Saturday, June 04, 2005

i almost beat up the cardiologist... and that would have been the nicest thing for us all.

So a new, distressing development to all my lovely Graves' Disease stuff is that I'm getting crazy heart palpitations. Again. Now, there's been many Graves' symptoms that have been bothersome post-radiation - like the fatigue, the hair loss, the seemingly unavoidible weight gain. But heart palpitations? I'm sorry, but there are some body processes that should just work, and your heartbeat is definitely one of them. Logically enough, I decided to go to an internist and get this shizit all checked up and out. My mom, who just about knows every doctor in Minneapolis, told me to go to this one clinic. I checked it out, it looked good. She gave me some names. when I called the clinic, of course, those docs were booked until the second coming.

"But you can see Dr. Stevens. He's our on-staff cardiologist," the receptionist said (not his real name).

"Is he a more senior doctor?" I asked. I really wanted to see an old bastard doctor, one who knows what's going on.

"Oh my god! He's definitely senior," she laughed.

In retrospect, that should have bothered me. That should have been ominious. I just took it as a sign I was seeing some old dude. Christ, did I ever.

Dr. Stevens was 45 minutes late, but I was knitting and happily away from work, so I didn't really mind. Well, I did mind, but I really wanted to see someone about my heart. When Old Man River walked in, he was also Mr. Combative. I'm no dumbass. I know what's up with my Graves', my treatment, my body. I became Ms. Combative, and I thought I was doing rather well explaining myself and making myself heard. Apparently he thought so, too, because then he started with the, "You are a VERY well-spoken young lady. A VERY well-spoken young lady." I was sort of suprized and a little embarrassed, so I just said, "Um, thanks."

This is when shit started to get weird. Old Man River then said, "NO! You are a VERY well-spoken young lady. You're a decent person. And you know what? That's hard to come by these days. You're VERY intelligent."

I was definitely weirded out. He was super intense about all of this. I said, "Yeah, thanks. I'll pass it along to my parents." I didn't know what to say.

Then he said, "I'm going to listen to your heart now." He yanked my shirt up, pushed my bra aside, and laid his stethoscope on my heart. I was like, "Okay, old doctor. He's too old to be hitting on me, right?" It didn't feel sexual, it was just... fucking weird. Like, a little warning before you start pulling on my clothes? I usually get more warning from girls before we sleep together.

He listened. I'm sure my face was priceless. He said, "I can't really figure this all out in a 15 minute time slot. I'm going to have to give you a complete exam." I thought, what kind of exam? Why do I feel like he wants to give me a gyno exam, too? We talked a little bit more about my Graves' shit, and he said, "Okay, I'm going to call this in. Are you married? Single? What?" I knew he meant he was going to call in his dictation and that he actually needed my marital status because that's a part of that. So I said, truthfully, "I'm single and I live with my parents." He called his dictation in.

Now maybe it's time to recap some things:
1. When he walked in, I was knitting a baby hat. Very domestic of me, I know.
2. I was wearing a super cute skirt. Very femme of me, I know.
3. We've already established his opinion of me as a "VERY decent, VERY well-spoken, and VERY intelligent young lady."
4. I'm single, and like a good girl, I live with my parents.

I was cruising for what came next.

He got off the phone, looked at me, smiled, and asked, "So, you got a boyfriend?"

Instant ultra-discomfort on my part, "No, I'm not dating anyone."

His smile turned knowing, "But can you cook?"

I almost went ape-shit. I wanted to stab this man. I mean, he doesn't fucking know me! And do I cook? Fuck you, Old Man River!

I smiled sweetly, "Well, actually, I'm a lesbian, so things are a little different for me."

His eyes just about popped out of his fat fucking head.

"ARE YOU SURE?" he asked.

"Are you sure you're a straight white man?" I asked back.

He took a different turn at this, "You know, my niece says she's a.... (hands twitter) ....a lesbian, and I say, why classify yourself like that? Why not just be normal?"

Stabbing him was becoming a better idea by the minute.

I looked at him dead in the eye, and said, "I guess the ONLY thing that ANY of us can do is BE OURSELVES. I can only be myself. Can you understand that?" The "you total fucking moron" at the end of that was implied.

He stood up, walked out of the room, and didn't talk to me for the rest of the appointment.

Fuck you, Old Man. I win. Fuck you.

When I got home that evening, I told my mom, "Yeah, I saw Dr. Stevens today." She almost busted a gut and said, "What?!! That man should be retired. He's about 85-88 years old!"

Yeah. He should be retired.

I'm just glad I stood up for myself, that I didn't just take the shit he dished out. I don't care how fucking old you are, you don't get to treat me like a second-class citizen. And do I cook? Yeah, I eat pieces of shit like you for lunch.

(Billy Madison flashback, "You eat pieces of shit?" Too funny)

Even though the tenor of this post is self-rightous anger, I'm actually laughing as I write this. What an old bastard! I'm glad to have fucked with his head. Ahhh... bigots are so stupid.

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