by Amy Lignor of The Write Companion
Ah, the joys of the medical community. You know? When I was little we had one doctor in our small town. He reminded me of a teddy bear. The guy was absolutely huge but constantly spoke about eating healthy. You know the old adage? Do as I say, not as I do. However, this man knew everything. He apparently went to medical school before it became all about botox and nose jobs. When you were ill the man could cure you in one visit with treatments that cost no more that $15.00 for the penicillin that kills all.
Another set of doctors that stand out in memory? Those amazing men (cute, too.) who were my baby doctors. They not only liked the baby, they liked the mom, and they did everything within their power to make sure that your pregnancy and labor was absolutely perfect or, as perfect as labor can be when trying to eject an elephant out of something the size of a Dixie cup. (Isn’t it a wonder that they always ‘coo’ over how cute and LITTLE the baby is?)
Mine didn’t want to come out. In fact, she took one look at the room and went right back in - more than a few times. They told me that her foot was stuck on my rib. Ah, my daughter, an acrobat even then. Talented to the extreme. I’ve always been waiting for her to move to Vegas and join Circus, Circus. Of course, I was stuck with a different doctor that day and for ten hours he spoke to me in some foreign language and told me I was over-exaggerating the pain. (Lucky for him I was in pain or he wouldn’t have gotten out of that room with a face). THEN late in the afternoon, my real Prince Charming came back in, took one look at me, rolled me down to the brightly-lit room and, BOOM - my beloved child was here, and the Demerol was flowing. I will always hold them in the highest esteem for that child…not to mention that Demerol
As you know, this Yankee moved from the East to the South and things…changed. I have recently been up against a slew of doctor’s that were, what you would call…challenged. I have no idea where they went to medical school, but I’m assuming they had to learn the language of goat-herders in order to receive their diplomas.
Don’t believe me? The first, said that I had an anxiety disorder from my job ($1,000). Then, weeks later, he said my brain wasn’t firing as well on the left as it was on the right ($500). Of course it wasn’t firing right, the left side was still in shock from the amount of money I had to pay for this high-tech advice. The third visit he said, “Well…there are just some things that can’t be explained.” I could’ve gotten that advice from a Reverend at no cost.
On to my mother. The doctor first said that she had osteoporosis but no arthritis, thankfully, and all she needed was a referral to a bone doctor. ($200). Next visit, she said that, “Of course there was arthritis in Mom’s hip! I mean, WHY ELSE would she be having such a hard time!” And, I have to refer you to that bone specialist we talked about ($150). Have we received the referral? Nope. We did, however, receive a plastic box and a card that explained how to screen for ‘fecal occult blood.’ What a name, right? I was wondering if this meant that if you “laid waste” in the plastic container and it tested positive, you were Satan’s follower - hence the occult term. By the way, does this have anything to do with arthritis or bones? Nope. Just a precaution. For what…I have no idea. ($100)
The directions? Yes, I have to share. “Apply samples from bowel movements collected over three different days BUT if blood is visible don’t do it.” Well…first; if blood is visible - too late, you’ve already done it. Second; if blood is visible than why need the test? Just get your butt to an emergency room! ($60)
Now, the child. Sore throat. Totally normal. But when you have a child that should’ve been a soap opera queen - or in line to be the next martyr - it is automatically ‘mono.’ Of course, she had no signs of mono but, I digress. As a loving parent I did not want her to worry, so when she saw a spot of bacteria in her throat I took her to the educated doctor. ($103 - because she fit us in). Doctor tests for strep. Yep. Right on. That’s it. Picked up the good old penicillin ($15, STILL). Three days later, bacteria is worse. In fact, her throat looks like what Mount Everest must look like after the climb (not to mention you would definitely have fecal occult blood after that hike). Go back to doctor ($65). Test for strep - now negative. However, says doctor, “your daughter seems to have a really “Smart” strain of bacteria.” (No joke!) “Here is a stronger dose of penicillin with a name that is longer than Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Perhaps Mary Poppins makes this medicine. Go to pharmacy - 20 pills is $151.00. Apparently, this is made with gold.
Child fine, mother doing well, I, however, am sitting in my bedroom with two thoughts:
1) I may have to go down the road and sit in front of WalMart and beg for change; and,
2) The first time I finally find something “smart” down here…and it’s bacteria!
Happy Memorial Day, readers! Eat well, drink well, relax, and DON’T get sick!