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29 November 2007

Hello, I'm Heather the Intern

I went to the doctor today. My appointment was for 8:20am. They called me back for blood pressure and temperature-taking at 8:05am. Then I got to sit in the room until the nurse came in at 8:20 to tell me that Heather was running late. At 8:33, she came back again to tell me that Heather was still on her way. Finally, at 8:45, Heather arrived. She came into the room and announced, "Hi. I'm Heather the Intern." I laughed on the inside, but I was soon relieved to see her Wake Forest Medical Center badge. Finally! A person with reputable medical training! Granted, she is still in school, but at least she isn't a dumb ass!

After she took my symptoms (which seemed to mystify her because they didn't follow normal symptoms), she had me lie down and she did an abdominal exam. As soon as she pressed on the upper right part of my stomach, right along the ribcage, I was like, "Yeah. That hurts." She listed to my tum-tum with a cold ass stethoscope and was like, "There's a lot of movement going on down here." I nodded. At that point, She determined that I either have an ulcer (hence the pain in the upper right quadrant) or a "motility" problem. In other words, my stomach and my intestines are working at different speeds and this creates discomfort. Either way, she gave me some anti-nausea pills to ease the problem. If it persists, she wants me to come back on Monday. On the bright side, the pills are supposed to make me sleepy.

At this point in the exam, I explain my insurance woes and my ear troubles. I ask for a referral and she says, "No problem. I'll go get the paperwork." Of course, as soon as she leaves the office, I hear some ole bitch tell her that "We need to diagnose and attempt to solve the problem before writing a referral." At this point, I'm steamed. I knew it was coming. When Heather the Intern returns, I can tell that she doesn't want to deliver the bad news and tells me that I am going to be annoyed. Now, despite biting my lip until I bleed, I start to tear up and tell her how frustrated I am and how the health center misdiagnosed the problem to start with and create the whole mess. She looked at me kindly and asked, "Would you like me to take a look? It's a different set of eyes." Obviously I complied (fuck you and your two separate appointments!).

She looked in my ears and noted that they are completely filled with fluid and are infected. When I told her about the new pain, she looked concerned and checked it out. She determined that I probably have a secondary infection in the mast regions of my skull (little air pockets behind your ears in the skull). She said it is common for people with chronic ear infections to get this, but it needs to be treated because it can lead to brain illnesses like meningitis. No thanks! So, I got some antibiotics for that shit. Hopefully, I'll be better soon!

All in all, other than waiting for FOREVER, the appointment was good. Plus, she told me to come back and see the REAL doctor on Monday, and they would give me my referral. Yeah!

Campus health still blows, but at least I have some medicine to help me start feeling better.
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