Tuesday, June 11, 2019

People Ruin Everything

Yesterday I had a skin mole on my back.  Today I don't.  I had a doctor at the nearby clinic cut it off, freezing it with some anesthetic, slicing it flat to my skin with a knife and cauterizing the wound so it wouldn't bleed.  And, as I will never tire of saying so to my American readers, all for free.

I have no problem at all with doctors.  They're educated, I'm educated.  We speak the same language.  This needs to be cut, spliced, operated on, with needles, and pain to follow, I see it the way the doctor sees it.  The body is an organism that will sustain manipulation and pain is a process of healing.  Whatever happens ~ if the mole turns out to be a tumor and a sign of cancer ~ happens.  Not the doctor's fault.

There are two things, however, that drive me crazy about seeing a doctor.  Two things that I'm sure drives the doctor crazy as well, which just makes it doubly ridiculous.

The first is the requirement to treat me with kid gloves, like I'm an infant.  I understand the need for a consent form and I have no idea why I wouldn't agree to a procedure I'm there to receive ... but the language that I'm forced to assent to: "I understand that I have the right to terminate the procedure at any time before the procedure occurs without concern or fear."  Really.  And, knife instructions, pick up by handle only.

It doesn't stop there, obviously.  The doctor wants to warn me he's going to need to use a needle to freeze the skin around the mole.  He warns me that I'll need to lay on my stomach.  He warns me that there will be some pain.  He warns me that after the freezing, there'll be more pain.  He warns me that the pain will last for a day or two, possibly longer.

Yeah, I get it.  People are made of candy floss.  And the doctor has to deal with those people.  But through the doctor's endless warnings, I have to deal with those people too.  I have to endure this sickened pandering because other people can't bear up to a needle or the amount of pain that a removed mole causes.  It's annoying, I have to put up with it every time I see a doctor, it's time wasting and it is particularly galling in that in various professions, I've been injured so often that things like a needle prick barely register.  I have burn marks up and down my forearms and my hands are a nest of scars from burns and knife cuts, screw edges and saw blades.  And those scars are a fraction of the hundreds of times I've been spot burned by oil or nicked with a knife blade.

Then, there's the other annoyance.  The one that treats me like I have no education at all.  For example, I have to have what lidocaine is explained to me.  I have to have cauterization explained to me.  I have to have the danger of post-procedure infection explained to me, and what to do if I get an infection.  I have to have what a skin mole is explained to me, and why it might be a sign of cancer.  I have to have every tiny facet of every part of the procedure explained to me, to be absolutely sure I understand what's going on.

And yeah, I get this too.  People are stupid.  Very, very stupid.  Uneducated, unaware, ignorant, usually deliberately ignorant, and very mistrustful because of their enormous ignorance.  They haven't spent a minute of their lives understanding one thing about how the body they inhabit works, what drugs are, what a procedure involves ... and usually, if they've tried to understand it, they've understood it wrong.  Plus they lie and say they understand, when they don't.  So the doctor can't my word for it when I say, "Yes, I know what lidocaine is, I've experienced lidocaine before," because of all the stupid, fucked up, annoying, ignorant people in the world who have said those exact same words as a lie.

So between me and the doctor there are all these stupid people that neither of us want to deal with, but we have to, because they exist, they need medical attention and they have to be placated.  And this is why I usually leave a doctor's office somewhat put out.

The one mitigating factor is the empathy, the enormous empathy I feel for the doctors, who have to go through this routine hour after hour, for the whole of their career.  I have to put up with it for ten, twenty minutes.  Those poor, educated people.  I really feel for them.

At this point, I should make a connection to the kind of idiocy a DM has to put up with from a certain kind of player.  But, if you agree with me, you've already made that connection.  And if you don't, well, you're the idiot we have to remind to turn off the lawn mower before checking the blades.


Baron Opal said...

Thank you. It's crap sometimes; the worst part is when they say "I'll do whatever you say, doc. I trust you." And you know they comprehend a sliver of what you told them.

James said...

I think malpractice lawsuits are partially the cause of that (I can't really call them a problem - it is how I make a living after all). Though, I add the caveat that I am not knowledgeable about personal injury law in Canada.

Alexis Smolensk said...

It is very difficult to get emotional remuneration in Canada; but you can win a suit that will cover your expected earnings to the end of your expected work-years. Plus a reliable monthly income if you're impaired past being able to work. The courts don't decide on the doctor's status, the government does; and oversight is harsh and far less political, as the arm of the government that makes the decision is quite removed from the electoral process. A non-physician, I believe, can't be placed in authority over the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the individual provinces; and so group of doctors isn't likely to overlook the poor performance of an individual, like a presidential appointee might.

Dirk said...

I don't mind that, I do mind the amount of filling out of forms I have to do.

Almost every visit to a doctor I get handed a clipboard with a bunch of poorly xeroxed (how does that happen in 2019?) forms to fill in. Same stuff I filled in last time I was here. In some cases, the same info is requested on different forms in the stack.

Alexis Smolensk said...

The clinics here in Calgary are computerized and share data, along with my healthcare card, so in general I only have to update information that might be new since my last visit. Filling out a clipboard is something I'd probably have to do if I were in another province.