Vila follows up

March 25, 2007 § 18 Comments

Tomorrow, the slew of follow-up appointments begins.  First up is a visit to the Infectious Diseases Clinic, where I presume that I will be tested for infectious disease.  You see, it is my ophthalmologist’s firm belief that people under the age of sixty never, ever get shingles.  Therefore, my ophthalmologist, who shall hereafter be known as Dr. Evil, is convinced that there is something wrong with my immune system.

Of course, Dr. Evil didn’t actually tell me this.  Being a lowly patient, I am apparently incapable of processing actual information, so he didn’t waste time with direct communication.  Instead, he began his exam with a Guantanamo-style interrogation, which went something like this: 

Dr. Evil:  Have you ever done drugs? 

Um, what the fuck?  How about starting with “Hello,” or, “My name is Dr. Evil?”  Besides, what do drugs have to do with shingles?

Me:  Um…

Dr. Evil:  I said, have you ever done drugs?

Christ, of course I’ve done drugs, loads of them, but none recently.  Okay, Vila, what should you say?

Me:  Uh, no, not lately.

Dr. Evil:  C’mon, what about pot?  You’ve done pot, right?

Oh my god, he thinks people “do” pot.  Loser.  At least he didn’t call it “reefer.”

Me:  Yeah, sure, but not much anymore.

Dr. Evil:  Okay, what else?

Me:  Um, nothing.  Wait, actually, I smoke.  And I drink alcohol.  Does that count?

Dr. Evil:  No.  C’mon, are you telling me you don’t do drugs?  What else?

What, do I look like a meth-head?  Suddenly, I remember my trip to Vancouver.  I guess I should tell him… 

Me:  Well, I did Ecstasy like, six months ago.

Apparently, this was not the confession he was looking for.  Frustrated, he clenched his fist and made a clumsy jabbing motion with his other hand.

Dr. Evil:  What about this?  Have you ever done (jabbing for effect) this?

Oh fuck, now I get it.  Dr. Evil thinks I have AIDS.  Okay, Vila, this is where it gets interesting.  Do you tell him that you have used needles, but not since you were a teenager and that you have had at least two HIV tests since then?  Can you cram all of that into a one-word answer?  Make a call, Vila…

Me:  No, of course not. 

Dr. Evil:  Hmm…

Stymied, he decides to switch gears.

Dr. Evil:  Okay, how many people have you had sex with?

Great, here we go…

Me:  What, like, ever?

Dr. Evil:  No, not ever.  In the last year.

I almost answer “none,” but then I remember Vancouver.  It really was quite the vacation.

Me:  Um, two.

Dr. Evil:  Ah!  So you have, on average, two sexual partners a year?

I stifle a laugh.  How do I explain to this guy that Uranus is transiting my relationships sector and that, because of it, my sex life lurches between feast and famine?  Moreover, does making out with someone in an alley while blind drunk count?  

Me:  No, I have had two sexual partners this year.  Both completely safely.

He seems disappointed.  Moments later, a second doctor enters the examining room.

Dr. Bitch:  (Sharply.)  Are you pregnant?

I stifle another laugh.

Me:  No!

Dr. Bitch:  Are you sure?  Maybe you are and you don’t know it?

You’re right, doc.  It is theoretically possible that God fucked me while I was sleeping last week and that I am now carrying his Son.  It’s so like God not to use a condom.

Me:  I’m absolutely certain I’m not pregnant.

Dr. Bitch:  Because pregnant women get shingles…

I don’t believe this.  If only I had a used tampon to prove my chastity.

Me:  I assure you that I am not pregnant.  I am not now, nor have I ever been, nor, hopefully, will I ever be pregnant. 

At this point, the two doctors confer with each other, and I receive my referral to the Infectious Diseases Clinic.

Wish me luck.


§ 18 Responses to Vila follows up

  • husk says:

    God’s a sneaky bastard!!

  • tornwordo says:

    What is it with these doctors? It’s supposed to be health CARE.

  • mare says:

    At least there isn’t a three month waiting list for the Infectious Diseases Clinic.

    Good luck anyway, but I hope you don’t need it.

    (and uh, great post.)

  • JonasParker says:

    “It’s so like God not to use a condom.” Quote of the day.

  • zura says:

    What the fuck??? I have the grand urge to walk in and bitch slap this so called “doctor”. What a horrible experience, I’m sorry that apparently being unwell is not enough, these chumps have to rub it in with nonsense. The Infectious Diseases Clinic is a good one, actually, many competent and caring people there.

