Sep 7, 2005

The Doctor Is:

Ignoring you, it seems.

I know I harped on this a while back. I think the last time we discussed doctors it was because my back had broken and I was trying to get some relief, and ended up sitting in a waiting room for several days and then ended up stuffed into a noisy white toilet-paper tube wearing only a sheet.

So what is it with hospitals and doctors? Trying to find a parking place in a hospital's separate parking wing is tantamount to skydiving while filing out your tax forms--a lot of hair-pulling and screaming, and the sure and certain knowledge that you're going to get screwed no matter what. And perhaps I'm just too much of a country person, but the idea of a dark, near-subterranian building (nothing in LA is truly subterranian except New Orleans, and it's subaquatic) that's full of empty cars and strange stinks and weird echoes is, to me, just plain creepy.

Then again, I find Julia Roberts to be profoundly creepy too, so don't use me as a measuring stick.

Hospital. Now there's a word to strike fear into someone. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of "hospital" is miles and miles of strange smelling corridors that don't seem to lead anywhere in particular. Our local biggen recently installed about three thousand of these massive plasma display televisions, the one inch thick twenty-seven thousand dollar jobbies. All they do is hang in every hallway with brightly coloured non-interactive maps displayed on their flat faces, the sole intent of said maps being misdirecting you, and they hang in every waiting room to further bombard you with advertisements and important health information concerning bits of you that you'd likely rather not know about. I have an idea--why not use PEOPLE at desks who can tell you how to get where, or perhaps even cheaper, big paper maps of the place. As for the icky diseases thing, I'd just as soon rather not know what might happen to me if my prostate explodes.

And of course the offices move every several days, reorienting themselves to some sort of astronomical/medical master plan. Where your doctor's office used to be is now something called the "Geromicrobiologynospandexological Office" and it's occupied by that same little blue-haired lady that you find in every doctor's office in the world, the one with the strange whistling noise coming from her nose, and a nurse who refuses to open the sliding glass partition between you and medical help. Your own doctor's office has moved across the street into a small pink house, but the sign isn't up yet so you have to walk up and down the block limping obviously, until the nurse leaps out of the door and drags you inside to frisk you for your insurance card.

And of course long gone are the days when you and your doctor would discuss your problems across his acre-long desk, while smoking cigarettes and drinking tall glasses of very expensive sipping whiskey. No more are the times when you could stare at the incomprehensible signatures on a thousand and one diplomas, certificates, and Lion's Club memberships, wondering just exactly when your doctor became an ASA Certified Auto Mechanic and how you might wangle an oil change out of him while you're here. Back in the day an exam took place in an office with everyone's clothes fully on, the doctor somehow gleaning information out of the phlogiston itself, using only his super-sensitive whiskers to pick up vital information about you, his patient.

No, today's doctor is all about clinical things; gleaming chrome and glass instruments designed to render the maximum amount of discomfort and teeth-clenching and the exam rooms are all wired to hidden cameras and DAT recorders for the medical kink pornographers that work out of the back office. You sit there in chill emptiness listening to the doc making his speedy way down exam room after exam room, his voice echoing nonsense down the corridor because naturally he harks from some distant land, and when he bursts into your room you know you have about fifteen seconds to make him understand all your symptoms, whereupon he will prescribe some non-FDA approved cure that's produced only in his homeland, where medicine is still made from grinding up grubs and bark.

The funny thing is that somehow that grubs-and-bark poultice he's asking you to rub on your abdomen still works better than the tiny yellow pills your previous doctor wrote a script for, which cost you about a thousand dollars a piece, caused extensive cirrosis of your liver, made your kidneys turn mauve, produced massive tufts of wiry ear hair to start growing down to your shoulders, and whose production was solely responsible for the destruction of a native rainforest and three tribes of heretofore unknown indigeneous peoples living within.

Here's to your health.


Old Grey Mare said...

Had/having a Dr. visit anytime soon?


Vulgar Wizard said...

Your kidneys are mauve? How dreadful! I'll bet the rest of your internal organs are having a field day with the fact that they kidneys no longer match the interior decorating.

Caffeinated Mommy said...

i know what you mean about those plasma tvs. that's where i'm having the baby, so i've been there 50 times, and i still don't know where anything is. and you'd expect the tv's to be interactive, wouldn't you? they look like it. you should see the labor and delivery ward; it's a maze. i hope you're not sick or anything. take care of yourself.