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Aug 28 2009

Health Care is Kind of a Joke

Image courtesy of twenty-twenty.ca

I’ve been “sick” for a while now.

But I still don’t know what’s wrong. Over the last three or four months, I’ve spent somewhere over a thousand dollars and have had about five different diagnoses, and I still don’t know that any of them are right. Here’s the story.

I’d been having pretty severe stomach problems and strong fatigue, which has been a problem off and on for the last decade. I went to a doctor on campus back in, oh, April of this year; she told me “You’re stressed. Do some yoga. Stop taking so many vitamins. And eat lots of spinach.”

Okay… Well, I tried it and this isn’t really helping. I think I’ll get a second opinion.

“Sounds like your gallbladder. We’ll do some tests.”


“The tests were negative, but I’m really sure it’s your gallbladder, so we’ll do another scan.”

Must we?

“Oh, your gallbladder is just fine. That means you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Take Metamucil everyday.”

No luck. Could it be a wheat allergy? I have a lot of those symptoms.

“Sure, we’ll test you for celiac disease.”

Isn’t that something a little different? No? Pretty sure it is.

“You don’t have celiac. Take even more Metamucil every day.”

But I ate a donut and my throat swelled up. What’s that about?

“OMG you has teh wheat allergy. Here’s an Epi-Pen. Don’t eat wheat anymore or you will die.”


Oh hey, my stomach is all better now but I’m still really tired all the time.

“Gosh, your tonsils block your airway when you lie down. You have sleep apnea and we’ll do a sleep study and then you’ll have surgery.”

Just what I always wanted, to be videotaped sleeping with more wires than you’ll see in a hacker movie attached to my face.

“Your sleep study is normal. Are you stressed? What? Your parents are divorcing? Well, that means you’re really depressed and urgently need to see a psychologist. Your mom does too, really bad. Also, you should try to be nice your dad, because he’s going through a lot right now. Here is a prescription for Prozac. If that doesn’t work we’ll put you on amphetamine stimulants. Take more vitamins. Also, don’t gain any weight. And I’m glad you haven’t tried to hurt yourself.”

… wait, whaaa? Excuse me?

Put yourself in my shoes for the last three years and then try to tell me about my parents and who needs to see a psychologist.


So I ate two hamburgers for dinner. With the buns. FULL OF WHEAT. So far, no allergic or otherwise adverse reactions. Also they did not make me sad. Or block my airway. All I can think is that Dr House would’ve figured this out in an hour and insulted me less than I’ve been insulted this week.


… Unless the doctor in question is Dr. House, and then I will happily take the abuse.

[edit] By the way, I’m not filling the prescription, but I am going to meet with a psychologist. We’ll see how that goes. [/edit]

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2 Responses to “Health Care is Kind of a Joke”

Running Commentary:
  1. Matthew says:

    Wait, I thought your avoiding wheat/gluten was making you feel better? Still tiredness, but no upset stomachness. Seems sort of abrupt to switch your diet again…

    • Brenda says:

      My point is more that I’ve been told so many things I should do that turned out to be wrong, that I have no idea if I even need to be eating wheat-free. Apparently depression can cause the stomach issues, so this diagnosis might or might not negate the diagnosis of wheat allergy. So I ate burgers on buns to see what would happen. Nothing did. Now I don’t know if I should stay with it or not, because it’s expensive and a royal pain in the arse.

      Experimentation time shall ensue. PB&J, here I come!