This Doctor’s Visit Has Been Brought to You by…

After dealing with [unpleasant illness that is best left unnamed] for the past week, I finally got in to see my doctor yesterday. Although I was right on time, I spent the perfunctory 20 minutes reading three-month old People magazine in the waiting room before they finally called my name.
Then I spent the perfunctory 10 minutes sitting on a piece of tissue paper while wearing a piece of tissue paper until the doctor graced me with her presence. Our entire conversation lasted about nine minutes, and went something like this:
Dr. X: “So… what brings you here today?”
Me: “Nothing really. I just wanted to say hi, see how you were doing. You look great! Did you change your hair? It looks a little darker. God, these new gowns are really comfortable! Read the flipping chart, woman! What the hell do you think I’m here for?”
(Okay – that part was all just in my head.)
Real Me: “Well, for the past five days, I’ve had [indescribably disgusting symptom] as well as a little [equally repulsive symptom], so I’m hoping you can tell me what the problem is.”
Dr. X: “Mmmm hmmm. Okay. And have you traveled anywhere recently?”
Me: “Uhh – I went to Milwaukee on Saturday.”
Dr. X: “Okay. No, I meant anywhere out of the country.”
Me: “Oh. No. Unless you count Wisconsin as a foreign country. Ha ha. Heh. Hmm. [nervous cough]”
Dr. X: “All right, well let’s just take a quick peek.”
Considering the nature of my [repugnant ailment], I really wasn’t sure what part of my body she planned on peeking at. I was quite pleased, however, when she simply reached for the blood pressure cuff.
After a few pokes and prods, and several dietary questions, she kind of shrugged her shoulders and said it seemed like I probably could maybe might have something that potentially could possibly be something like a gastrointestinal virus. Or something else. But only time would tell.
Never have I witnessed such confidence and conviction ooze out of the mouth of a medical professional. It’s exactly like they show on ER!
Based on a few quick Internet searches I had done during my 5-day sentence, I was pretty certain I had either colon cancer or a rare Amazonian intestinal parasite, and was already picking out outfits that would camouflage the colostomy bag, but if she wanted to go the viral route, I was happy to tag along for the ride.
Dr. X: “Well, since I kind of am thinking that I may suspect your [nauseating illness] could or might probably just be something that could possibly be kind of like one of those stomach virus type things, there’s really nothing I can give you. You’ll just need to ride it out. It should go away in a week. If it’s the virus thingy. If not, let me know and we’ll go from there. Until then, I’m going to recommend that you stick to a bland diet for the next 3 to 5 days.”
And this is where the conversation got weird.
Dr. X: “Drink some Gatorade Sports Drink to balance out your electrolytes. You’ll also want to have some Jell-O gelatin, now in convenient ready to serve Jell-O cups! I’d suggest you also eat a few cups of Uncle Ben’s rice and some Chiquita bananas each day. Oh, and you should also drink some clear broths. Campbell’s chicken broth is the best choice.”
Wait a minute! So not only did I get no real medical advice in this $150 visit, but now I’m part of some massive product placement conspiracy?! This was outrageous! I swear to you, she plugged no less than seven brands in the nine minutes I was in her office. I know she’s getting a kick-back for that. I just know it.
Then after dispensing some worthless dietary suggestions that I could’ve found on the Kraft recipe board, she left me with this one last piece of medical advice:
Dr. X: “Oh, and if you start to get a high fever, feel dizzy, have severe abdominal cramps that are at least an 8 on a pain scale of 1 to 10, lose vision in one eye, bleed from the ears, experience sudden and excruciating joint pain, or notice your intestines sliding out of any part of your body, we always recommend going to the emergency room right away. Thanks, and hope you feel better!”
Well, after those final words of wisdom, I could not stop myself from pulling into the grocery store on my way home to pick up two flavors of Gatorade*, some Mott’s apple sauce, and some Jell-O Gelatin Cups – now in Berry Burst! Flavor. I’m so prone to suggestion. I’ve never been so ashamed.
[*On a side note, I can now add Gatorade to the growing list of reasons I am not athletic. That stuff is N-A-S-T-Y! Now I understand why football players primarily use it as something to dump on their coach’s head after a good game. Tastes kind of like Kool-Aid mixed with sweat. Yum!]

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