Have I admitted doctor's offices and -- interestingly, to a lesser extent -- hospitals give me the willies? Well, they do, and I even know why, a particularly vicious, opinionated and very young M.D. who was one of the "other" docs in my old G.P.'s office who saw me after the G.P. himself had the misfortune to die.
The details don't matter; suffice to say that she found the then-thirty-year-old me, single, childless, a total non-contributor to the human race, only beginning to come to terms with near-constant migraines and starting to complain of some of the aches and pains of age (I was having spinal trouble at the time, touch of the ol' cervical radiculopathy) and trying to sort out the dental/sinus issue that got a lot worse before it got any better) to be whiny, annoying and in need of being told at length and with malice how useless I was and how little I deserved to be treated at all. I burst into tears; she wrote in her notes that I had been "abusive and hostile" (because crying and asking why is so evil?) and guess what, that's a part of your permanent record. HIPAA, HIPAA, hoo-- hooey. There's no expunging it, even when the head boss doc admits they've had a lot of complaints and (by the time, months later, I had worked my way through the system to end up hearing from him) the doc in question has flaked out and left the profession.
I haven't had a decent blood pressure reading in a doctor's office since. I struggle to get my pulse slowed down. I've changed doctors four times and for things like sinus trouble or minor injuries, usually prefer to just go to Doc-In-A-Box, get it done and GTHO.
I haven't seen my nominal "family doctor" since 2008. And I'm good with that. They can poke at me and judge me when I'm dead, injured or gravely ill and the rest of the time, I don't care to deal with the profession in person. Nobody is getting the chance to get me alone in a room, screwing with my head and lying about it ever again, if I can avoid it. (One of the best things about Doc-In-A-Box: it's small; the exam rooms open off a short corridor that leads directly to the exit. Ten steps from freedom the whole time.)
So, I'm needin' to go see a specialist in [none of your business] for a semi-routine sort of test and doctor-time being what it is, they won't even talk to you without a referral. And since I kind of haven't seen my own doc in approximately forever, getting a referral is none too easy, either.
Which is to say if I am a little short or don't post as wittily as you would like for the next few, don't take it personally. I have to deal with these people and they -- largely innocent and kindly -- scare me silly.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
3 months ago