That might just start to improve my mood.
I got the results from my MRI. They came with a referral to a pain management doc.
Now, don’t misunderstand. I’m not ticked that I now have yet another person in my life with alphabet soup after their name. I’m ticked at Dr. Skippy (not-his-real-name, if I remembered his real name, I’d spread it far and wide so that the masses could gaze on his incompetence.)
You see, years ago, I went to a GP that I loved. He was an older gentleman with very little tact. He was blunt and always gave me the straight story. He was also very, very good. He listened to me and wasn’t condescending. He didn’t bother with lab tests and extraneous procedures where they weren’t warranted. Seriously, if I come in and tell you I have strep, I have strep. I know what it tastes and feels like please for the love of God don’t gag me with an over-sized q-tip to confirm with the lab. He knew his stuff and didn’t waste my time with crap. Awesome.
And then he retired. And sold his practice, complete with patient portfolio, to Dr. Skippy. Dr. Skippy had yet to take the training wheels off his shiny new medical degree when he took over. He had all kinds of sparkly new ideas on patient care too.
Oh! And he was a crusader against the eeeeeviiiiils of alcohol and tobacco.
Until recently, I’ve not really been one to avail myself of the services of the stethoscope stands on a regular basis. So after a car accident in 2006, I headed over for my first visit (Michael had seen him previously and has his own story of this guy’s incompetence). But he had my x-rays from the ER, so I figured I’d give the new alphabet soup guy a shot.
Dr. Skippy: I see you haven’t been in recently.
Me: Nope. I’m generally pretty healthy. Haven’t really needed too visit.
Dr. Skippy: *eyebrow starting to twitch towards that look. You know the one* Well since you’re here, I’d like to go ahead and update your file.
<insert the usual med history questions here>
Dr. Skippy: Do you smoke?
Me: only if I’m on fire (yes, I make jokes with medical professionals. This is important in a minute)
Dr. Skippy: *notably not laughing or even smiling. More eyebrow twitching* Uh huh.
Me: No. I don’t smoke
Dr. Skippy: Beer, Wine, or Whiskeeeeeey? (this was said with all the hell-fire and brimstone of any good prohibitionist. Seriously, I think there was spittle flying)
Me: Well not all in the same glass
Dr. Skippy: *horrified look*
Me: Yes, I’ve been known to enjoy all three. In moderation.
Dr. Skippy: *and here’s the dripping condescension* And what do you consider ‘moderation?’ (complete with air quotes)
Me: Abstemiously. (Yes, I’m messing with him now.)
Dr. Skippy: *blank look*
Me: *to myself* Oh crap! He’s stripped a gear in the vocabulary center of his brain
–conversation not verbatim, close, but not exact–
Dr. Skippy proceeded to tell me all about the dangers of alcoholism and how it’s really better to just avoid it. blah blah blah
So we finally get around to talking about my x-rays. He gave me a copy of the findings report from the ER and pointed out how the spasms were causing my neck to be pulled straight rather than settled in the natural curve and gave me a prescription for ibuprofen.
I pointed out that right there in the ER doc’s notes, they saw signs of early degenerative disc disease in my neck. I asked if I should be concerned and what should be done. He told me not to worry about it and that there really wasn’t anything that could be done until it got worse.
Ya know what? If we’d done something back then, I wouldn’t be having the problem I am today. And yes, there were lots of things that could have been done. You see, that degenerative disc is now an extruded disc. Gee, thanks Dr. Skippy.
So now I have a pain management doc. Just got off the phone with his office where I was scheduling a cortisone injection in my spine. Which is apparently quite the production.
And my tree is broken. And my garden is beat up. And I’m being re-organized at work.
And where is that bourbon I ordered!