Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Shit Doctors Have Told Me by Alex Snider

Yesterday I wrote part one of my migraine saga, where I touched briefly on the fact that I've had some pretty terrible doctors. Sure it sucks having bad doctors, it means I have to fight really hard for care and to be taken seriously. It means I have to spend a lot of time outside of clinic's in tears on the phone with my mum, frustrated by another unhelpful appointment. It means I've spent almost 1,200 days with migraines, without relief. But, the good thing is that I have lots of amazing stories and one-liners that I don't feel at all weird about sharing on the Internet where they can be read by anyone, forever! (I feel a little weird but they're pretty funny!) (Some aren't very funny.)

My knee doctor (who seems to think I'm very fat. I'm only a little fat):
  • "Well, you're not wasting away anytime soon." :) Nope! Come on apocalypse! I'm not gonna be wasting away anytime soon! I'll outlive all y'all!
  • "Have you always been a big girl?" Um, no...
  • When discussing braces vs. tenser bandages: "A tenser wouldn't work because you don't exactly have skinny little legs." A tenser is elastic, though, no?
  • Telling me about his granddaughter who is climbing the CN Tower for charity: "But, she's like you, she's always desperate to show her worth or something." ??
My old GP in Winnipeg when I went to him for a rash that my jewelry/stress was causing on my wrist and neck: 
  • "You work in a bar downtown... There is a syphilis outbreak..." I've felt vanilla ever since for not seeing a wrist rash and thinking: STD from kinky wrist sex, obviously! 
My GP in Toronto (while being treated for depression, after I overdosed):
  • "Most people don't need more than a month to recover from depression." Oh.
  • "Here," (scribbles something on his prescription pad, hands it to me), "it's a prescription for fun." Ooooooh, that was my problem! I wasn't trying hard enough! I should be trying to have fun! Less trying not to die, more, I don't know, carnivals!
  • "Well, maybe you shouldn't go to school in the Fall." Oh.
  • "I'm going to refer you to the depression clinic at [whatever] hospital." NEVER DID.  
My GP in Toronto on my irregular periods (like once every four or five months):
  • "You don't have PCOS so... that's just the way your body is!"
My GP on my migraines:
  • "That's just the way your body is!" I fear one day I will set him on fire.
My GP on everything else:
  • Have you always had that problem?" (If I answer more than six months) "That's just the way your body is!"
A random doctor I saw in Winnipeg when I went back right after my whole "argh, I want to die!" *swallows 40 Tylenol* thing:
  • "Why would a pretty girl like you want to kill herself?" Hey, knee doctor, he thinks I'm pretty! 
  • After I told him I saw a naturopath to help manage the migraines: "You are stupid." 
  • "Are you having trouble sleeping?" Me: "Not really. I mean, I watch TV all night but I don't have insomnia or anything." Him: "Here is a bottle of sleeping pills." I'm still convinced that was some kind of test... Maybe I'm actually a super famous hidden camera game show contestant in Japan. 
At least I don't have any horrible gynecologist stories? One of my friends had an elderly male doctor tell her she had a very clean vagina. Time for a lady-doctor.


  1. The thing that's so frustrating for me is wondering whether or not doctors who have better bedside manner are actually any better at providing treatment? I get along great with my current psychiatrist, but he has a somewhat unusual approach to to medication and therapy, and I wonder a lot about how to figure out which doctors are going to provide good care. Without getting a medical education, after all, one doesn't have enough knowledge to really second-guess your doctors.

    Very frustrating.

  2. Yeah, that's really true. This year I had a few weeks of depression again and the most daunting thing about it was the prospect of having to go through all the medical stuff again, trying to get the help that I need. I find doctors and all the medical rigmarol absolutely exhausting and wading through the good and the bad and the bad but maybe good (?) just seems so unnecessarily difficult. Certainly not an industry built on customer service.