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I had a doctor’s appointment today. It went differently in my head.
What I planned to do was march in there and say “Look, peon, I’m sick of being exhausted all the time. Test me up for chronic fatigue, mono, low thyroid, hysterical pregnancy, diabetes, anaemia, sleep apnea, lupus, bubonic plague and whatever else you got until we whup this thang.”
What actually happened was the doctor saying “I see you haven’t had a cervical smear for a while. I’ll just go ahead and book you in. Yes, I know, I know, but we like to do it just as a screening process.”
My doom thus sealed, I got to fill in a multi-choice quiz about how much I wanted to kill myself and others (Always, Sometimes, Seldom, Never or Only After Being Shanghaied Into a Cervical Smear?); according to which I still have ‘moderate’ depression, which is a bit of a chiz given that I’ve been shelling out, um, $3 every three months for Citalopram. (Apologies to my American readers.) She suggested I up the dose. “After all, 20mg is a bit on the low end for your weight”, she said, which wasn’t very cheering. This feeling was compounded when she went behind me, massaged my neck, said “Swallow” and then returned to her seat with an airy “No, it isn’t your thyroid. You just have a full neck, like me. It looks a little bit like thyroid, but it isn’t.”
Say what? I have a fat thyroidal neck? She has a fat thyroidal neck? Her neck looked perfectly normal to me. I’d always thought mine was, too. Not, you know, swan-like; but not pathological. Super. Should’ve asked to retake the quiz.
Then she sent me off to the Pathlab where, in the middle of getting four vials of blood removed – lying down to prevent recurrance of past embarrassing incidents – I had to disguise a fit of hysterical pre-faint giggles so as not to scare the rather dour phlebotomist. When the draining was complete I felt a bit funny, and when the phlebotomist told me to get up I said “Am I pale? Usually if I’m pale it’s a bad sign.” She said “You’re fine” and shuffled out, whereupon I got up and caught sight of myself in the mirror. Pale, no. Green, yes. Apparently I should either pitch a TV series called The Strangely Literal Phlebomist or rethink my stance on foundation.
The good news is, my bowels are fine. The doctor and I are now both quite clear on this, as she asked me four times. This worries me a little. Is fatigue a typical symptom of colon cancer? Does recalcitrant fecal matter tend to back up into the throat, creating a full, thyroidal effect? Results on Monday.