April 17, 2013

The Slow Clap

 Me, applauding the ineptitude of my doctor with my numb arm.

The first night my arm went numb while driving.
Huh. That's weird.
And then it went away.
The next morning I got out of bed and collapsed on the floor in groin pain.
Oh.my.word. I am dying a someone-kicking-me-in-the-imaginary-cojones death.
And then it went away.

That afternoon my ankle started hurting, swelled, turned a mottled purple-pink.
Hello again, my dear friend WebMD.

ME, typing: Numb arm, kicked in the balls pain, old man gout ankle.
WEBMD: You are dying.
ME: I knew it!
WEBMD: Or you have gout.
ME: [Sigh.] That would be so nerdy. Which probably means that's it.
WEBMD: Or you have a blood clot.
ME: Ooo, I like that one. Let's go with that one.

In the doctor's office.
DOCTOR: WOW. It's...quite large...and purple. You say it's quite painful?
ME: Yes. I think I have a blood clot.
DOCTOR: Um, NO. I think it might be gout? Let's do some blood work today and we'll look at it again tomorrow.

The next day.
DOCTOR: It's looking a little worse. Well, it's not gout.
ME: I think it's a blood clot.
DOCTOR: Um, NO. I'd like to test for Lyme Disease. And lead poisoning.

The next day.
DOCTOR: Okay, I've talked with some colleagues and I'm pretty sure I know what it is.
ME: A blood clot?
DOCTOR: NO. No blood clot. I'm sorry I didn't recognize it right away - I don't see it too often.
ME, now scared: ....yes?...
DOCTOR: Well, I don't know how to say this.
ME: ......
DOCTOR: I'm about 98% certain you have...
ME: .....
DOCTOR: ...Well, you have gonorrhea.
ME, stupefied: .....
DOCTOR, uncomfortable: ....
ME: GONORRHEA? Like "The Clap"??
DOCTOR: Yes. I'm pretty certain.
ME: But WebMD didn't say anything like that!! GONORRHEA??
DOCTOR: Other than your husband, have you had...relations...with anyone else?
ME: NO!! See? I think it's a blood clot - there's no way I could have gotten it.
DOCTOR: Unless your husband...
ME: hahahaha! NO. hahahaha!
DOCTOR: I'm serious. You probably have it. It must be your husband. You need to talk to him.
ME: hahahaha!
DOCTOR, looking at me pointedly: .....
ME: There is no way.
DOCTOR: ......
ME: I mean, I'm fairly certain. He would never... right?...

And THAT'S how you end up having an uncomfortable conversation with your husband (who may or may not get really angry that you're questioning his fidelity...and then who turns around and starts wondering why you have gonorrhea since he obviously wasn't the one to cheat).

That's also how you end up explaining to curious (and maybe unbelieving) family and friends that you must have contracted gonorrhea from sitting in some STD-ridden tube while floating down the Muskegon river the weekend before.

That's also how you end up thinking you maybe should have brought a towel to sit on while reclining on a good friend's couch because you can tell she's super uncomfortable that you might be leaving weird germs all over her furniture (but she's way too nice to do anything other than lightly joke about it).

And then, when the long-awaited gonorrhea test comes back NEGATIVE, and you go to the real hospital, and you get an ultrasound to check out your veins, and then you go to a specialist who diagnoses you WITH A BLOOD CLOT...

...well, the only thing people tend to remember is that you had a gonorrhea foot.
And actually had the nerve to question your husband's fidelity.
And tried to blame an STD on a gross river tube.
And then probably contaminated your friend's couch.

They don't remember that you and WebMD were smarter than your doctor and that you actually never had gonorrhea in the first place. It stinks, being an untrained, unprofessional medical genius.

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