I hate going to the doctor. No, I’m not afraid. Even needles don’t really bother me. And I’m willing to follow advice given to me. I’ve just learned over the course of these forty years that it is rarely worth it for me. Everything from bad, super quick diagnoses, to horrific bedside manners, to straight-up malpractice. It’s a wonder I even keep trying.
Here’s my most recent experience:
I snore. Oh boy do I snore. And my poor, extremely understanding spouse hasn’t slept well in over a year because of it. The time had come to finally do something about it, so I scheduled an appointment with an ENT, and operation DSA (Devorah Sleeps Again) would be underway.
So we show up to the doctor and tell him I snore, a lot and loudly. First thing he says is, without a thought at all, I should lose thirty pounds. Now, I’m certainly not opposed to losing weight, and I’m sure I have a few pounds to shed. But please note, I had weighed myself that morning. I told him how much I weighed… and he argued with me. Ultimately, he weighed me only to (shockingly) find out that I was correct. He then told me not to lose weight…
We were off to a really amazing start.
No Solutions to be Found
Then he told me there’s nothing that can be done. Everyone snores. If anyone tells you they don’t snore, they are lying. And he told us any promises of treatments to reduce snoring are all false.
We were a bit indignant, seeing as this goes against many things we heard over the years. We asked if there is anything that can be done.
He told my wife to get earplugs. She said she’d tried this many times before, but they would always fall out and leave her back where we started. And this is where the weird turned into bizarre. He said it wasn’t true. That clearly Devorah was incorrect about her experience with the earplugs, had not purchased quality ones, or was using them incorrectly.
It wasn’t so hard to hear him say such nonsense… since he had already lost any and all credibility in our eyes after insisting that my morbid obesity was causing the problem.
He also told us such brilliant pearls of wisdom as women sleep worse than men, which is why this is a problem to begin with. Obviously, the issue wasn’t my snoring so much as her inability to handle it. And her gender!
Ten Minutes of Doctor Fun
And his final golden nugget of medical brilliance was his insistence that fixing my deviated septum would not only not help with my snoring, but it would provide no benefit whatsoever. Seeing as I have a friend who recently had his fixed, I contacted him. From his experience, it sounds like the procedure was life-changing. And, in fact, it helped his snoring tremendously.
So there we were. Ten minutes in an office with this mega-mind doctor. In ten minutes he called me grotesquely fat, implied my wife was a moron who couldn’t navigate the complexities of putting foam in her ears, and basically stated that anything we’ve ever or will ever hear from anyone else on the subject was flat out wrong. Not bad for one quick appointment!
And I still snore.
And now have to find a new doctor.
My Terrible Relationship with Doctors
I’m not sure what it is about the medical profession. I’m sure there are countless fantastic doctors in the world, but one thing is a certainty for me: I’m a magnet for the subpar ones.
And that is why I basically never go. In my last year in the States I didn’t bother with health insurance. It was outrageously expensive and I assumed I would never go anyway (I didn’t). That was a particularly complicated year, because I was fined by the government for not having insurance, one of the most twisted laws that I had experienced.
I chose to spend time and money on improving my health to the level that I don’t need a doctor, and what’s my reward? A big, fat governmental fine. I’m no anarchist, but to me this sounds like the government is stealing…
On My Own…
And what’s been my experience with avoiding doctors? Pretty decent. My favorite example was some weird skin growth I had behind my ear. I was told by several people what the doctors would need to do in order to get rid of it. It sounded gross, painful, and in my experience, very costly.
I instead chose to Google like a beast. First I searched and searched until I was relatively positive I knew exactly what was hanging out behind my ear. Then I searched for natural solutions. One month of dabbing it with apple cider vinegar, and that sucker was gone for good.
And I was out a whopping $1.50.
But I’m left in a rather complicated position.
Where Do I Go From Here?There is a certain satisfaction that comes with taking care of myself that I wouldn't get if someone just shoved a bunch of pills in my face. Click To Tweet
On one hand, recognizing the faults of the medical world helps me achieve a certain level of freedom. I don’t need to rely on others in order to achieve a strong level of health. And I don’t have to subject myself to the comments of the substandard medical “professionals” of the world as much as others might. And there is a certain satisfaction that comes with taking care of myself that I wouldn’t get if someone just shoved a bunch of pills in my face.
But what about when I truly need a doctor? What about when what I know and can do is simply not enough? I possibly could have conquered my sciatica much sooner had I not been so bothered by the medical world and went straight for help.
And then there’s knowledge. I want to learn from everyone. OK, maybe not from that putz ENT I spoke about earlier, but there are plenty of people whose wisdom I want to gain from.
And so I’m conflicted. Very conflicted. How do I traverse the minefield that is the modern medical world? How do I get what I want and need without bad advice being vomited all over me? And without idiots calling me fat and stupid?