Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hawkeyes and Hot Lips

The Late, Great George Carlin once said, "Somewhere in the world is the World's Worst Doctor, and what's truly terrifying is that someone has an appointment with him tomorrow morning."

For the number of medical specialists I see, you'd think I'd constantly come across fucking tools, but with the exception of one complete idiot and one dentist who cared more about money than my teeth, I've been pretty lucky. My checklist for great doctors, nurses, and technicians is small, but specific: Be compassionate, be really good at what you do, and make me laugh while you're doing it. Whether I'm in your chair or stirrups or having my head secured in place for an MRI, put me at ease, and if you can, make me chuckle. Over the span of 25 years, from the days I went to Planned Parenthood till now, I've been in excellent hands.

I had a nurse who saw how terrified I was before my colonoscopy that she put me as far under as legally allowed making the bowel prep the night before the worst part of the experience as opposed to the scope-up-the-butt part. Really.

My Chicago MD was clever enough to look for Multiple Sclerosis after being her patient for only 2 years. It's not an easy disease to diagnose. I think Terri Garr went through 16 years of mysterious symptoms before her doctors finally discovered she had it.

My Chicago dentist called an Endodontist off a golf course to give me an emergency root canal because of how much pain I was in.

I once had an MD who not only humored my father by calling him to assure him I did NOT have cancer, but his business card had the words "My Card" on the back.

My Primary Care Physician not only takes the most UNnoticeable paps, she put me on a diet that probably saved my liver and then resulted in my dropping about 20 pounds I didn't need.

I'm convinced my MS neurologist knows everything. I will take no arguments here. When it comes to Multiple Sclerosis He. Knows. Everything.

I could not have asked for better health care. And my new Endodontist yesterday did not disappoint.

After an astoundingly quick and painless root canal, we discussed the pain that would most likely kick in when the novocaine wore off. He asked which painkillers I can and can't have. Anything with Tylenol is a no-no for me, and although I like Vicodin, nothing compares to Oxycotton. If beer is proof that God loves us, Oxycotton is, at the very least, the Universe's way of letting me know I have roots in other teeth I don't need.

Him: Can you take Oxycotton?
Me: Yes. Yes I can.
Him: (While writing the prescription) Well take it if you need it, and if you don't need it, you can sell it at a high school...
Me: Or I can just take it anyway...
Him: Yes. Yes you can.

Compassion? Check. Really good at what he does? Check. Fucking good sense of humor? Check and Check.

Humor does not diminish the pain,
it makes the space around it get bigger.

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