My doctor looks like a friendly gnome and thinks I’m a hypochondriac. Every time I go in (and we’re only talking about a couple of times a year here), he manages to make it clear that there is nothing terribly wrong with me and I should have stayed home. For example, last fall I had swine flu (for which I did not go to the doctor, because I couldn’t face making the two bus trek across town) and I sprained a rib coughing. When the stabbing pain in my ribs lingered into a second month, I went to the doctor. He sent me for a x-ray because I insisted upon it, but basically told me that there was nothing to be done except take some extra strength tylenol and try not to move in ways that hurt. Later in the year when I had what I feared was a relapse of the flu, he told me to drink lemon and honey.
And the thing is, I’m sure he’s perfectly right and my overactive imagination and tendency to google ailments does lead me into hypochondriac territory on occasion. But when two of my toes went numb during the Festival and failed to become un-numb after a week and a half, I went to see him anyway. Guess what? It’s just a pinched nerve and there’s nothing to be done about it.
I did however, manage to pick up stomach flu while waiting in his office. Note that I will not be returning for a diagnosis. I can recommend honey and lemon and limited movement to myself, thankyouverymuch.
I share this with the disclaimer that I feel very grateful to live in Canada, where at least I don’t have to pay for useless doctor visits.