  • xanthium says:

    Geez, I think Montreal has the worst doctors on the planet. I remember when I went to a health clinic with a really bad cough, the doctor asked me if I smoked. I said yes, but that I hadn’t been in a month or so, since I had first gotten sick. She told me that I may as well keep smoking with a my horrible chest infection because it takes six months before not smoking has any effect on your lungs. She then prescribed an antibiotic, so I had the flu AND a yeast infection.

    Hope you feel better–and that your next doctor is better.

  • heather says:

    Vila, that is disgusting. Absolutely vile. I cannot gey my head around the fact that doctors feel themselves to be in a position to be so utterly condescending. It’s positively unreal and I’m sorry you went through it.
    Gross, gross, gross.

  • uberfrau says:

    Yeah, they always go for the HIV and Pregnancy. The same thing happened to me when I had mono. Have I mentioned that I am under sixty and had shingles lots of times? Have fun at the infectious dieases. Here’s hoping you don’t pick up consumption.

  • uberfrau says:

    Not to mention that time when I broke my leg and they didn’t have a splint at the hospital and told me that I didn’t need any pain killers or a splint. And that I shouldn’t worry about treking up the stairs with crutches that were too short because and I quote: “Don’t worry, the pain will keep your leg straight.”

  • uberfrau says:

    I keep trying to post comments and it won’t let me…

  • At the risk of sounding like a defender of the “faith” (or medical status quo, if you prefer…), interrogating people like they did to you is the essence of the clinical “art”. Having said this, it sounds like this guy’s approach was more “paint by numbers” (on velvet, no less). Either that, or he’s been watching House too much and thinks everybody is always lying. On the shingles front…Dermatology is one of most the obsolete specialist understandings of disease out there. Most of the symptoms in this realm can be attributed, at least partly, to stress. That’s not much of a diagnosis, though, and helps very little in terms of prognosis, so there’s tension between patient and practitioner.

    All this high-minded crap aside, I hope you figure it out (with or without expert advice) and start feeling better soon…

  • erwin2024 says:

    ahh..uberfrau: so lucky we all are that they cut you off from posting more..feeling certain you have never gotten over your ‘montreal health care sucks’ leg episode. Not that I can blame you..but boy did I LOL when I started seeing numerous posts on this subject from you…

  • erwin2024 says:

    and then.. just like that God interrupted you and prevented you from writing more ….

  • uberfrau says:

    Well it did suck. I didn’t even mention the oh so sympathetic nurse who, while wheeling me into xrays, berrated me for being american, because all we did was come up to Quebec, slip on the ice, break bones and drain the Canadian health care system of its precious resources. Or the doctor who held my broken leg up by my toes, so that the entire weight of my leg barred down on my broken knee, whilst he wrapped my leg in gauze and DUCT TAPE. Or fourth months later for my third cancelled surgery, when the doctor said that he couldn’t do anything, when asked him if I should stand out in the middle of to get hit by a car, then would he operate? He at last gave me a direct line to someone in Orthopedics. What is there to get over? I am certain I would have received better care in a field hospital for doctors without borders.

  • Vila H. says:

    Hmm, from medical history to blasphemy–it’s quite the crop today. (Grins.) Quickly…

    Zura: You’re absolutely right–the IDC rocks! More on that soon.

    Xanthium: Sounds like my kind of doctor. ;-)

    Sparky: The things you can learn in PhD school. (Ducks.) Yeah, I sussed out the approach right away, but he employed it oafishly at best. At one point I found myself thinking that I feel the same way about medical professionals as I do about men: i.e., I much prefer when they give it to me straight.

    D.: Your comments keep getting caught in my spam filter, which holds them until I manually approve them. I think there’s something about the word “Uberfrau” that it doesn’t like. Maybe it’s German for Viagra? Anyway, you still win the prize for being treated wretchedly by doctors, hands down.

    Erwin/Husk: I’ll see you both in hell, dears. ;-)

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  • Alison Cummins says:

    My family lived in Africa when I was a teenager. At one point my father and younger sister (about 14 years old) developed hepatitis A. As part of the workup the doctor felt he had to ask about sharing needles and unsafe sex. Sigh. The nice doctor was recently from Amsterdam, apparently, where those are the usual means of transmission of hepatitis. In Africa, you get it in a much simpler and more direct manner: from eating shit. We thought the doctor’s naivete was kind of cute.

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