Sunday, December 7, 2014

The First Doctor's Appointment

Remember how eleventy years ago I told you that I had set up an appointment to see a REAL doctor because my friend at work told me that you aren't a grownup until you start having regular checkups with the same physician? And then when I called the doctor's office to make an appointment they were like, "our next available time is in 97 years on a Tuesday at 1:00 AM." And I was all like, "I'LL TAKE IT!"

Well my phone freaked out the other day with a notification that said, "GO TO THE DOCTOR AND KEEP YOUR CLOTHES ON!" And that's when I remembered that I had made an appointment for that very day.

On a side note, I have started adding the reminder "AND KEEP YOUR CLOTHES ON" to most of my calendared appointments, just to be safe. It's done wonders to help me keep my "stop unnecessarily taking my clothes off in 2014" goal.

I jumped into the car and drove to the doctor's office, practicing my introduction speech the entire way. I was incredibly nervous. Because in small towns in the movies people always have a doctor that they've seen for 45 years and the doctor knows everything about them and they can speak super candidly to each other, etc.

Well that's what I want for my life because I need lots of life advice and because I want to be able to say to someone one day "well I'll see what Dr. So-and-so has to say about this. I've been seeing her for 35 years now!"

I picked a doctor who was young so that this would be possible.

I was already off to a rough start when I found myself laughing my way through the embarrassing questions on the questionnaire they had me fill out in the waiting room. I tried to disguise the snickers as coughs, but I think I did a terrible job. And then I was called back.

Dr: Hi! I'm Dr. So-and-so.

Eli: My name is Eli McCann. It's a pleased to make your meeting. . . . uh . . . I mean . . . pleasure to meeting you. Your acquaintance. To make your pleasure of acquaintance HOW DOES THAT DAMN PHRASE GO I'M NERVOUS!

Dr: Oh, there's no reason to be nervous. All we're going to do today is get acquainted and answer any questions you have.

Eli: Well that's why I'm nervous. I REALLY want you to like me.

Dr: Ok. Why?

Eli: So we can be friends and text each other outside of the office and you can be all "ugh. You should have seen the guy who was just in here. Totes uggo." And I would be all, "LMAO!!!"

Dr: Interesting. So, why don't you tell me a little about yourself.

Eli: Well, I've never been to a doctor. Well I have. But not a doctor doctor. A while ago I had to go see a bunch of doctors that I didn't know because my heart was exploding but as it turned out I was just really stressed out because life is in session because it always is--

Dr: How about if we just start with some basic getting-to-know-you stuff? Where are you from?

Eli: Here. Well not here here. I wasn't born in this hospital. I was born in a different hospital. My mom says it was the bloodiest day of her life and has demanded that I pay her back for the cab fare--

Dr: You know what--I'm just going to go ahead and listen to your heart. You don't need to talk during this part.

[Dr. starts listening to Eli's heart]

Eli: Is it beating fast? Because I'm really nervous.

Dr: It sounds fine.

Eli: Ok. But it is enlarged so don't go thinking I'm all perfect. I have a lot of problems that need fixing.

Dr: I have no doubt. Ok. I'm just looking on my system here and it says that you've never had a flu shot. Ever. Is that true?

Eli: Yes. I don't believe in them?

Dr: Is that a question?

Eli: No. A statement. I don't believe in them.

Dr: Why not?

Eli: Because shots hurt.

Dr: Ok. I'm going to give you a flu shot unless you can give me a different reason for not believing in them.

Eli: I'm all out of reasons.

Dr: I'm also going to give you a tetanus shot because it looks like the last time you had one you were about 19.

Eli: Well why don't you just amputate all of my limbs while you're at it!

Dr: Go ahead and take off your shirt. I'll be back in a minute.

It was at this point that I had a very frantic conversation with myself wherein I tried to remember whether she had really just told me to remove my shirt. And if she did . . . does she want my shirt to be off by the time she gets back into the room or does she expect me to wait until she comes back so I can take it off in front of her. 

