Saturday, May 5, 2001

Cowards Make The Worst Patients

I haven't shared a self-deprecating anecdote in a while, so here's a brief recap of my visit to the local walk-in medical clinic the other day to get my wake-me-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night sore throat addressed.

I'm not really good with doctors and medical settings in general. They make me uncomfortable. I don't like needles. Don't like pills. Don't like the idea that the doctor on duty might be a graduate a Haitian medical school who's stethoscope harbors an exotic, flesh-eating disease. But they were cool there. I think the last time I saw a doctor, there was no such thing as a doctor younger than me, but this guy I saw was like Doogie Howser, sneakers and all. It was a little embarassing having to give a throat culture. I seem to have a particularly sensitive gag reflex. It took the nurse five tries to get the swabs past my teeth. As soon as she did, I was gagging like Chewbacca with an Ewok lodged in his trachea. Quite embarrassing. Have you ever tried to give a dog a heartworm pill? That's what it was like. Plus, I got all distracted making sure nobody was trying to sneak up on with me a needle, so I didn't always hear the instructions the doc was giving me: He told me to stick out my tongue and say "ahh" .. so I did. Then he told me to look at his nose (?!) but I thought I saw a nurse with a hypo in my peripheral vision (there actually was a nurse passing in the hall ... it was a baby she was holding though) and I got distracted, so I stuck out my tongue and said "ahh" again as he pointed a flashlight at my closed eyes in a vain attempt, I presume, to check my pupil dilation. When I opened my eyes he furrowed his brow disparagingly at me and repeated the instructions more slowly, as if to a mental defective.

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