What the Doctor Said

Today, the worst day of my illness so far, I went to see an ENT. I was super-excited, because I was sure he would tell me exactly what was wrong and how to fix it, that I'd be totally well by tomorrow, and I'd never have to go through this again.

Well, that was a fantasy.

After explaining my symptoms (in my raw, barely-there voice), I had take some tests. I am a test-taking nerd, y'all, but I did not enjoy these ones.

First, the doctor checked my tonsils and said they weren't infected. I totally knew that already.

Second, he looked in my ears and nose with that pointy light. "Hmmm," he mused, with that inflection that automatically makes me start thinking up epitaphs for my tombstone.

Third, he opened up a drawer and pulled out some medieval torture device. He must have seen the look of fear on my face, because he chuckled and said, "It's not as bad as it looks," which is doctor-speak for, "This is going to be very painful." Well, he stuck that thing up my nose and took a look at my brain (I'm guessing).

I have to take a break here to inform the audience that I do not stick things up my nose. I never have. When I was a kid, my mother always picked my nose for me. I am now realizing that sounds more like I was spoiled than that I have always been fastidious. Anyway, I hate it when doctors put things up my nose. It makes my OCD go berserk.

Fourth, he said, "I want to take a closer look at your throat." And then he sprayed some crap in my nose (I do not even like nasal spray in my nose, by the way), and it ran down my throat and made me gag. "It tastes gross, doesn't it?" he laughed, and I smiled weakly.

While we were waiting for the nose-number to take effect, we went into another room so he could look further into my ears. He sucked some crap out with a tube, and then he dug around in there for awhile to get all the wax out. It hurt a lot.

Back we went into the exam room, and he turned out the light and said, "This looks much worse than it is," and I did not believe him. He held up something that looked like a rifle and had a small bendable scope attached to it. "Good lord," I whispered. He said, "I'm going to use this to look at your throat," so I opened my mouth obligingly. "No," he said, "this goes in your nose." I gulped.

He pushed the scope through my nostril, in what I will henceforth refer to as The Great Nose-Raping of 2007, and "hmmmed" and "ohhhed" for what I thought was much too long. He took a couple of pictures and then extracted the scope. I mean, I assume that's what happened, since I passed out a little during the whole thing.

So evidently my vocal cords are swollen, but he said that's probably from the coughing. I said, "What about my ears?" and he said, "You might have Meniere's Disease."
"Cripes!" I yelped. "What's that?" He explained it while I was deciding between cremation and burial, until he said, "Treatment is usually a low-salt, low-caffeine diet." So I probably won't die of that.

Then I had to do a hearing test. So I sat in a little room and pushed a buzzer when I heard sounds. I personally thought it was a waste of time, because I don't have a hearing problem; in fact, I have the opposite of a hearing problem. I have supernatural hearing, even: I can hear a fourteen-year-old sneak a Skittle from down the hall.

So I don't have Meniere's Disease, but I do have to go back for more testing to see what's causing my dizzy spells. The doctor had no definitive diagnosis for my throat problem, and he recommended that I take Mucinex and Prilosec to see if they help. I haven't tried the Prilosec, but the Mucinex hasn't helped so far. He seemed far more interested in my dizziness than in my throat, which frustrates me. I can deal with dizziness: it's intermittent, and I can sit down when necessary. But I HAVE to be able to talk, as it's kind of a requirement for my job.

Basically, I could have stayed home today and come up with the same diagnosis. And that is why I'm mad at doctors.

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