NO! It couldn't be the latter. This isn't a strip show. Surely she thinks I'm using this time while she's out there to remove my shirt because that's a very efficient divide-and-conquer method. 

And did she say "shirt" or "clothes?" Well now I can't remember. Should I leave my pants on? WHY IS THIS ALWAYS SO CONFUSING?!

By the time she came back into the room, I was shirtless and shoeless. And I think it's a good thing she came back when she did and not about 20 seconds later because as it turned out, I didn't need my pants to be off for the shots.

She gave me one in each arm and sent me on my way.

Five hours later I was shivering in bed with a 102-degree fever, and no personal cell number to text "yo doc. I'm totes dying here. Hashtag frowny face."

~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. Awwww poor Eli! I hope you feel better soon :/

  2. And there's your reason for not getting the flu shot

    1. ......Because an inactive virus makes people sick...... Educate onesself, please.

  3. should have taken your pants off. It may have distracted her long enough for you to run out of there and avoid the flu shot and you wouldn't have gotten sick.

    Geez gotta think fast on your feet when you know what's coming. You should have texted me, I could have helped you out.

  4. I hope you feel better! Too bad Rebecca just left. ): You should tell her Ollie came back to visit. That'd get her running over. ;)

    Ya know, sometimes it's really weird that my weekly entertainment comes from a guy nearly twice my age posting written stories on the internet... But seriously, thanks for sharing them. Especially if you're still sick with a fever. Makes us feel special! ^.^

  5. So do you not believe in flu shots now? I don't have an opinion about them but I feel like I'm supposed to have an incredibly strong one because everyone else seems to.

    1. I'm with you. I don't have very strong feelings one way or the other but I have a lot of not very logical anti-everything in a needle friends. I got one once five years ago because someone in my house was ill and so everyone else had to have a flu shot to protect him but for the past four years I've thought about getting one but then thought so long about it that I have missed "Flu Shot" day at my workplace. And I am too lazy to go get it somewhere else. So I guess I would get one if they would show up at my office while I'm not busy. Like right now.

    2. Wendi, your answer sums up my experience perfectly! Haha.

    3. Key word is LAZY. Think of those around you if you can't think of yourself. Seriously. Babies too young for shots, immunocompromised adults.... It's like sane people who carry concealed guns with permits. You get a crazed moron on a killing spree, and that one person who safely carries his concealed can defend you. Should he? Or leave it at home, because it's (insert selfish excuse here) while you hide. He can protect you. CAN. Sanely. Morally. Legally. But it's more fun to watch you die because he doesn't feel like protecting.

      Same with innoculating. I inoculate myself to protect me AND others. Grow up. Come back with a good excuse; I have one to shoot it down.

    4. In fact, here, whine and cry, but know it's FACT CHECKED and yes, I'm in Medicine, and clearly you are not:

    5. You're so educated, yet you don't know that the flu shot is NOT the vaccine that people don't want to give their children. The vaccination that he linked to autism was the Measles-Mumps vaccination, not the flu shot. You link a website to a vaccination that has nothing to do with what anyone here is even talking about.

      You may also want to educate yourself on what they put in vaccines, like thimerosal, which contains mercury, a heavy metal which shouldn't be put into the human body. People need to learn what they are putting into their bodies. This includes shots, foods they eat, what they drink, etc... The amount of chemicals we stick into our bodies is ridiculous.

      Regarding the immunocompromised adults, elderly and children. They should be getting the vaccine BEFORE anyone else does, so they should be protected from anyone who does get the flu. Children and adults who do not have a compromised immune system should use their own immune system to fight off sickness. It's what helps our immune system to get stronger. The way you're coming off you make it sound like children shouldn't play in dirt because OMG GERMS!

      I'm all for people who practice medicine, but that's just what it is...medicine. It is not the practice of health. Health is about what we eat and exercise and how to live a healthy lifestyle. Most people in medicine know nothing about this, which is a HUGE problem. There are some doctors and nurses out there that actually do know something about health and educate themselves about it, and I say kudos to them for going above and beyond.

