of the newspaper from her purse.
“I was afraid you were going to argue with me, so I brought this as proof,” she said.
“Don’t Ever Drive in this Town Two Hours Away Because The Roads Suck and You Will Die a Horrible Death” the headlines said. Or something to that effect.
“The roads are terrible there because all of the oil trucks are ruining them, and I would hate for something to happen to you just because you were driving me to the doctor,” MILlie said.
The roads are terrible here, too. But, I did not point this out to MILlie. Part of me was jumping for joy that I wouldn’t be going on the road trip, part of me was resenting all of the time I spent planning this adventure, and part of me was thinking about the last time I took MILlie to a doctor in town – which was not an experience either one of us would like to re-live. The environmentally concerned part of me was ticked off at all of the oil trucks, and the financially desperate part of me was wondering how I could cash in on this whole oil thing…
MILlie said, “So you don’t mind canceling the appointment?”
“Are you okay with me picking a doctor here in town?”
I gulped. ”Alrighty then. I will get right on that.”
As soon as MILlie was gone, I called the 2 Hour Away Doctor. ”Uh, do you guys have a recommendation for a doctor here in San Antonio?” I asked.
“We’ll have someone call you back with that information.”
I’m still waiting.
Something tells me I’m going to wish I’d made that road trip.
There is something wrong with me. No one knows what it is. The CIA refuses to believe that terrorists are poisoning my food. And the doctors refuse to believe that I am not crazy. But has anyone bothered to test me for cat litter disease? I think not.
I thought toxoplaswhatever was just a great excuse for getting out of changing the litter box for the nine months I was pregnant. But, it turns out that pregnant women are not the only victims. In fact, 1/3 of the world’s population is walking around with this infection RIGHT NOW!
A test of a bunch of Danish women showed that the ones with the infection had a higher risk of suicide attempts than those without the infection. According to the scientists, it is not necessarily causally related.
But, I’m not fooled. Notice that this study consisted entirely of women. The scientists are just trying to cover up the fact that these poor women all married husbands who force them to change the litter box.
Of course, I have not attempted suicide. (Unless you count the time, last week, when I drove on the highway at night without turning my car headlights on. But, that was kind of not really deliberate, so I don’t think that counts. And, let’s not mention that minor incident to Cap’n Firepants, okay?) And, I am not Danish. So, I guess that is why no doctor has recommended this test for me.
Oh, and we don’t have a cat. We used to have a cat, though. Who committed suicide. Okay, not really. But, I am pretty sure that I did get toxoplaswhatchamacallit, and I am, right this moment, suffering from other problems that it causes which the sexist Danish scientists have not yet discovered – such as an inefficient colon and a tendency to acquire mattresses that need immediate disposal.
My point is that I am quite frustrated with the inability, or the complete lack of curiosity, on my doctors’ parts to figure out what is wrong with me. Doesn’t anyone know how to Google besides me?
I do not have a good track record with doctors. So, I tend to avoid them if at all possible. I prefer to use the internet for my diagnoses.
MILlie, an elderly friend of the family, needs to go to the dermatologist. The only one she likes is in a different town that is about two hours away. Because I have had experience with trying to convince MILlie to try a new doctor in our town, I know better than to try that again. So, I agreed to take her. Which, in case you were not paying attention to my first paragraph, is a major sacrifice on my part. I am not telling you this merely because I want you to admire my heroism, but also because I want you to truly understand the irony of the last line of this post.
I called MILlie to make sure I had the right contact information so I could make the appointment.
“Well, let me get out the phone book,” MILlie said. ”Okay. Here’s the address.”
“That’s okay. All I really need is the phone number for now,” I said.
“Well, it’s right across from the hospital. It’s in a big building. Across from the hospital. And, it’s in a suite. S-T-E.”
“No problem. If you can just give me the phone number, I’ll get the directions from the internet later, and then you can point out the building to me when we get there,” I said.
“Oh. Am I going to be with you?”
Today, I would like to talk about Mother’s Day. Haha! See how creative I am? Everyone else is posting about Father’s Day, but not me. I do not bend to society’s norms. I do not do what everyone else does. I do not -
remember what I was going to talk about.
Oh, yes. Mother’s Day. So, I never mentioned what Cap’n Firepants gave me for Mother’s Day. (On a half-sideways note, I must say that I don’t really understand why husbands give wives anything on Mother’s Day. After all, I am not the Cap’n's mother. But, I certainly am not complaining about getting an extra gift.)
Anyways, despite the fact that I really meant it when I said that I didn’t want anything except to be able to sleep late, the Cap’n gave me a gift card to The Container Store. Now, I am pretty certain that it is no coincidence that The Container Store happens to be across the parking lot from the golf store that he went to that same day. But I was not unhappy with the gift because he wrote a very mushy note inside the gift card, and I have been asking him for about 10 years to write me a mushy note, and I would not have cared if he wrote it on a napkin that had been chewed up by Wonderbutt. And, no, I will not share the mushy note with you, partly because it’s private, but mostly because I’m not exactly sure what I did with it. But don’t tell that to the Cap’n.
