I used to watch a TV series called House. I enjoyed seeing the obnoxious doctor played by Hugh Laurie diagnose difficult medical conditions. In many ways the show was formulaic because each week there was a new condition and the team of medical professionals would try to come up with a solution…usually including outrageous and life-threatening procedures. However, the unorthodox approach of the curmudgeonly Dr. House intrigued me, so I can safely say that I’ve watched every episode of the series.
The thing I’ve discovered over the last week is that when you’re the one that is being jerked around by narcissistic doctors who don’t have the time to listen, it’s not so entertaining. I can forgive the first emergency room doctor because he did the right tests, they just didn’t show the indicators that would point to a diagnosis. The second ER doctor, however, made Dr. House look like a saint. It was about four in the morning, and I had been in mind-bending pain for at least five hours. I arrived at the ER via an ambulance. Then this patronizing arrogant doctor stalked into the room, and condescendingly told me that I hadn’t given the meds prescribed two days before time to work. Not being an ignorant, uneducated woman, I immediately started asking questions to show that I brain in my head and wanted to know what was really going on. At this point Dr. Pompous jabbed his finger into the painful part of my anatomy like a sadistic dentist who takes pleasure in seeing his patients jerk while he pokes the cavity and says, “Does this hurt?” or the spiteful brother who shoves snow down your shirt and won’t let you get it out. Technically, I think I was assaulted. I mean, I almost hit the ceiling in pain! Nevertheless, in the state I was in I didn’t call him on it and continued to demurely ask questions. My goal was to get the info I needed to make the pain end.
The next day, the pain was worse, so my husband took me back to the ER…what else can one do? Reenter the first doctor who reordered the first tests to be repeated. By this time, the whites of my eyes were yellow and so was my skin. It was obvious to everyone that I’m not a hypochondriac and since I’m allergic to most pain meds, I’m not seeking drugs. (I’ve refused to take pain killers during recovery after three surgical procedures.) Suddenly, I had a surgeon!
And what a surgeon, I had! I’m not sure what it was, but from the moment I met him, I was sure I didn’t want him to cut into me. I like to believe the best in people, but this doctor’s inability to communicate well did not inspire confidence. Fortunately for me, the infection in my gallbladder was so “impressive” that Dr. Doubtful felt that it was better to consult his partner. The next day I met the ancient Dr. Welby. This man with his grandfatherly surgeon was at one time possibly the best doctor I could have met. Seriously, I would have put my gallbladder in his hands without any qualms twenty years ago. However, when I asked him about doing the surgery “sooner” rather than later and he thought I said “tumor” I started to experience internal tremors. When he nearly left the room without his coat, all confidence left.