Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Help, the Doctors Are Scaring Me

A strange thing has been happening to me and my family lately. Each time we go see a doctor for a routine exam, they find all sorts of exotic diseases in us; then, after several weeks of fretting and worrying, and a few more appointments with the specialists, it turns out that we are in fact well and healthy. Allow me to illustrate.

A few weeks ago, I went for my annual eye exam, to get a prescription for my contacts. Sure enough, they had just purchased new equipment and used it to run a few tests on me. And, sure enough, the blasted equipment found spots in my eyes where no spots ought to be. The doctor said that I had something called mucular drusen, and called a specialist right away to make an appointment. Well I made a mistake of looking “mucular drusen” up on the Internet. I don’t advise you to do that. It is an extremely gross eye condition that leads to such distorted vision that the person is, basically, disabled, and there is no cure. I reacted to the news as any responsible, 37-year-old mother of two would – by getting deadly drunk that same night. Then I waited for my appointment with the specialist… and waited… and waited. Finally, this morning, I saw him. He ran a series of tests on me (my poor eyes still hurt). Guess what. My spots are harmless. When I told the man that I had done Internet research, he said something along the lines of, “oh, you poor thing”.

But this is all fun and games compared to the time when I took I12 for a checkup. His doctor called me at home at 9 PM that same evening.

“I’ve been thinking,” she said, “and there’s a certain medical condition that I suspect in your son. Can you make an appointment with a cardiologist?” She then proceeded to give me the cardiologist’s name and phone number.

“Why, what is wrong?”

“I cannot tell you now. You will find out when you get there”.

“Can it wait until after his proficiency tests?”

“Sure”. Whew, at least I knew that my son wasn’t dying of heart disease, since it evidently wasn’t urgent.

I made an appointment a month in advance and waited… and waited… and waited. And, while I waited, I was visited by all kinds of different thoughts. How’s a mother supposed to feel when she’s told that her son needs to see a cardiologist for reasons that are apparently so horrible, she cannot even be told what they are? I kept telling myself that it was probably connected to I12’s growth spurt; the doctor was probably worried, I reasoned with myself, that growing five inches in one year could affect I12’s heart.

Finally, the day came and we went to the appointment. I’ve got to tell you, few things can make you look as dumb as bringing your child to a cardiologist’s office, and answering the question “Why are you here?” with a blank stare and an “I dunno, I was hoping you’d tell me”. It turned out that the doctor had been suspecting a very rare syndrome in I12; naturally, he didn’t have it.

Now I’m afraid to go see my OB-GYN. What if she tells me I’m pregnant with triplets?

The Goldie has spoken at 5:00 PM

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