Responsibility

After having a PA offer me an initial diagnosis of a potentially-devastating disease–and after receiving lab results that overturn that diagnosis in favor of a simple UTI–I’d like to say two things:

1. Enjoy the hell out of your health. Despite reassurances from some very knowledgable friends, I spent two days wondering what it would be like to become pain-ridden and incapacitated at age thirty-nine. I admit I’m a classic worrier, but I also admit that I’m newly thankful that all my limbs go up and down; that I think (reasonably) sane thoughts; and that none of my guts have decided to rage against themselves.

2. Unless somebody displays life-threatening conditions right there in the minute clinic, it is utterly uncool for a medical professional to make a life-altering diagnosis after a single conversation and a half-finished lab test. I got the scary brochures and everything. The PA did tell me she wasn’t sure what I had, but once you give a frightening diagnosis to a patient, it’s hard for anybody to hear much else. I would have been much happier if she’d just said: “I don’t know. Let me refer you to a doctor. Let me give you more tests.” 

3. (I guess I have one more thing.) Hooray for squash-able diseases! Hooray for the fact that “common things occur commonly.” And with that, I raise a glass of cranberry juice to everyone’s health.

(Originally posted November 8, 2014)

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