the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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Rant: The Doctor

Sadly, this is not a rant about how the BBC needs to get its head out of its arse and bring back Dr. Who (which it most obviously does, but that's well known and there's nothing else I can add to the debate at this point).

No, I have to complain about my recent experience with the medical profession. I figure since I'm finally paying (and paying twice as much this year over last year), I get the right to bitch and moan until the cows come home.

Last Wednesday evening, I started coming down with a fever and other yucky, no-fun symptoms. I knew my doctor's office was going to be closed, so we didn't call that night for an appointment. When we took my temperature in the morning, I was at 101.8 degrees, and figuring that I had probably been even higher in the night, we figured it was time to exercise some of that fancy-shmancy health insurance of mine. Of course, there was no way I could get in to see my actual doctor, so I had to settle for whoever would see me.

Let me tell ya, folks, that's a surefire recipe for being sorely disappointed.

When the doctor came in to see me, he didn't bother to introduce himself to me, the patient, or even acknowledge me. Instead he spent several minutes doting on my wife and the knitting project that she was using to pass the time while we waited. So there I sat, feeling like death warmed over, and the doctor only seemed interested in her damn blanket.

After a rather perfunctory interrogation about why I had come in that day, he attempted bedside manner by asking me about my job. I hate when people fucking ask me about my job, because they either immediately blow me off, or they feel a need to drag the entire company through the mud, just for me, just to show how special and smart they are. This asshole was one of the latter, and he spared no time in dancing all around about how he'd bought the American Greetings "Create-A-Card" software years ago and therefore never needed to give our company another dime, and isn't that too bad for us, and why should he think about giving us any money, and who would ever get services from us again, and you'd have to be fucking insane to use the goddamn internet to send fucking greeting cards to people.

All the while, I'm thinking, "Hey asshole, I'm sick, I'm here to get taken care of. I'm not talking shit about your job, so lay the fuck off of mine, okay?!? Jesus!"

He left the room for a few minutes while I stewed and felt cranky. He came back to examine my ears, nose, and throat. I had already told him that I had a long history of strep throat, and that I was strongly suspicious of my various symptoms, but I had to practically beg to get a fucking throat culture done. I mean, come on, here I am, presenting with a nearly 102-degree fever, sore throat, and muscle and joint aches; you might as well have put up a neon fucking sign, blinking and buzzing "DO A THROAT CULTURE", and this waste of skin would still need a fucking reminder. Thankfully, I turned out to not have strep, at least according to the rapid test, but I feel like I shouldn't have had such a hard time getting to that point.

I had mentioned that I don't usually take Sudafed, DayQuil, or anything that says "non-drowsiness" because my body reacts very poorly to the stimulants therein -- I spend about an hour being totally high, unable to detect the presence of anything below my knees, then spend several hours crashing, wondering if the heavy thudding in my chest is really arrhtymic and dangerous or just the result of my totally messed up perceptions.

So, out came the bedside manner again, and he couched his free sample meds of choice in heaps of "not everyone's a big enough man for big manly medicines" language. Give me a fucking break! When I go to the doctor, it's because I'm in need of fucking care and treatment, not to have people take random shots at my self-esteem (or what passes for such) when I'm feeling shitty and defenseless. I had to bite my tongue to avoid calling him out for the chubby fuck that he was, and see how he liked a taste of his own medicine.

Ha-ha, bad pun, I know. Fuck off.

Then, without ever addressing the fact that my temperature was see-sawing crazily between 102 and 95 degrees, he sent me packing, laden with samples of Allegra and a drug company freebie pen. Like I need another fucking freebie drug company pen -- for the love of Christ, I grew up with more of them than I could count! I had more freebie drug company swag than this fucker could dream of.

He concluded our visit with a snotty, "I'll tell your doctor that you were sick." Yeah, thanks a lot, champ, that really helps me out.

I have been dutifully taking the Allegra twice a day, in the theory that it will clear up my congestion and relieve all of my various respiratory issues. I was always kind of dubious, but could never put my finger on it, until I was watching TV this morning. An ad for Allegra came on, and it mentioned that the side effects included...

...wait for it...

...COLDS!

So in order to alleviate my RUNAWAY COLD SYMPTOMS, he gave me freebie samples of a medicine that's shown to fucking GIVE PEOPLE COLDS!!

What a complete ASSHAT!

Over the weekend, I got a letter from my new insurance company, apologizing for misprinting the copay amount in all of the literature that we would have based our decisions on. Oh, and on the insurance cards that they mailed to us. Instead of a $10 copay, it's $20. And they're sorry for any inconvenience. Like the fact that it's now TOO FUCKING LATE TO CHANGE PROVIDERS! I can't wait for the doctor's office, having provided me completely useless service, to come after me two months from now for the other $10. What a fantastic medical system we have in this country... I wonder if they'll even reprint the card, or if the doctor's office will have to try to shake me down for it every time I visit them.

In conclusion, I must say:

To Dr. Seikel, FUCK YOU; to Medical Mutual of Ohio, FUCK YOU; and to the asshat disease vector who gave me this crap, FUCK YOU TOO; when I find you, I'm gonna breathe and cough and hack my phlegmy guts all over you, and I'm gonna make you fucking like it. Bitch.

But, in the immortal words of Denis Miller, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

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