I have a lot of respect for doctors, I really do, but I’m getting pretty good at some serious self-diagnosing over here. I know you’re never, ever supposed to self-diagonose, but frankly, I’m the only one inside my body, right? So, therefore, I would know the absolute most about how I feel compared to other times when I’ve felt this way, right? And, then of course, there’s the little problem of when the good old doctors don’t really listen. Let me tell you a short story:
I have Beta Thalessemia Minor, which is bascially a Mediteranian form of anemia which actually protects you against Malaria. The long and the short of it is that I have an iron deficiency in my blood, but that I can’t take iron suppliments because it can ultimately end up building up in my body causing iron poisoning. It doesn’t affect my daily life at all and it’s not life-threatening. I can end up extra tired some days if my iron is really low, but that’s pretty much it.
Anyway, the reason I explain all this is that the year after I graduated from university I started going to a new doctor (due to my new job with my new health plan). After my first visit I had a standard blood test and the doctor informed me that I should be taking iron suppliments for my low iron level. I explained about the Beta Thalessemia and he shared that he had never heard of it and he would have to look it up in his medical journals. Fair enough.
A month later I went back to the doctor for an unrelated incident. Waiting for me at the counter was a prescription for iron suppliments with a note berating me for not taking them already. I explained again about the Beta Thalessemia and he promised to look it up.
And, again (you knew it was coming) I went back for my (final) visit on another unrelated issue about 2 or 3 months later. And, again he told me I should be taking iron suppliments. Thankfully, that was the last time I used that doctor.
I have quite a few other stories like this, mostly about me knowing I have strep throat and the doctor denying it, and then, a few days later, me going back (sadly) triumphant with a giant white pussball in the back of my throat and a raging case of strep to “confirm” that I did, indeed, have strep throat and could therefore qualify for some antibiotics. This happens a lot to me. I know when I’m getting strep throat. And, incidentally, I also know when I’m getting an ear infection, which happend this past weekend. Thankfully I waited long enough before going to the doctor this time that I actually had a full on ear infection when I went, so I got my ear drops (what, am I dog or something?) right away.
So, there you have it: I might as well be my own doctor.
Image 1: http://www.american.edu/cas/images/caduceus.gif
Image 2: http://science.uwe.ac.uk/research/uploads/CRIB_blood_cells.jpg
Image 3: http://www.ezmedicaloffice.com/images/screen_shots/Prescription.gif
Image 3: http://www.vvh.org/healthinfo/images_healthinfo/streplg.gif