"Suffering the Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune"

Rant Continued

Still ranting about our hideous visit to the Headache Clinic – I see no end of ranting in sight, so bear with me.

Anyway, we are still ‘de-briefing’ on our visit with Dr. Wicked Witch of the West. I won’t name her  on line, but I do have to call her something and that is about the nicest name I can think of at the moment.  The visit is a bit akin to remembering an accident and reliving every gory detail. You go over and over it in your mind. So, I thought I would highlight the ridiculous, amusing and downright laughable parts of the visit, featuring the comments and thoughts my brilliant daughter contributed during and after the visit.

In the ridiculous category:

  • For starters, there was a terribly important questionnaire that was supposed to be sent to us ahead of time.  Never got it. So, we had 6 pages of fiddly, detailed questions to fill out when we got there. We arrived nearly an hour early and were still rushing to fill it out after our appointment was scheduled. They kept coming in and asking if we were done. Would have been nice to be able to fill it out ahead of time, instead of rushing through it. Totally ridiculous.
  • Dr. Wicked Witch of the West had a terrible handshake. Very weak and wussy – this is what I noticed and was automatically put off. My brilliant daughter observed a body language point that I missed at the time (hey, we homeschool, my kids know stuff!). Dr. WWW did the palm down (over the other person’s hand) shake, which is a sign of claiming dominance.  If I had caught it, I could have clasped my other hand over hers, staking my dominance over her. Wasn’t on the ball so it was a missed opportunity, although dominating her wasn’t on my agenda. I do think it was a strange combination of weakness and proclaimed strength and it was quite off-putting. (Is this ridiculous because we are geeks to notice such things or because I think about it at all? Excellent question!) There was a definite power grab going on in the room, except we weren’t there to grab power – we just wanted her to help our kid! Power games are really ridiculous, particularly when a child’s health is involved.
  • I have to say that she did have awesome shoes. Purple leopard print open toed stilettos. It is ridiculous that Emily and I both noticed the shoes. Didn’t make me like the woman one little bit, but I will acknowledge her taste in shoes.
  • Being prescribed green vegetables to get rid of migraines. Need I say more?
In the amusing category:
  • Dr. WWW diagnosing migraines before every seeing my daughter. This one fits in both the amusing and bemusing categories.
  • Right off the bat, Dr. WWW asked if we had any MRIs done.  I said yes, that I had the disc for her to look at and I was interested in her opinion because I wasn’t sure the radiologist really knew what he was looking for. She asked me if I was a doctor. What is amusing is that I took that as a genuine question and not the rude put-down that it was. She was pretty rude almost from the moment she walked in. She would probably say I was pushy. Yeah, I was. This is my kid. Deal with it. You work at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.Have you never met a concerned parent before?
  • Before the appointment, Em was regaling me with what she was going to say if the doctor wasn’t helpful. I told her I would give her a signal if I thought it was time for her to give her speech. The signal was me tapping 3 times on the side of my nose – of course this was in jest, I would never signal her to go off. When we got home, she told me she kept waiting for the signal through the whole appointment. I laughed out loud when she told me this. But it was probably a good thing I didn’t accidentally tap my nose!
  • I was composing an ‘in your face’ letter (in which I pointed out how wonderfully the Diamox has worked, how she needs to step out of her little migraine box, etc, complete with zebra illustrations) while she was explaining The Protocol to us. Perhaps slightly premature, but it was a pleasant way to pass the time.
In the downright laughable category:
  • At some point, Em says it was when we were looking at the MRI and Dr. WWW was pointing out how wrong I am about thinking there are any abnormalities on the MRI, apparently I had my ‘mad’ face on. Em said afterwards that, when she saw my ‘mad’ face, she starting gathering up her stuff so she would be ready to leave when we stomped out.
  • Dr. WWW could not figure out how to open the MRI disc so I had to show her how. I may not be a doctor but I do know how to run a computer disc! Nana nana boo boo!
  • She told us that she could tell that Em’s neck is perfectly stable by looking at the brain MRI, which is just beyond ludicrous. We tried to explain that it was a supine MRI and an upright MRI probably would show a significantly different result, due to the hypermobility. It was another ‘who’s on first’ conversation that made me seriously wonder if she got her medical degree out of a Cracker Jack box. No offense to Cracker Jacks!
  • When she told us that Em would have to go off all pain meds and I was pointing out that EDS is a condition which often requires patients to be on pain medication for their entire lives, Dr. WWW blithely stated that she has several EDS patients who are on no pain relief at all and are fine. Em spoke up and said ‘Well, that is them. They are not me and you don’t know that I won’t need pain medication.’ It was a very succinct and pointed comment and I felt like cheering. This probably belongs in the ‘breaks your heart’ category too, considering that this child has been without any real pain relief for so long and now this woman wants to take it all away. This perfectly illustrates the EDS dictum ‘If you have seen one EDS patient…you have seen one EDS patient.’ Maybe we should stick a sampler with that saying as a Christmas gift for her…
I could go on and on but I think you get the idea. As bad as the visit was, and don’t get me wrong – it was BAD, we can still laugh about it. No sense crying when you can use humor to get through the low times. This woman is ONE doctor. She is not the be all and end all. She has very little bearing on our lives and someday, hopefully soon, this will just be an unpleasant memory. The humorous parts will probably live on for awhile….
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