Now, I do like The Container Store. But I did not realize at the time of receiving the card that it would save my marriage.
I have been referring to this summer as the Summer of Purging. And I am not referring to any kind of eating disorder. First, I moved my classroom to a new school, which necessitated some major disposing of unnecessary curriculum materials that had accumulated in the nooks and crannies of my previous room over 13 years. Now, I am in the midst of my normal Summer Closet Inspections and the Attempt to Save my Daughter’s Room from Being Overcome by Silly Slappy Hands. And, I am helping my mother-in-law scale down her belongings so she can move into an independent living facility.
Out of all the people I am dealing with, I appear to be the only reasonable one. Everyone seems intent on trying to save every last insignificant item from the Death Squad Judgement of Mrs. Cap’n Firepants. Even Wonderbutt snatched back a completely disemboweled toy I threw in the garbage the other day.
After a particularly grueling day trying to convince my mother-in-law that the entirety of her 1200 square foot apartment will not be able to be squeezed into her new 300 square foot room, the Cap’n and I then began to have a slightly not very reasonable discussion about the possibility of storing some of the apartment contents in our home. And I became pretty sure that I needed to initiate divorce proceedings immediately.
Then I remembered my gift card.
“I have some errands,” I announced to the Cap’n and Dimples.
I drove straight to the Mecca of Organization, and strolled down the aisles, leisurely admiring the order and color coordination of each section. Every time I turned a corner, I felt a bit more tension roll away.
After spending 2x the amount that was on my gift card, I was ready to return home with enough containers to control the mess that my life has become. And I told Cap’n Firepants that whatever doesn’t fit in one of the many repositories that I purchased can NOT COME INTO OUR HOUSE.
And we lived happily ever after.
You know how you’re lying in bed at night chuckling about your bulldog’s latest antics, trying not to wake up your husband, but really wanting to wake him up so you can tell him what happened? And then you start thinking about how mad he would be. And then you start thinking about how stressed he is, especially about his mom who you escorted to a doctor’s appointment today, but how nice it was to just sit and chat by the neighborhood pool with him this evening while Dimples and her friend splashed around. And then you think, “Well, it was nice – until the kid got his head caught in the diving board.” And then you think, “Wow, Being Wedged into Uncomfortable Places must have been my theme for the day.”
Me – Caught Between a Doc and a Hard Place
The day started with Dimples and I taking my mother-in-law to the doctor. I’m not saying it was as bad as getting my head stuck in a diving board, but I don’t even like going to doctor’s appointments for myself – much less for other people. Particularly with an energetic 9-year-old who wants to play word games while I am trying to pay attention to the discomfort of my mother-in-law and to the rapid-fire recommendations from the doctor.
Boy – Caught Between a Dock and a Hard Place
In Part II of my Day of Wedges, the Cap’n and I were sitting at a table near the diving board chatting about Part I. And a family of three kids was goofing off around the board. The brother got up on the board and was kind of prancing toward the end when his foot slipped. He fell off the board in a kind of twisty way onto the concrete, somehow managing to get his head wedged between the railing and the board. And there he sat, with his ears trapped, apparently unable to move. (So, technically, a diving board is not a dock, but I was trying to make the pun work.)
I ran toward the boy, who looked to be about 11, while Cap’n Firepants and the lifeguard were a beat behind. I got to the boy first, but then I realized that this was a race I didn’t need to win because I didn’t really know how to help him. Getting your head wedged between a board and a metal railing was not part of the CPR training that I took when Dimples was an infant. He certainly did not need any kind of resuscitation because he was yelling quite emphatically that his head was stuck and that he couldn’t move it. His mouth was moving fine, though.
About 10 seconds after we all stood around trying to figure out what the heck to do, the boy unstuck himself. Ears still intact. Another lifeguard had already called his mom, and she was there in minutes. And I’m pretty sure he lived.
Wonderbutt – Caught Between a Dog and His Resting Place
Later that evening, I was watching late-night television while Wonderbutt snoozed on his new Wonderbutt bed at my feet. Suddenly, he stretched, rolled over onto his back, and tumbled to the floor. I gasped, but he didn’t even wake up. He just lay there, snoring, stretched out on his back, firmly wedged between his bed and the butt of our golden retriever, Mrs. P.I.B. A couple of times, he half-heartedly tried to turn over or roll back on his stomach in his sleep, waving his stubby little legs around – but he was too thoroughly entrenched between the bed and the butt.
It was one of those moments when you desperately wish that your actual eyeballs were video cameras. Or, that at least someone else was there to witness this. But the only witness was Mrs. P.I.B. and, as with most things involving Wonderbutt, she was not amused.
Hence, the awful picture taken with my iPad in very little light.
And so endeth the Day of Wedges.