Pity the poor medical student who has me as a patient

Thanks for the thoughtful comments on my last post. They were insightful and informative. I do pray that this tragedy will bring change for the better.

This morning I was scheduled to see Dr. Foie Gras, but first I had the pleasure of meeting his medical student, Matt. The rookie made the rookie mistake of calling me “Mrs.”. After a quick lesson in how to address women in same-sex relationships, we proceeded.

I have been visiting this clinic for so many years that I have amassed two thick volumes of medical history, so I asked Matt if he had reviewed it all. Thankfully he giggled in the way that only a nervous grown man can, while his big brain furiously tried to determine whether I was serious.

Before he’d managed to warm his seat, I facilitated Matt’s assessment by offering my score on the Bristol Poop Scale, which was conveniently located on the office wall for my reference. We then discussed my transit time, which, by the way, does not refer to the speed of travelling by subway vs. by bus. In this context, transit time indicates how long it takes for food to move from one end of the alimentary canal to the other. Mine has been faster than a high-speed train of late.

Then Matt completed my physical exam, including pounding ruthlessly on my belly with his cold hands. With experience comes palpating finesse, I have determined. Matt’s frigid paws prompted a discussion of whether cold hands are preferable to warm, clammy ones. While J. and I debated this important matter, Matt’s inside voice screamed: “TMI! TMI!”

Then I traipsed off to the Fibroscan, a funky specialized ultrasound that measures fibrosis in the liver, thereby circumventing the need for an intrusive liver biopsy. Matt joined me for fun or education, I’m not sure which, but he refused to undergo the procedure in my stead. No matter, it was quick and less painful than those cold paws pounding my belly. Despite my current symptoms and elevated enzymes, I am normal, at least on the liver-fibrosis front. My recent fears of liver failure have been for naught.

The esteemed doctor joined us back in the office, with Matt not far behind. We learned that since we last saw him, Dr. F.G. has married and bought his first home. Ah, to be young and have a mortgage.

After reviewing Dr. F.G.’s stresses, including the huge transfer out of his savings and the many boxes he has left to pack, we discussed my health. The doctor is unbothered by my elevated liver enzymes, so I will be unbothered too. Sure. He sent me for testing to rule out a virus, since I am immunocompromised after all. He said he’d be surprised to find anything–no news is good news–but if he did, he might be able to treat it. Our business complete, off he went, with his underling in tow.

Let’s hope I was Matt’s only two-volume patient today, for his sake. I may have been first up, but he looked exhausted by the time I left.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, my fast-moving train is quickly approaching. Thankfully, I’ve never missed my stop.

Sleek white train in train station


2 thoughts on “Pity the poor medical student who has me as a patient

  1. Happy to see that everything (at least liver wise) is okay. And you must feel flattered (if not flattened) being a guinea pig for aspiring Drs F.G. They couldn’t have better learning material.


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