Saturday, February 28, 2009

If famous is La Jolla then I was Schenectady

When I was in my late twenties, I went to the doctor because my thumb had swelled up to the size of…an extremely swollen thumb. After examining my thumb, the doctor, who was very young and pencil-shaped, told me to sit tight while he got his fellow doctor. He brought in a female doctor who was also very young—but more hamburger-shaped—and she said, “Yes, you’re exactly right about the patient.”

They stood before me and broke the news: I had gout.

“But isn’t that what old men who drink a lot get?” I asked.

“Yes. Do you binge drink?” he asked.

“If you’re asking me if I go to frat parties and do keg stands, no,” I said. “If you’re asking me if I enjoy a few bottles of wine once or twice a week then yes.”

The two sat there and exchanged smug, knowing looks. They struck me more as two yuppie colleagues who fancied themselves medicinal mavericks than actual doctors. In fact, I could clearly picture them screwing in the parking lot while shouting, “You nailed that Hematospermia! Oh God, tell me more about the primary sclerosing cholangitis you spectacular wizard doctor!”

“So you’re telling me that the antibiotics I’m taking are in no way causing this swelling, even though I have allergies to other antibiotics—allergies that have produced similar effects?” I asked.

“We said you have gout.” Frick, she was a bitch.

For an hour after the appointment I was visibly upset. My dear friend, Sarah, tried to give me a pep talk.

“You can be the modern-day poster child for gout!” she offered.

“Like the Gardisal chick?”


“But I don’t want to be Gout Girl.”

“It’ll be great,” she promised. “I can see it now: your face on TV. You can be ‘Out and about with gout’. You’ll destigmatize the disease. Do trade shows. Be rich and famous.”

I wasn’t convinced that my calling in life was to be the hot chick with gout, but at the same time, I had a good friend who’d made a nice chunk of money doing Dr. Scholl's commercials. What if…?

But no, I knew the humping, inept doctors were wrong. I stopped taking the antibiotic and within a few days, my thumb returned to its normal size.

The message I left on the doctor’s machine went something like this: “$%@&@ing &(*#Y&#()#ing piece of shit %^^&#*#ing #$@^&# idiots ^^#*#*(@$@* scare me for no reason $@#&ing parking lot bimbos take your Ronald McDonald MDs and shove them up your %%^#%^@*&ing asses!”

I tell you all this—what? You thought I was just rambling?—because poor Junior has been on antibiotics for the last week and he’s covered in a horrible rash, and I pray he didn’t get my allergies. We almost went to the ER with him, until a friend suggested Benedryl.

Duh. Of course.

"Hi, we're the Mullets, and we're first-time parents."

(Junior, if you ever read this, Mommy swears she stopped doing keg stands when she was 25. The funnel was just so much easier.)


FoN said...

'Out and about with gout' is an awesome campaign slogan.

Kaye said...

Hilarious! And yes, the funnel is much easier!

Just A Chic... said...

Too funny! I LOVED the phone call.

Stacy said...

Yep Doctors suck! They always think they know what they are talking about just cuz they have a degree. As if, hello, we know ourselves better than them. I love the message you left!

Mary Moore said...

You're hilarious.

I once had half my body swell up. Just in, one hand, half my tongue, and half my ass.

MadWoman said...

I'm pretty sure that is why I avoid doctors like the proverbial plague!

All Hail Gout Girl!!

Suzi said...

Thanks for the laugh before I head off to bed! Glad yo didn't become Gout Girl.

Mary Anna said...

How funny! My doctor's top nurse told me I had gout. The doc came in and pointed out that the nail was broken and causing some inflamation.

Are you sure you didn't grow up on James Ave. in Baytown? I swear, we lost each other somewhere along the way. (Pablo agrees.)

Rachel said...

OMG, "out and about with gout"... I think you have your new blog name, Gout Girl.

Seriously, why is gout so funny??? My Grandpa has gout!!!! Can't stop laughing...

Bridgeburners said...

That was awesome, Gout Girl. What are you going to name your child?

HumorSmith said...

That was thumb mistake those imbeciles made in diagnosing you. You should have told them to g'out.

Keely said...

"parking lot bimbos", lol! I really hate the smug. I could deal with the mis-diagnosis if it weren't so smug.

kyooty said...

IT amazes me that they let some people become drs!

Joanie said...

Glad your swelling went away after you stopped the anti-biotics.

My ex has gout. I smile every time he has a break-out. But I'm mean like that.

Temple said...

God, I missed you! :) I had a similar ER conspiracy theory moment when some ER doctor chick wanted to admit me in the hospital to have a colonoscpy (at the ripe age of frickin' 25) because she was convinced I had irritable bowel syndrome. I had a freaking 48hour stomach virus. I just left.."against medical advice" as she so bitchily noted on my chart...really?

Elle said...

Hey Gout Girl! LOL!Glad it wasn't gout.

Good call on the Benadryl. One of our daughter's is allergic to just about every anti-biotic and so am I. It's a bitch when we get sick and need meds.

On The Verge said...

Thanks for the nice comment today. I feel like I won the jackpot!


Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Gout Girl...Hilarious! Allergic to antibiotics? That would really suck... ;)

Skye said...

I had a lot of pain and swelling in my left leg a few years back, so I went to the ER to have them check it out. They too told me it was gout. A couple of months later, the swelling hadn't gone down, it had in fact gotten worse to the point where I couldn't walk anymore. I got a ride back to the ER, saw a different doc. She took one look at me and sent me off for an ultrasound of my leg.

It turned out that I had a massive DVT, which that first doctor should have been able to figure out, but didn't.

In case you don't know what a DVT is, it's a Deep Vein Thrombosis, otherwise known as a bloodclot. It started in my calf and they found the tail end of it just below my belly button. I think in this particular case, I'd rather have had gout! :(

Anywho's-it, I do love your phone call, I'll have to try that next time bs like that happens to me. :D

Dto3 said...

We had a little leper once. Funny how stupid doctors are. Oh, and that appendectomy scare that just turned out to be the worst case of need-to-poop you ever did see? They're idiots, I say!

SRM said...

I'm telling you... if you make it big with "out and about with gout", I want a commission! lol! -sarah

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