      Oh, and I'm not a Dr. Oz fan, but even he doesn't immunize his children.

    6. Since the flu shot is only 70 to 90 percent effective in complete immunization, I am grateful for those who get the flu shot even though my children do get it. But I don't feel anger toward those who choose not to.

    7. I work in a laboratory where we collect blood samples from Oncology (cancer) patients. The whole thing with being immunocompromised is, if they don't have a good immune system, the immunization won't work for them. Their body may not even be able to recognize the inactivated strain to make antibodies to it. I have had several stem cell transplant folks tell me they were finally able to be immunized again for their new immune system, and they are so thankful they didn't pick up whooping cough or measles while they had to wait for their system to mature (similar to babies that haven't yet been inocculated--naturally or vaccine).
      Needless to say, I definitely get a flu shot every year. I don't need it. My body can fight off a little flu so easily (what is it, a week of feeling a little achy and miserable???). I protect my patients from this potentially deadly disease.
      #1 reason a normal, healthy, non-healthcare worker should have against flu shot: THEIR OWN BODY CAN PROTECT THEM ON ITS OWN.

      Note: This is not the case with every vaccine, some we cannot fight off on our own and others around us could suffer from. This is important information to have before deciding which shots to allow.

  6. I don’t get flu shots, but I make my kids get them because they're the only ones who ever get me sick.

  7. Flu shots always make my family sick. When we don't get them we never get the flu. Also, I'm convinced that they put extra stuff in the shots that make us sicker, so that they can use us like gineau pigs.

  8. You just had to talk about flu shots, didn't you? Now watch the crazies come out of the woodwork.

    Knowing your doctor for a long time doesn't make it less awkward. I saw my doctor that I've seen for years at the grocery store, and I wasn't sure if I should still call her "Dr" or if her first name was ok, or if I should just pretend I hadn't seen her.

    1. Thank you. The crazies are amuck here.

    2. Sure, when it comes to issues like Gay Marriage or Crimea, we readers will discuss things calmly, rationally, and lovingly. buuut when it comes to flu shots.... HECK NO.

  9. I've been going to the same doctor for, like, 7 years and I still don't feel like a grown up.

  10. Tetanus shots do make you feel awful for a while. It's rough to get two vaccines at once. I hope you feel better soon!

  11. Yeah, I don't get flu shots either. The only time I got a flu shot, I got the flu, and it was during finals my first semester of college. :/

  12. So, on the flu shot, I do believe that it is our responsibility to get our immunizations for the sake of the immunocompromized who CAN'T get immunizations. Our bodies may be able to fight off an infection without XYZ vaccination, which might have prevented it. But, without the vaccination, we can still be carriers of the infection and then transmit it to someone else who can't receive the preventative vaccination, thereby putting them at risk.

    A second thought on the flu shot, the flu is not something to mess around with. An acquaintance of mine died from the flu a few years ago. Get your immunizations if your body can handle them.

  13. Wow Eli, when did this blog turn into a medical journal?? I'm actually pretty impressed that by the time the dr got back you weren't naked shaking in the corner.

  14. Thank you for getting your flu shot! People tend to write off the flu as a bad cold with some fever that you can get over in a few days. Some strains are less severe, but some are more severe, and you never know which you might catch. I'm a healthy adult your age and never bothered to get the flu shot, but a few years ago in college I got the flu and ended up in the hospital in ICU trying to fight it off. I have never been more miserable in my life. You better believe I get my flu shot now! I've been getting it for the last 8 years and have not gotten sick from it. Many immunocompromised people can't get the flu shot, so the more people who do get it, the better off our communities are! Believe me, just because you've never had the flu (or a bad case) doesn't mean you can't get it! I'm also terrified of needles and shots but I learned that if I get sick and have to go to the hospital they will stick me with a lot more, bigger needles! (Though maybe not Ukraine-style.....)

    Also I had to get a tetanus booster last year because I cut myself, and I definitely got a fever from it. That shot sucked. I felt much better the next day though!