Wednesday, August 22, 2007


After my doctor appointment earlier this week, I'm pretty sure "HYPOCHONDRIAC" is scrawled all over my medical records because of this one physician's assistant who thinks I'm crazy. Let's call her Physician's Assistant Who Thinks I'm Crazy, or PAWTIC for short.

I've been seeing this doctor for several years now, mostly for my yearly check-up, but from time to time I get sick and she fixes me up. I've had bronchitis and a bladder infection and a few other minor things over the years. Generally I go to the office, the doctor tells me what's wrong, and she writes a prescription for whatever will solve my problem.

Except, when I'm unfortunate enough to get an appointment with PAWTIC. No matter how bad I feel and how many tests she runs, there's never anything wrong with me according to her.

The first time, I didn't think too much about it. I was complaining of a sharp stomach pain that would come and go. I had already been diagnosed with irritable bowel, but this hurt worse than usual, so I didn't want to ignore it and end up dying of an aneurysm even though I was pretty sure they would tell me it was nothing to worry about and send me on my way. However, after poking my guts and asking me some questions, PAWTIC decided to send me for a CT scan. Of course the results were fine, but that just verified what I had assumed all along.

Maybe a year or so later, I started having shortness of breath. My childhood asthma flairs up sometimes when my allergies get bad, so I made an appointment for a breathing treatment. But, after the treatment I still had trouble breathing, and I started freaking out a little bit. PAWTIC measured my oxygen levels and air flow and told me I was breathing plenty, so there was nothing she could do for me. This is when I started to notice a skeptical look passing over her face, and I thought it looked familiar from the time she told me my CT scan was clear.

Looking back, maybe I was a little crazy and suffering from not-yet-diagnosed anxiety which was causing my chest to feel tight. However, instead of telling me I wasn't having trouble breathing despite my insistence otherwise, PAWTIC could have - I don't know - tried to figure out what my problem was. But I'm not bitter.

I didn't see her again for a few years since I was staying basically healthy and she went away to have a baby - that is until earlier this week. I made an appointment because I was feeling a little "feminine discomfort" (and yes, that is as specific as I'll get). The doctor wasn't available on short notice, so I got stuck with PAWTIC. She prodded and jabbed my nether regions and proclaimed I was perfectly fine with an unspoken "except that you're a pathetic attention seeker" in her voice. Of course I didn't want something to be wrong with me, but just once I'd like her to have to admit I have a legitimate medical complaint.

I'm thinking about giving myself food poisoning just so I can show up and puke on her.

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