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|Guys don't go to the doctor's, I don't know why and I don't
make the rules. We go because women make us go. My first visit to a doctor,
other than my birth which also involved a woman, was to have my tonsils
removed, my mom brought me. I don't remember much about it
except I wouldn't have gone on my own accord and the amount of post
operative ice cream delivered was no where near enough to compensate me for
I have to admit that on a few occasions I did see a doctor without a woman telling me to. Both times I was in the Army and it only involved turning my head and coughing. In my defense I was told to go by my Drill Sergeant who had previously told me that he was going to be my Father, my Priest, and my Mother for the next 14 weeks.
I have seen the doctor for exams, which were setup by my wife. On one occasion I admitted to my wife that I should probably see a doctor, only because I was laying on the bathroom floor in the most pain I have ever been in before. I had thrown out my back and unfortunately my wife was in the room as a spasm dragged me to one knee, then to both knees and finally to the floor. She stood confidently over me concerned, but smiling. She had tried to get me to go see a doctor earlier, but I had refused saying, "I'll be fine. I think my back is getting better."
She was smiling because she got to say to me, "Tom I don't believe it is getting better." I lay on the floor unable to make the slightest move and spoke through my clenched teeth, "I think you might be right, maybe I should see a doctor?" The next question was how? I couldn't move and even when I didn't move the pain was unbelievable. I have been told by every woman I have ever told this story to that the pain could not have been worst than giving birth, which happily I will never be able to confirm, but it was really bad.
The doctor took some x-rays and explained that my spine was perfectly straight, ramrod straight. Unfortunately your spine is not suppose to be straight. It is suppose to have a lovely curve to it. The doctor was concerned if my muscles tightened up anymore my spine would snap in two, which I am told is bad and also very painful, but I am sure not as painful as the pain I felt laying on that bathroom floor.
I was given vast quantities of drugs to stop this from occurring. I lay in bed and forgave the doctors for their stinginess with the ice cream. I believe I also signed over all of my stock options to my wife and I think allowed my kids to use my credit cards.
This was a long time ago but since I don't like to relive any time when my wife was clearly right and I was clearly wrong I now go to the doctor's before I end up on the floor with her standing over me saying, "Tom I don't believe it is getting better."
I needed to get a physical because I have a pain in my side when I drink alcohol, which I am sure my friends in the church would say could be easily corrected by not drinking alcohol, but I am a System Engineer so you have to consume alcohol.
I decided to take some Flexible Time Off or FTO, from work and go see the doctor. I made the appointment over the phone and then on the day of the appointment I realized that I don't have the slightest idea where our doctor is. I've only lived here for a couple of years so I feel I'm justified. I get in the general area and do what I always do, call my wife. "Honey, where the heck is our doctor's office?," I ask into the phone. She directs me using fast food places as the reference points, "Can you see the sushi place?" "What sushi place?" "The one next to the Olive Garden across from Tony Roma' s." I walk a bit more and reply, "Wait a second, Yes, I see it." She tells me, "Ok turn around and you will see the pizza place. Right behind the pizza place is the doctor's office." Not to skip too far ahead but later when the doctor tells me I have to lose some weight I find it hard to disagree with him.
The doctor is a Pediatrician and does Family Practice. This is good since Cheryl and the kids have already seen him, and his staff gives out lollipops if you are good in the waiting room. I fill out the form as best I can. I don't believe that I am stupid, I know how to field strip a 25mm chain gun, install five versions of Linux, and rebuild an automatic transmission, but I don't know my own phone number, wife's social security number, or any of my insurance information. I did struggle with my wife's birthday and I won't put the date in this story for a couple of reasons, one my wife would not like her birthday posted on a web site, and two I might have gotten it wrong which would be much worse than posting it. I had to put down something because although I knew that I could get away with telling them," That since my wife and kids have already seen the doctor you must have the insurance information and her social security number on file." I was still terrified they would comment, "You don't even know your wife's birthday?" They were still not pleased with me so I didn't get a sucker.
Since I didn't get a sucker I wasn't too happy about all the kids. They were really loud but the toys in the waiting room were kind of cool so it all balanced out. While I was filling out the medical forms about all of my past problems I had to pull out my PDA since I wrote my symptoms down in it. I am not sure if this is a good idea or not. If you write down your symptoms you have them for the doctor and the forms but you also have a tendency to continue to build the list. It seems kind of silly to write a list with just one symptom so my list grew over the two weeks I waited to see the doctor. It was pretty long by now and I didn't really want to write all of them down. I saw one of the kids point at me like I was cheating because I was copying from my PDA so I finally just put down, "Symptoms: I don't feel good." I figured that I could go into more detail with the doctor later.
