Concerning Doctors

Boy at the doctor

In my last post I believe I promised some big medical revelations this week, or some clues that would help to unravel my mysterious medical condition. Well, after several visits to doctors, after some pricking of the hand, some heated conversations, and, of course, significant medical expenses, I can confidently declare that Voltaire was right when he had said that

The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”

I have also learned a good lesson: don’t start a heated debate with an E.N.T. doctor BEFORE she examines you. Else, she may tug at your tongue during the examination, under the pretense of examining the tissue under it. In other words, I went to the E.N.T. pain-free, and left with a sore tongue which persists to this day.

Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine.”

George Gordon Byron

Me, after handing her a stack of medical papers, blood tests, scans, etc.: “Massive weight loss, tiredness, and, more alarmingly, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, without any history of infection; after they appeared the weight loss began. I think I have lymphoma, or perhaps some other kind of cancer. Please let us do a biopsy or at least some scanning. I want to find out what’s the problem as soon as possible.”

She: “And how have you reached that conclusion? The Internet?”

Me: “In our day and age, patients are better informed than ever.”

She: “Screw the Internet! (she used slightly different words)”

Me: “I would like to assure you that first came the symptoms, and only after did I check the Internet… Not the other way around.”

She: “All these tests are months old. You have to redo them.”

Me: Sigh.

She: “Blood tests first, then an ultrasound, then go to the hematologist, then back to me with the results and then we shall decide what to do next.”

Yesterday I got my blood results and there are two abnormalities: low lymphocytes and high ferritin levels. Also, my calcium levels are a bit high. All these can be signs of lymphoma.

Isn’t it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do ‘practice’?”

George Carlin

More visits to the doctor next week. The boy’s medical mystery continues…

28 thoughts on “Concerning Doctors

  1. That exact image was up in the doctors office in the rehab center I went to. I was most disturbed by it… for reasons that I wont elaborate on. BUt I felt it was an accurate depiction of how silly the medical field can be – and how ‘trusting’ we are that they know what they are doing.

    I too have been in and out of hospitals and doctors offices for this test and that test and always come away feeling less positive than when I went it – because the guess work is about as helpful as a palm reader who is clearly on some sort of hallucinogenic 🙂

    I hope you come right… and that you get some answers and solutions to move forward.


  2. I hope you don ‘t run into that nurse from your last medical escapade. Do not fall in love with your ENT just because she roughed up your tongue a little. It doesn’t mean she loves you. 😉

    In the meanwhile, I am holding my breath with you – praying – and wishing for the best.

    What is the name of your ENT? I do like my tongue pulled hard from time to time.


    1. Ha ha! I have learned my lessons.

      I won’t tell you.

      Actually, last year she used to be more beautiful. And nicer and more patient. She seemed quite a different person this year, and the change startled me a little. But it was too late to back away.

  3. had a bad doctor too. If they are so right all the time why is it a big deal when the patient is informed? Bad doctor for me No More. They are as bad as judges on some power play high horse at times. Doctoring lost in survival mode.

  4. I feel you there. We are all humans and are more likely to be riddled with disease than not. Also I don’t think doctors do what they do on purpose. My doctors have misdiagnosed me plenty of times. They roll their eyes when I tell them I checked all my symptoms on the internet. Your comeback “in our day and age, patients are better informed than ever” was marvellous. Thinking of putting that statement to good use in my next doctor’s visit. I hope all goes well on your medical journey, though! My fingers are doubly crossed for your health.

    1. Thank you! I think many doctors become defensive when the Internet is mentioned, as if they are afraid that their knowledge is being questioned. It is a pity.

      1. Well you know pharmacists will soon be replaced by a computer system that asks the patient a set of standardised questions. That greatly reduces human error. Who’s to say doctors can’t be replaced by robotic systems that check symptoms and run tests all on their lonesome? Doctors need to fight for their space methinks.

  5. Okay, maybe they are symptoms of lymphoma but aren’t they also symptoms of lots of other things? Meanwhile keep your sense of humor. It seems to help while you torture yourself with diagnosis from the Internet! (I realize it’s impossible not to do that but occasionally stepping away from the keyboard might alleviate some of your worry for a bit of time.)

  6. You’re right, with the Internet, patients are as informed as Doctor’s just without the degree, and big words. But we need them for prescriptions, and diagnosis, so there’s still some use for them… for the time being.

    1. We still need them, Todd, and we may always do. Readily available medical information cannot replace doctors, just as online translation tools cannot replace human translators…. for now at least. 🙂

  7. I never see one doctor at a time. Teams are great and usually faster at completing the medical mystery although you’re health may improve you’re finances certainly will not.

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