Monday, March 26, 2007

Career paths and other stuff

I’m not really sure how people enter certain occupations. For example, some chick on NPR this morning devoted her entire doctoral research to studying the communication patterns between insects. This, of course, led her right into the communication patterns of elephants. You’d be amazed at the similarities between the two!

Another time I thought about this was a few weeks ago as I walked into my yearly OB/GYN appointment with a new doctor – a man. What went through his head when he made this career choice? Didn’t he realize how this choice would ruin the way he approached sex forever?

I tried a woman last year. One of my mother’s dying requests was that I immediately schedule a mammogram. I assured her I already regularly got them (due to high risk) but that I would get another one right away. I threw in a physical exam to boot. The female doctor I chose (due to her office location alone) was disappointing. She was fast, nonspecific and generally uninterested. I sat in her office, a grief-stricken wreck, begging her to give me ever cancer screener on the market. She basically told me that I was fine and to stop worrying. No blood work, no in-depth questioning about my lifestyle, no fancy tests. I left feeling unheard.

So the pressure was on with this new doctor. I wanted to go to our teaching University this time and they scheduled me with a male doctor. I went in open minded not wanting to believe that he couldn’t be extremely effective even if he didn’t possess his own set of ovaries.

He was pretty good at first. He took my concerns seriously and followed up with tests. One of which was an ultrasound.

As I laid on the table, my belly full of goo, the technician pushed down hard on my extremely full bladder.

“Ok – there is your bladder,” she began, “wow – it’s really full.”

“It’s supposed to be,” I responded. “They told me to drink 32 ounces an hour ago. I do what I’m told.”

“You’re not from around here, are you?” she asked.

“Why do you ask? Because I’m a rule follower?” I defensively answered.

“No,” she laughed, “it’s just that you have what we call…a…well…a…beer bladder.”

I absolutely lost it – I laughed so hard. Then I asked a bunch of questions.

“Is it all stretched out? Is it too big? What?”

“No,” she calmed me down, “it’s just that I’ve had people complain pretty loudly with half the amount that’s in your bladder. You can REALLY hold a LOT.”

Why thank you.

The test results are inconclusive. I even had a biopsy, but thankfully it came back negative. I told my dad what was going on and he became pretty upset. His parents, and his wife, have died from cancer. I probably shouldn’t have unduly upset him. It’s just that I’m so used to telling my mom every detail of everything – I still try to do some of that with him.
The doctor failed in the end. I’m in complete limbo. He didn’t offer to search any farther for the cause of my symptoms, and he forgot to follow through on some other things. I feel like I’m back to square one. I hate the thought of being gender biased, but maybe I should go see a woman.


Meg said...

OMG the beer bladder story just cracked me up!! Hey, what was the name of that joint we would go to in SLP? Sally even had a mug from there. We went to the SLP Trader Joe's the other night, man that area has changed!! We also drove by your old house. We are old, are memories are weak, it took us a while to figure out which one it was. I had to convince Paul that the door was off to the right side. Oh, the good ol' days - when we did fill the bladder with lots of beer!
Happy Trip to Florida!
Happy Birthday ELLA!

Anonymous said...

An Excellent Dr here in SL is Robin Mainwaring, M.D. 1140 E 3900 S, Suite 410 Salt Lake City, UT 84124 (801) 262-8666. I chose her for her location and went to her for the first time in November of last year and was very impressed. After over 25 years of yearly exams and four pregnancies I had never had a dr take so much time with me and be so delicate. She did a biopsy in December that was so easy and relatively pain free. I highly recommend her.

Irene said...

beer bladder?? that is so funny.

and thank you, you reminded me that I have to schedule a mammogram this year.

Anonymous said...

I loved my ob/gyn in SLC. Her name is Vicki Macy and she's off South Temple and 5th (I think). She's fantastic!