Sunday, April 22, 2012

Play It Again, Sam, Sundays

Dressing for Doctor


Recently, I finally surrendered to pains which have been nagging me for way to long. Much like the plumber with the leaky faucet, we, Doc families seem to be walking case studies of a plethora of ailments, aches, and pains - especially the adults. If something's hurting, I just wait until Doc H comes home, mention it in passing and wait for a response. Usually, I get no response other than a nod (translation: I have no idea. You’ll probably feel better in a day or two) or the raise of an eyebrow as he turns to walk toward me to better assess the situation (translation:  It’s probably nothing, but I better take a look so she doesn’t get mad at me when she goes to her doctor and is prescribed meds).
My recent ailments sent me through a variety of departments. I went to my GP who then sent me to Podiatry and Radiology and then Podiatry sent me to Physical Therapy (oh, and let’s not forget the mammogram my GP ordered)...all within the hospital where my husband not only practices, but is Chief of his department. 
Today was PT day. I woke up late, threw on my comfy warm clothes to drop the non-driving teens off at school. I broke the speeding limit a couple times on the drive home to make sure I had enough time to shower, do my hair and make-up and put on my work clothes for my visit to the doctor. Was I going into the office afterwards? No. Was I going to meet with a client? No. Was I going out to lunch with colleagues? No. I was dressed up because Doc H asked me to do so.
Now, don’t go getting your panties all twisted up in a wad. Doc H is the furthest thing from a controlling husband (and I know. That was my first husband.) However, I will admit my eyes rolled as my jaw hit the floor when he made this “dress for doctor” request. Here are his reasons:
As a patient - While many doctors give the same service and attention to all, some doctors do not (think Dr. Alex Karev from Grey's Anatomy). The patient who comes in looking disheveled and unkempt with grubby clothes may not receive the same level of attention and care as a patient who comes in looking clean, groomed and neatly dressed. Now, I know it’s not right and I am glad Doc H is very open-minded and non-judgmental. He is the first to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. He enjoys working with the underprivileged and finds it very rewarding.
As Your Doctor’s Wife - Apparently, I (and I mean, we, to those of you who are in my club) need to represent. Even if I am not feeling well, I still need to look my best and put my best foot forward. These are his colleagues and just as we like to be proud of our husbands, they like to be proud of us. Plus, despite HIPAA laws, you don’t think word would leak that you were there, right? I can just hear all the NA and MA's talking at lunch, "Did you see Doc H's wife? She came into clinic today. She looked awful!" Or my worst nightmare, "What does he see in her? She's homely looking!"
Can’t wait until the day I need a colonoscopy. I may have to go out of state for that one.

So, I see Doc H's point. Besides, is it really that much harder to dress for doctor? 

9 comments:

  1. That's really funny, actually. I never thought about it, but I guess that people do talk. I intentionally try to look disheveled, so that University Hospital will take pity on the sad, sad medical student. Maybe I need to change my strategy... :)

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    1. Hey, but poor med students need every ounce of pity they can muster!

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  2. This proves my mother right. She never let me go to the doctor's in a t-shirt because "those are outside clothes." She thought the doctor's might make assumptions if I was dressed like a grubby mess, which apparently included T-shirts. Now that I work at a hospital, I dress up for the second reason you mentioned, because it is so true.

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    1. Thanks for the back up! I speak the truth. :)

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  3. well they are having a field day with my outfits, no make up and constant distractions from my phone calls!!

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    1. With 8 kids under your belt, I'm impressed you find time to even get your undergarments on! I seriously don't know how you do it!

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  4. When I had an HSG one of my husbands resident mates was supposed to do it. I guy we had been at an asian drag club with a few weeks before. I even bought him a lap dance by a drag queen. So, I said I couldn't have Peter do this procedure. No way, no how. So Jessie, who I never met came in to do it. Fine. Until I ran into him at a department party about a year later (we got pregnant with our daughter that cycle). Poor guy couldn't look at me. I've seen him again a few times after that and he gets all sweaty and sheepish. You'd think I'd be the one to feel embarrassed! Well, staying within the system isn't always great, that's all.

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  5. Wait. Let me get this straight. Because I've had 14 abdominal surgeries in 6 years and can only tolerate sweat pants your husband would see me as "underprivileged" and enjoy working with me? What if I have on my Lacoste shirt with those sweat pants...because I own about 24 of those. I figure, if I have to wear sweats, I can at least have on a nice top, right? It is human nature to make judgments...but we can be so wrong most of the time. My situation has absolutely nothing to do income. It does have to do with medical incompetency and my body's crazy reaction to foreign objects (mesh rejection). Most days, even on days when I have medical appointments, I am doing good to get showered and dressed unassisted. I have transportation to my appts. because when my body rejected the mesh, I started having seizures and so my license was pulled. We are waiting on a decision regarding disability so that I can get some help in the home so that my 10 year old daughter can BE a 10 year old and not have to take care of mom and not have to come home and find me on the floor having had a seizure. I'm NOT underprivileged. I am VERY privileged thank you very much. We brought our daughter home from China when she was 6 months old and a year and half later, a surgeon ignored my pleas of pain for over a year and the infected mesh became toxic inside my body. Me and my family will pay for his incompetency for the rest of our lives.

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    1. I've had my share of surgeries and I (and they) understand your situation completley. I've gone in my comfy, loose, mismatched clothes after surgery, too! I'm talking about going to regular check-ups, or when going in for minor issues which aren't as critical as yours.
      Sorry, to hear you're not well. Hope you heal quickly!

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