Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Dr. Snot

The Husband is home sick today. I’m at work, wishing I could be at home with him. But alas, the world still turns, so he must pick up his own prescription from a 24-hour pharmacy that takes way too long to prepare medicine for sick people.

I hate being sick. Actually, I generally refuse to believe I’m sick until a medical professional actually tells me that I am. I live suffering in stubborn denial until I’m either too sick to function properly or I get fussed at enough to make me go. By that time I’ve usually self-diagnosed the problem and going to the doctor is just a step I must go through to get the necessary medicine so I can go to the pharmacy that takes forever to get it ready.

Case in point, last week. My head and chest was filled with thick, gross stuff that was a lovely shade of, well, nevermind. I could hardly talk and sounded quite stupid when I did. Even my dog was freaked out by the sound of my voice. So, I plodded along to the doctor, which, by the way, I had never been to before because our insurance changed in January. Anyway, I go to meet Dr. Snot (name changed to protect her identity). So, Dr. Snot spent a total of 3 minutes with me, told me I did indeed have a sinus infection, laryngitis, and was on my way to bronchitis. “Here,” she said, “take this and you’ll be fine in a few days” as she matter-of-factly handed me two small blue pieces of paper with doctor-scribble on them. “What is this?” I asked, holding up the second blue piece of paper, being quite experienced at what sinus medicines do to me and my already wound-too-tight brain. “It’s just an antihistamine” replied Dr. Snot, shocked that I had the nerve to even ask. “Ok, no problem.” I said, “Sometimes the prescription decongestants are too much for me.” I was actually fishing for a more detailed explanation of the medicine, but I guess she figured I didn’t need it. She obviously had better things to do than to spend time answering my silly questions. So I paid my insurance co-pay and hastily made my way to the 24-hour pharmacy that takes too long to get medicine ready. I dropped off the scripts and asked the white-coated tech through 3-inch thick glass and a microphone that came from 1982, “What exactly is that second one?” “Oh, it’s just an antihistamine, decongestant combo” he crackles through the microphone he impatiently adjusts with every other word. Great.

So yesterday, Husband wakes up and can hardly talk. I’ve been on the mend since last week, and now it’s his turn. He too, is in denial about being sick, so I told him he had to go to see Dr. Snot or be sick forever. I called to tell him his appointment time, to which he responded, “Will you go with me?” Of course I will. What kind of wife denies her husband the privilege of suffering in her presence while sitting in a germ-infested waiting room? After filling out fourteen forms and watching some kid plague the nurses behind the counter, we are finally taken back to the exam room to wait more. Dr. Snot takes her time getting to us – we learned from last week that a wheezing, slime-blowing person who can’t talk is not a high priority on her list. She comes in and immediately recognizes me from the previous week. I get a quick hello and a handshake. Dr. Snot then turns to Husband, and becomes a different person. She takes her time examining him, all the while being sweet and motherly and asking him all kinds of questions. She kindly scolds him for drinking too much coffee and not enough water and sits down on her little rolly stool to have a nice chat with him. Dr. Snot proceeds to gently tell Husband that he definitely needs an antibiotic – has he ever taken this kind before? His response is in the negative, and she proceeds to explain exactly what kind this is, what it does, how it works, and that it won’t upset his stomach like another kind he’s taken before. He should also get plenty of rest and not talk very much. She also writes on her little blue prescription pad the name of two over-the-counter medications he should take since he doesn’t need a prescription decongestant (like remembering the names of them is too strenuous for him). As we stand up to walk out, Dr. Snot is still being all sweet and motherly and tells Husband that if he’s not better by Monday to be sure and call her – she wants to know.

As we leave, I’m utterly confused. I know this is the same doctor I saw only one week ago. She hurriedly diagnosed me, slapped a couple of blue pieces of paper into my hand, and turned me out the door. She’s just taken a good ten minutes with Husband, being all sappy the entire time, and given him one prescription. What the heck? Not that I need to be coddled by any means, but I certainly expect to be treated the same way everyone else is. Why was she all drippy sweet to him, after being swift and curt with me? Dr. Snot is obviously a grandma, so why would it make any difference if her patient was male or female? Is this reverse discrimination or simply a case of “Dr. Jekyll and Dr. Hyde”?
That’s why I hate being sick. You never know who you’ll see when you go to the Doctor. Pin It


  1. You are just way too clever.

    You know why Dr. Snot treated you like she did - because she was intimidated by someone who has a BRAIN...Not that Husband doesn't have a brain :) He just does a clever job of hiding his from the unsuspecting.

  2. Anonymous4:02 PM

    Oh NOOOOO, she turned on anonymous comments!

    The FI zerg begins!