Monday, April 4, 2011

Doctor Unapproachable

It is 1:39 AM.  I slept all day today, so I have no idea why I am tired; but I know that as soon as my head hits the pillow, I will be asleep.

Saturday was pretty good!  I felt fairly happy. Got household chores done, made a job offer, called a bunch of students for the new term, went out to dinner.  The girl I saw in the mirror was smokin' HOT!

Today?  Forget it.  Thought about CB all day... when I was awake.  That's why it was nice to stay asleep. 

I remember altering my view of "progress" a couple years ago, when I was sick.  I learned not to compare today with yesterday.  Better to compare today with last week; in which case, I am doing better. 

I had my appointment with Dr. Perfect the other day.  The verdict on why Leftie hurts? I'm finally getting some feeling back on that side and I'm not used to it.  For real?  We spent a little time bullshitting each other, then I asked him about depression (although I hesitate to call what I have depression - can't I just be sad?) in cancer survivors.  I asked whether he has had patients over the years who have struggled with depression a long while after the immediate problem has cleared up.  I was hoping he would say, "Yes.  Happens all the time." 

He looked stumped!  It was kind of funny to see him at a loss.  "Well, could be. But people don't talk to me much about how they feel.  I mean psychologically."

He is a very intimidating person in some ways.  Friendly and polite, yes.  Kindly, no.  A little too handsome.  A little too suave.  He does not invite confidences. He has a softer side, but it is well varnished over. 

I remember when I was in the hospital...for...the mastectomy I guess.  One of those times. I was WAY drugged up when he stopped in on his rounds.  He POPPED in the door and cried, "HI THERE, MS. KATE!"  Scared the hell out of me!  I hollered ("AIGH!!") and jumped, which hurt; which made me holler again.  Which made him holler.  He learned his lesson about popping out at me, though.  The next time I was an in-patient, I remember he did his rounds very late at night. I was trying to sleep, but not succeeding because... well, my chest hurt and hospitals are just not all that restful, y'know? I was lying there in jthe light from the street outside when he tiptoed in.

"Hey, Doc."
He whispered, "Hey, Ms. Kate. Still awake?"
"Does anyone really sleep in the hospital?  You're here late."
"Yeah, I went up to the U. to swim laps in the pool."
"Ah.  That's why I smell chlorine."

He didn't turn the light on: just checked to make sure that the bandages were in the right place, and that I hadn't been disobedient and removed the goddamn pressure stockings.  I called him a TED Hose Nazi once.  He didn't think it was funny. 

"Do you like the new bra I got you for your lingerie collection?"
This was a long-running joke between us - I would always wake up with a new, hospital issue bra.
"Sexy!  Thanks!"
"Look!" He pointed out a tiny bit of embroidery.  "It even has a flower!" 

I guess I'm trying to say that he can be a regular human; but it's important not to be too deferential.

He has occasionally told me that I am one of his favorite patients because I tell him what I really think. This might be because my dad was a doctor, so I know that when he's done being Mr. Hot-Shot Plastic Surgeon, he goes home and watches reality TV shows or trims his nose hairs or something.

In this case, though, he was nonplussed.
"Do you need me to refer you to someone for counseling?"
"No, I'm seeing someone, thank you."
"I could write you a prescription for something...."
"Thanks, but no.  I really don't want to do that."
"Well, that's good."  He looked relieved. "Too many people popping 'Sandy candy' as it is."

We agreed that I would see him in July for a graft procedure; but until then, I'm good, unless my mammo comes back lumpy.

After he left, his nurse Patty came to stand beside me while I got dressed. 

"His patients don't talk to him much.  But I can tell you what I see.  It's you tough girls that end up with this problem.  All through the treatments and the surgeries, you say, 'I'm good!  I'm fine!'  Then you crash a couple years later.  He doesn't see it, but it is a pattern."  Wow.  Patty thinks I'm a tough girl.  Pffft.

You would think I would know by now:  talk to the nurses.  They are the ones who know. 


  1. Girl you are a tough girl!!!!!
    And I feel for you--especially about y our you know I can't leave mine either--I blog on it but no heartfelt stuff.

    Anyway thanks for the advice--not sure what road to take all I kno wit the road I'm quite sure my hubs rather I not travel--as in quit my job. But darn it --dont I wish I could do that without consequences!!!
    BTW I think you are doing a great job---rememeber keep your CB thoughts to a minimum!!!


  2. I have often commented that nurses are WAY smarter than doctors and I'm not just giving them lip service.

    If you really want to know something, ask the nurse.

    You ARE one of the tough ones.

    Once, Liv cut her foot so badly that I was terrified. I got her to the hospital, sat there holding her hand while they stitched her up, got her home and in bed with her foot propped up. Bing came home just as I was walking out of Liv's room and as we were walking down the stairs, I got dizzy and fainted. You have to be strong when you have to and then when it is can let go.

    The best song that I have ever heard about this is called "Let Go" by Frou Frou.

    It's okay to let go, dude.

  3. Good observations re Dr Perfect, and yeah he is probably at home trimming his nose hair as I type this.
    And wise words from Nurse Patty. You are so one of the tough girls.
    And it's fine to let go sometimes too.