I dropped off the forms and sat down to wait. It wasn't too long before I was brought back to the examination room. A pretty nurse took my blood pressure and wrote down my vitals. She then took some blood, which I thought I was very brave about, but I still didn't get a lollipop. She handed me a cup and told me to fill it. I wasn't sure if she meant in front of her and I also wasn't sure what she wanted me to fill it with. Luckily she showed me to the restroom before I embarrassed or impressed her. She still wasn't that clear about what I was suppose to fill it with but I took a guess and put it in the little cubby hole. I also thanked God that my job did not involve removing or analyzing the contents. I went back to the room and she was surprised how quickly I had accomplished my mission, which made me wonder if I had guessed correctly about the mission. She then made me remove my shirt. I rarely walk around without my shirt on and hate to do it in front of cute women since although I know I don't have a shot with them, removing my shirt is never going to improve the odds.
I get prodded a few more times by a couple of other healthcare professionals and after a while I stop putting my shirt back on, since while walking around without one doesn't increase the odds that some lovely nurse will try and tempt me away from my wife, stripping it off in front of them seems to make them almost as uncomfortable as I feel. I have to go over to get a chest x-ray. The nurse tells me to take a deep breath, let it out and tighten up my stomach. She has to wait for me to stop laughing and then says, "Do the best you can." I am now walking around the doctor's office like it is a topless bar since I have long given up any dignity.
I walk back into the examination room to find it empty except for a tube of KY jelly and a single rubber glove. No guy in the world wants to see that laying on the examination table. I am getting nervous. I still have only seen the doctor once when he popped his head in to say, "Hi." Another nurse comes in and for some reason I have my shirt back on, which she asks me to remove and to lay down on the table. I ask her what she means since I can not get my mind off the rubber glove. Luckily she tells me to lay down on my back. She places the leads for the EKG machine on me and tells me she will try and do it without shaving me. The machine malfunctions while she is trying to print out the results and she scares the heck out of me by saying, "Oh no, This doesn't look good. I have never seen this." She then explains that the printer jammed and she hopes I don't mind if she takes another EKG. There is a rubber glove and KY jelly laying on the table and she just said, "Oh no, This doesn't look good." I tell her she might want to wait since my heart rate might be a bit artificially high. She laughs and does the test again. The printer works this time.
The doctor comes in and sits with me. We shoot the breeze for a bit, which is nice because his staff already has me scared. He looks at my chest x-ray and tells me my heart is a bit enlarged which I never can figure out why this is a bad thing, but I know it is. My EKG seems fine, which surprises me, and the best news of all he has decided not to do a prostrate exam. I'm sure the reader is just as pleased since you don't want me to describe that.
He asked me about my symptoms so I pull out by PDA, which makes me a geek but I want to get my money's worth. I tell him about the pain when I drink too much. I explain that I lived in Europe for about five years, three years in Germany and two and a half in England so I might just have consumed more than my fair share of alcohol. I told him I don't drink too much anymore but I do visit Dallas a lot so it still might be a bit higher than normal.
I read off the rest of my fairly lengthy list, sounding a bit like a hypochondriac. He listens patiently and then tells me I think you should lose some weight. I am five foot, ten inches tall and weigh 230 pounds, I didn't go to medical school but I assume that since he did I would get better advice than, I should lose some weight. I mean I kind of knew that when I came in. He tells me that all of my symptoms could be weight related and he will review them again after I lose some weight. I am sure he knows that it is going to take a long time for me to lose enough weight to rule that out as the cause and that I will most likely move or die before we can rule out "overweight." I also think that any stranger off the street could have given me the same advice. I could walk up to anybody and say, "I don't feel so good." They would respond, "Lose some weight fat boy." In fact standing in front of the mirror shaving I had given myself that exact advice that morning, with a second opinion provided to me by my wife.
He tells me that I should exercise one hour a day six days a week. I mean come on, if he doesn't want to see me anymore he should just tell me. Who exercises a hour everyday? I work, sleep, watch a little television and eat meals if you total it up it takes about 29 hours a day so where am I going to get that 30th hour from. I tell him, he is completely out of his mind, although it sounded like I said, "I'll try."
One of the hundreds of hypochondriactic symptoms I had written down was that when I run up the stairs at work to the fifth floor, I'm really winded. I can't seem to catch my breath. The people on the fifth floor know this because they hear me wheezing down the hallway while I turn a vibrant blue color. I assumed the doctor was going to tell me, "To lose some weight." I mean a big fat guy running up five flights of stairs might be a little short of breath. He didn't though he told me he thinks I might have "Exercise induced Asthma." I don't believe I have asthma but since I don't exercise, I could have exercise induced asthma and not really know it, couldn't I? He gives me two prescriptions the first is for an inhaler which pushes me way over the "geek" line. I work for a software company, play computer games, own a TiVo (plus I know that the T and the V in TiVo are capitalized and that it runs on Linux.) Now I have an inhaler!
I look at the other prescription which says, "Lose some freak'n weight." I hope that the pharmacy can fill that prescription.
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