THE WORLD’S RUDEST DOCTOR
Here’s the story: For the last three days I’ve had a sore throat, the kind where your tonsils swell up like golf balls and grow nasty white spots on them. I’ve also been running a fever and have suffered from alternating chills and sweats. When I woke up this morning, my throat felt like raw, swollen sandpaper.
And so, I reluctantly concluded that a visit to a medical professional was called for. I hate seeing doctors, and I especially hate seeing doctors on weekends, when my regular doctor is not available.
Alas, I only get strep on weekends. Last time, my dad took me to the emergency room. Thanks, Dad. This time, I tried a different strategy. I went to the “Care Plus” walk-in clinic.
I told my tale of woe to the nurse, who swabbed my throat until I gagged. The sample went off for the quick strep test, which I’ve been told is highly inaccurate. I waited patiently in the exam room, having brought a book along.
About 20 minutes later, I heard the doctor in the hall, grousing loudly about being second-guessed and otherwise mistreated. I paid no attention, as it had nothing to do with me. I hadn’t even seen the woman yet.
The doctor came in the room and told me my strep test was negative.
“Oh come ON!” I exclaimed, thinking I’d killed the whole morning I could’ve spent sick in bed and was going to leave empty-handed, “those tests aren’t accurate.”
“About 70%,” she retorted, “but I also go by what I see.”
Looking angry, the doctor was unimpressed by my temperature (the ibuprofen I took brought my fever down, I hastened to explain) and equally unimpressed by my bright red, swollen, spotty throat.
She said “I think you have a virus, but you are obviously EXPECTING antibiotics, so I’m going to prescribe them.”
Taken aback by her hostility, I said “I appreciate that.”
She pulled out her pad and started writing. I decided to push my luck and asked her to prescribe zithromax, which means a five day course of once-a-day pills, instead of a ten day course of three-times-a-day pills.
Well, that pissed her off even more. “You realize that amoxycillan is the recommended drug for what YOU THINK you have, but I’ll give you zithromax. You’ll get better while you’re on it, and then you’ll think you were right.”
Oooookay, it was clearly time to shut up, lest she change her mind. As I left, the nurse patted my arm sympathetically. Heck, I should feel sorry for HER, she has to work with that bitch.
Technogeek’s response to this story: “Imagine what she would’ve said if you’d asked for painkillers.”
Now, I know that antibiotics are over-prescribed, and there will be dire consequences for humanity, but jeez, I was just a sick person seeking treatment. Did I deserve such a hostile, rude response from the doctor? If she really, truly believed I did not have a bacterial infection, she should not have prescribed the antibiotics. But she did, and I’m taking them. I hope to feel much better tomorrow.
I woke up feeling much improved, and the tonsil spots are gone. Fever has vanished, and I am functioning without ibuprofen for the first time since Thursday. Was Zithromax my knight in shining armor, slaying the streptococcal dragon? Or was it a virus that ran its course? We’ll never know for sure.