I am so incredibly angry right now I don’t know if I will be able to get through writing this.
Today, I woke up, showered, and went to a gynecological appointment. I really don’t remember what it was for but it was scheduled, so I went. I had a few things I wanted to ask about so I didn’t mind going. I don’t like my doctor. I have never liked him. But he had enough confidence that I figured he knew what he was talking about as far as lady parts go. Oh and also, he told me he knew everything there is to know about women’s anatomy. He told me that alot. He told me repeatedly he is an Expert on PMS, on bladder issues, on every type of infection,weird smell, discharge and color that can possibly happen to a boob or a hoo ha. Great. I never believed him, but, I usually allow egotistical, narcissistic men to just prattle on and on…they love to hear themselves talk.
I walked in, told the receptionist that I have new insurance, did the new insurance dance and then had a seat in the nasty, skeevy waiting room. Looking at all of the other ladies, knowing we are all sort of dreading being there. Looking at the few men who are there also in support of their wives or girlfriends…in one case possibly his mom…Old, young, pregnant, not. We are all waiting.
They call me into the closet. It is where they do blood pressure and weight. That’s all terrific. Pee in a cup…for what? I don’t know. But I was given a detailed demonstration on how to do a clean catch. I am 41 years old with three children. I am not sure what about my appearance says “Too Dumb to Know How To Pee In A Cup” but there ya go. And then I get to go into the room with the table with the heel holders. I have to strip from the waist down and hang out with a paper over my private parts. Now, we women are just used to this sort of treatment. We are used to feeling totally and completely vulnerable. Physically and emotionally. It’s sort of a “woman thing”. No big deal.
So there I sit, half naked. The only thing I have to hold onto is a paper sheet because my dignity was left in the bathroom with the cup of pee. As I am texting my bff about what we are going to do this weekend, the nurse comes in all apologies. I guess they don’t take my new health insurance. Um…ok!!! But WAIT! She wants me to put my pants back on and wait right here. Why? Well, just in case the doctor wants to see me anyway. It will cost about 200 dollars but if he wants to see me…TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS?????????????? FOR WHAT?????????????? Since WHEN did I start having to PAY others to look at me naked???????? I hadn’t given up on my fall back plan of being a stripper and here I am being told that if I want this man to look at my intimate places I am going to have to PAY HIM????????????????????????????????
And there I sit. Waiting. The nurse is falling all over herself apologizing to be for the mix up. How she thought they accepted my insurance but it’s from The Exchange so they don’t and oh boy is she sorry. She wants to get the receptionist in here and the accountant and the billing department. I was totally fine with it. Not an issue. I hated this doctor’s office, I was never impressed with the cleanliness or the friendliness or the understanding of the people who work there so, I’m thinking this is a marvelous opportunity! By this point, the nurse is almost crying and offering me free magazines on herpes and breastfeeding. She’s a mess.
The doctor wants to see me in his office pro bono. Oh for fucks sake. Fine. I go in an sit down across from him. His other nurse/secretary sits in the corner taking notes on her computer. Or maybe she is a frustrated court stenographer? Who cares. As soon as my now covered ass hits the chair doesn’t this ignorant, arrogant, absolutely clueless doctor (the one who I ASSUME took that oath about “First, do no harm”) start in with “So, why exactly did you go to The Exchange for health insurance?” But before I could answer he pukes out HIS take on it, on why HIS practice will NEVER participate with it, how it is going to collapse our government and kill people and how we are all just very very stupid and we don’t understand how the medical system works. If only we simple people were just smarter, more willing to pay for what we need then there would be no Exchange and the president wouldn’t be killing our people…
Took me a few. I had to pull myself out of the fog that always encases my brain when I am confronted with something that is so incredibly wrong. Now,I am not saying that his opinion isn’t valid. I am not even saying that he is wrong. But I sure as SHIT am saying that there is NO conceivable scenario in which a doctor should EVER bring a patient into his office and berate and belittle her for her choices based on HIS experience and HIS opinion.
I sat there and smiled my gee-you-are-an-incredibly-stupid-person-smile and let him ramble. He was sure to include his superior abilities in his chosen profession, he rambled a bit about how his practice would rather give away free health care than participate with The Exchange which pays LESS than Medicaid. How can he possibly justify getting paid less than what he deserves? Oh…yeah…I guess at that point I was suppose to nod agreeingly.
Instead, I cleared my throat and said ” I see your point” which was when he smiled that self satisfactory smile. He then asked if I would consider paying out of pocket for his superior services as that is really what would be best for my health. I cleared my throat again because the bile was really getting in the way of my answering his question. I said “I would rather be seen in a backwoods shed by a witch doctor with a hanger and raccoon hat and dirty fingernails than to EVER be seen by you again.” I suppose that was a little harsh and exactly what he would expect a poor, stupid woman like me would say. I didn’t really say that. I said “It’s a shame that money and politics have become your way of life. Because I am guessing when you became a doctor you had morals and standards. Unfortunately, you have obviously have been corrupted by a mindset and have forgotten completely that your first directive is to treat women in a respectful manner. It was never nice doing business with you. I will find a new doctor.”
And I left. He mumbled something about the hospital not taking Exchange insurance and how did I expect to find a new doctor and I was making another bad decision…blah blah blah.
I have friends who hold a similar view to Dr. Demented. It’s ok. I love them. They love me. Ain’t no thang. But for a DOCTOR to bring me into his office to discuss HIS political views, HIS life views and HIS opinions? Nope. That is wrong on every level. It’s rude, disrespectful and very very dumb. I can’t abide stupid. I really hope that other women do not have to go through what I went through today. And if they do, I wish they also tell him where to stick his speculum.