IBS = I’m Being Snubbed
I was recently diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. As far as I’m concerned, this is not a diagnosis. To me, IBS means “I Be Stumped”, meaning the doctor has no idea what is causing my intestinal discomforts and just wants to start throwing some pills at me to shut me up.
The fact that I have not actually talked to my doctor except for a brief introduction right before my colonoscopy may have something to do with my lack of faith in her advice. When I was first referred to this doctor she had no available appointments for the next 20 years, so I settled for meeting with the Nurse Practitioner instead.
The Nurse Practitioner was very nice, and seemed very knowledgeable, but I was the one that recommended I get tested for Celiac Disease after X-rays showed nothing unusual. Me recommending a test for myself seemed to me to be a reverse of the way these things are supposed to go.
She also recommended that I Google high fiber diets, which was further proof, as far as I was concerned, that the need to pay someone for professional medical advice is becoming obsolete.
Considering that I had to go somewhere else for all of my tests, and then was told that I should Google what I should be eating, I don’t really feel like my insurance company and I got our money’s worth for these office visits.
The nurse seemed surprised when I asked if it would actually be the doctor to whom I was referred that would be performing my colonoscopy. Considering I had never met her, I thought that was a fair question. For all I knew, the procedure was going to be done by a plumber. “Of course!” she responded, apparently offended by the question.
After the colonoscopy, the doctor apparently told my husband that I should call the office to schedule a “follow-up” in 4 weeks. I dutifully did this, suspecting the worthlessness in pursuing the matter any further.
“O.K., Mrs. Cap’n Firepants, you are all set for your follow-up.”
I was about to hang up when I had a thought.
“Uh, this appointment is with the doctor, right?”
“Well, uh, no. It’s with the Nurse Practitioner. The doctor is only available every other Friday and the fifth Thursday of the month during Leap Years.”
“I just called and said, ‘I need to schedule my follow up with the doctor,’ and you didn’t feel like it was worth telling me that I wouldn’t actually be WITH THE DOCTOR?” I said.
“Would you like to see the doctor?”
“I believe that’s what I meant when I asked to schedule an appointment with her, yes.”
Oh, great. I realize that I have probably been a little too sarcastic, and now I picture the receptionist labeling my chart, like poor Elaine on Seinfeld.
Elaine: I was looking at my chart [at the doctor’s office], and it said that I was difficult. Why would they write that?
Jerry: They’ve gotten to know you.
She finds that every doctor in the city has her chart, and tries to get Kramer to steal it for her.
ELAINE: Where’s my chart? Did you get it?
ELAINE: What? What happened?
KRAMER: I don’t know. But now they got a chart on me.
The receptionist miraculously finds a date on which I can meet with the doctor and I enthusiastically put it on my calendar despite the 20 other things with which it conflicts.
“Thank you so much!” I say, hoping to erase both the memory of my earlier sarcasm from her memory and the black mark from my chart.
“You’re welcome,” she says, and hangs up.