Wednesday, July 01, 2009


I think my evil twin lives nearby, and she has the medical community on red alert.

Several years ago, I went to a dermatologist. (You don't need to know why.) I had never seen this doctor before, but when she entered the examining room with her nurse/assistant, the two of them stayed by the door, about 10 feet away from me. I would have said, They acted like I had leprosy, but I assume that would have piqued their interest. Instead, they tried to keep as far away as possible until professional manners forced them into my force field. The whole episode discombobulated me - do I have BO? is my breath that bad? am I so hideous that a dermatologist finds me repulsive? - but perhaps they mistook me for someone else.

Then I noticed being treated oddly at my doctor's office. I don't go there often, so it's not like I am one of those patients begging for attention, and maybe they consider me a "problem" because I am non-compliant with the statins, but still. One time the nurse yelled at me over the phone in what was to me an obvious case of mistaken identity. At least, I realized she was mistaking me for someone else; I'm not sure she did. That nurse is gone (nervous breakdown?) and the new one is friendlier, but now I have to run the gauntlet to see the doctor at all. The last time I was there, I was seeking treatment for a sinus infection. This was the very day the media reported how antibiotics were futile against sinus infections, but my doctor had not heard the news yet. When I made the appointment, I had to list all the home remedies I had already tried. When I made it to the examining room, I again had to recite all my efforts to heal myself, this time to the nurse. And when the doctor came in, I had to repeat the whole performance AGAIN, after which he grudgingly admitted I had done the right thing by trying to treat myself at home with OTC meds and vitamins and herbs and voodoo before wasting his valuable time. Do they treat everyone this way? Is it just me? Or do they have me confused with someone else?

And then there is the pharmacist at Walgreens. After a root canal, which involved a double dose of Novocaine that actually made my brain zing, I stopped at the drug store for some pain relievers. When the cashier asked if I had any questions for the pharmacist, I said yes because I wanted to ask about drug interaction. Needless to say, with my numb mouth I sounded like I was mentally challenged, but the look on the pharmacist's face was uncalled for. To put it bluntly, she was horrified and repulsed and it took all her willpower not to run down the aisle screaming. Which made me laugh, confirming I was not only retarded but crazy and probably homeless as well. Or maybe she thought I was someone else.

Recently, an acquittance commented that she knows someone with the same name as mine. I wish I could remember who that was, and I wish I had grilled her for details, because I need to talk to that woman. Face to face.

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