On Being a Patient

By all accounts, I’m a pretty awkward person. That is until we break that metaphorical barrier when we go out together and I have one to many Alabama Slammers and lose all sense of personal space and volume control. But, under normal circumstances, I’m pretty strange. I like to fill the silence with awkward conversation and forced niceties. I’m really an introverts worst nightmare. Because, I’m an extrovert I think, but I’m a special kind of extrovert. The time this is most apparent is when I’m in an appointment with any medical professional. Any at all. Doctors, specialists, nurses, paramedics or even dentists. I suddenly become aware that this person is not only probably way smarter than me, but is personally responsible for my health and how I understand it. This knowledge turns me into a blabbering, weird silence-filling moron. And it’s my favourite.

Hyperbole and a half is life goals, for real.

For example, I recently found some particularly dense tissue in my left breast and I went to my super young, super eager new doctor and was like, “I have breast cancer. Now, I’m ok with having a double mastectomy but can we get some referrals to good plastic surgeon? Maybe I’ll just tattoo over them… hmm…” And he was all, “You probably don’t have breast cancer but let’s have a look anyway.” Now it seems that the underlying tone of breast exams has changed given that one too many creepy fucking doctors have had their hands on vulnerable sets of ta-tas, that now they must have a chick in the room. Which is hilarious, because she makes a concerted effort to look away the entire time. Which I get, ’cause she’s trying to give you privacy but this chick just stared at the roof the entire time I sat upright with my tots hanging out. I made several awk-o taco comments including but not limited to:

  • It’s a good thing she’s here right? Or else you’d probably get overly handsy! 
  • I feel like this is a great way for us to get to know each other, don’t you think?
  • After commenting on how my boobs are perky enough to handle this ‘denser tissue’ I was all, did you just low-key comment on how perky my boobs are? Awesome. 
  • Do you ever get tired of boobs? I mean, like by the time you’re home and you’re like GOD I JUST DON’T WANNA SEE ANYMORE!
  • Should I get the pink ribbon t-shirts now, or later?

You get it. I’m sure he gets tired of my near-constant narration of whatever he’s doing. What the fuck else am I supposed to talk about while you got your slightly too cold hands all up in my bidness?

Look at how long that fuckin’ thing is. Does it REALLY need to be that long? REALLY?

I recently went to see an ENT because I have acute hearing loss in my right ear. Which for fucking years my husband was like, “YOU’RE DEAF GO SEE A DOCTOR”, and I was like, “Don’t tell me how to live my life.” But finally I started to notice how I couldn’t hear how loud he is in bed (with the snacking and TV shows and guttural noises – he’s like a permanent symphony) when I lay on my good ear. So I went, and yeah, I can’t hear. (That’s neat how that worked out hey?) So I go see an ENT and proceed to be my awkward self but worse this time because they have all kinds of strange tools that look like they fell out of Silence of the Lambs including the one above. Which he proceeded to wave in front of my face and I backed away asking if he had the full intention of sticking that entire thing up my nose. That was the least strange thing I said to him though, again, another not at all compressive list:

  • Oh I have a deviated septum? NEAT! So does my mother! She can totally stick her pinkies up her nose and touch them together. Isn’t that weird? She goes through a box of Q-Tips a day. Literally, every time she comes over there are Q-Tips everywhere. Can you even imagine? 
  • I’m just going to stick the tip in ok? HA! Just the tip. Do you get that a lot? 
  • I mean, my husband is always going on about how I ‘never listen’ to him, but maybe I should just keep my hearing loss because then I could just be like, ‘sorry can’t hear! Literally diagnosed by a doctor!’ Then he couldn’t get irritated, right?
  • Why ENT? Do you feel passionate about noses? 
  • Do you smoke? Wellllllllllll…… So you smoke. Well I really only have like one a week. So you smoke. No, I used to smoke. I’m not judging you. I feel like you are.

You might think these are exaggerations but they are definitely not. The professionals on the receiving end of my stream of blabber usually just awakard-ly breeze by my comments and continue onto something more relevant to the moment.

But really, I think I’m doing doctors and other medical professionals a service. It must get boring dealing with people who all think they have cancer but really only have the common cold. I’m providing a service of hilarity and questions about strange, uncommon illnesses that they’ll have to think back to medical school to answer. You’re WELCOME.

HOW FUCKING WEIRD would it be if we all didn’t have noses but just walked around with giant holes in our faces. It’d be The Hills Have Eyes all over again. And some holes would be smaller than others and then people would be all “Don’t look at my hole, I know it’s small I was BORN this way.”

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