Thursday, November 04, 2004

i made a bet with agnes today. i told her there wasn't much point in betting against me, but she went for it anyways just to amuse me.

i saw my kidney specialist today. kidney, head, knee, some day there'll be a liver specialist in there too... so silly. at any rate, it was destined to be an exercise in futility from the start, but it was somewhat fun to go through the motions.

doctors are in funny positions. they're supposed to tell you what's wrong, and if there is something wrong, people will generally be upset. but the doctor's just someone that they see now and then -- all the more so if it's a specialist. generally, you're not that close to your doctor. so i can imagine that if a patient is starting to get upset or depressed about something they're being told by the doctor, they can either try to reach out to the person to calm them, or completely distance themselves. i'm not sure which one's the better solution. i know that my doctors have typically reached out. which i think i like. i'm not sure where the boundary between "supportive" and "slightly creepy" lies, though. but i digress. it was just something that i started thinking about today, while i was being reassured, despite the fact that i was feigning cynical good humour. (obviously i was failing at it.)

    "so! there's still something wrong! but all the extra tests we did since the biopsy still don't tell us what is wrong because everything else normal! but it might be an idea to start taking meds! of course, they might lower your blood pressure, but..."

    "oh, but doctor, i've been dizzy a lot lately, and i've been rather depressed of late as well!"

    "hmm... then i guess meds are out of the questions! well, there's nothing else to be done, come back and see me in a couple months!"

    "okay, doctor, sir!"

    the end.

you'll have to imagine it all in grandoise, over-the-top voices. it would be better if i wrote it in the Q&A-style of speaking that he has, because it's actually quite entertaining, but i can't do that justice in writing. but i was almost completely right. instead of a couple months, it'll be six months, and i didn't have to go see him, but if i'm getting bloodwork done (again) i'd rather know what's going on with it all.

it was surprisingly stressful. i knew exactly what would happen, but i still got to the semi-ready-to-cry feeling, something that i thought i'd managed to get under control lately. but i suppose it's expected if you're suddenly stressed out, or if you know what's going to happen but you're still hopinghopinghoping to hear something else instead.

idiopathic mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis, mild. this is one of the few definite things anyone can tell me about my kidneys. translated, it means that my mesangial cells are mildly swollen (ritis) in general, AND WHY?

    id·i·o·path·ic adj.
      Of or relating to a disease having no known cause.

nobody knows! which should just be stamped all over my medical record at this point. chronic hep B? dunno why, sorry, can't do much about it...maybe you should just become paranoid about everything and separate yourself from the rest of humanity in case you infect them, even if that's not actually that likely... clicking head? no one knows why (and few believe me). pinched nerve? dunno why, you must be too skinny. can't do much about it! strange lump in a worrisome place? maybe it's your clitoris!* knee "popping out"? no...you don't need surgery! just don't go skiing. or run. or jump. dizzy? you must be dehydrated...even though you've been drinking water constantly. just don't do much of anything until it stops. so am i supposed to be really concerned about any of this? well...i don't know. but have these tests done and we'll see you in a few more months!

i'm not a hypochondriac. you can't be a hypochondriac if you're actually right whenever there's a problem. i'm so sick of this, though. it's surprisingly stressful to know that there's stuff wrong with you and you don't know why and you don't know what you can do about it and you don't know how serious a concern it is and you don't know if you're a hazard to people around you or not because no one can give you a direct answer about anything but they all exagerrate because they think that it's better to be safe then sorry and don't think of what sort of mental effect that has on a person who's trying to continue feeling "normal"... it's fuckin great for the self-confidence and ability to be comfortable just being you, i can tell you that much.

so i only half-won our bet, so i owe agnes gelato, and she owes me gelato. we both win.

ah, it's good to be me...

* if you missed out on that story, just ask and i'll tell you. doctors can be fuckin stupid. STUPID.

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