No, not actually fucking them, just, OMG, those fucking doctors.

As a wee bit of back story, I have been experiencing, since November, some sort of bizarre extremity problem.  Sometimes one finger, sometimes two, sometimes every single fucking one, goes cold.  Drains of blood, turns an attractive shade of corpse white, and aches and itches.  It makes it hard to tie my shoes and open stuck jars, and although touching other people with my freaky cold finger is a neat party trick, it’s mostly a giant pain in the ass.

So I did what all normal people do when faced with a bizarre medical issue: I went to California.  I wish I could say I headed to a hippie commune to interact with a world famous acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist, but really I just went to see my… OH MY GOD, pause for GIANT ASIDE:

What, exactly, am I supposed to call my partner’s sister?  For those of you catching up, my partner and I are both women, which makes us lesbians, and therefore unable to get legally married in a vast majority of the states in this great country of ours.  So, while J and I have been together for three years, and share a home and a pride of domestic cats, when I go to her sister’s house, I don’t technically get to call her my sister in law, even though that is essentially what she is.  Normally, I’d find this laughably ridiculous to be worried about, but SHIT, people.  When the janitor at my office asks me what I did over my winter break, I have two choices: either tell him my entire sexual history, or say I went to my sister in law’s, and let him assume I’m married to a dude.  Neither of these options are of any interest to me.  Generally I go with the path of least resistance, and therefore she is my sister in law, but CHRIST, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, get with the gay marriage program, so I can just stop worrying about it already.

ANYHOO.  My fingers, and my holiday trip to California to see the abovementioned sister in law.  We went there for the Christmas holidays (HERE I am sparing you YET ANOTHER giant aside, but let it be known that I am Jewish), in the quaint town of Huntington Beach, which is an hour south of LA, and by that I mean that it was 70 degrees in December.  I thought for sure this would force my recalcitrant arteries to blossom open, releasing sweet, warm blood into my fingertips (WHOA.  Did I go all True Blood fanfic there, for a moment?).  But no.  Fingers still frozen, much to the delight of my niece and nephew (see above aside), who repeatedly asked me to touch them with my freaky fingers.

The point being, after our return to Seattle, I was now forced to do what any ACTUALLY reasonable person would have done, and go to the doctor.  Now.  Since I have access to Dr. Google, I essentially already knew what the problem was, and that the quick and easy fixes (quit smoking and exercise) were already in the bag.  Which is why I spent all of the week before I made the appointment constructing elaborate scenarios in my head wherein the doctor would flat out refuse to believe that anything was wrong with me, and then I would have to splutter in rage and righteously demand another opinion.  This belief was further compounded my the first doctor I visited, who told me it “never gets cold in Seattle” and then chastised me for using the word “numb” to describe my symptoms even though I could feel him pricking my fingertips with a needle.  Let me just say this: referring yourself to a specialist is the number one way to piss one off.  It would appear they’ve become so used to the insurance gatekeeping that someone having the nerve to just WALK RIGHT IN throws them all sorts of off their game.

Is it any wonder I spiked a super high blood pressure when I walked into my general practitioner’s office this afternoon? She was actually very nice and understanding, even though she didn’t offer me the miracle fix it all right away drug I was sort of, kind of, maybe, just maybe, hoping for.  Instead she decided that my crappy posture ends up putting pressure on the arteries leading down my arms, which decreases bloodflow to my extremities.  Which is all fine and good by me, because I walked out with a prescription for MASSAGE.  Yes, you read that right: MASSAGE.  Now that was a $15 copay well spent.

But here’s what really got me.  It turns out, all this running has caused me to lose 10 pounds.  I know this makes me sound like one of those celebrities on the covers of magazines who brag about losing all their baby weight in three days by walking around the house on tip toes for 20 minutes a day, or some other bullshit we all know is bullshit, but still bugs us because why can’t we do that too, but the simple truth is this: I really didn’t mean to, but I did lose 10 pounds.  And I know I didn’t mean to, because, GET THIS, I’m actually pretty happy with my body as it is, about 50 lbs overweight, if you use the BMI as a metric (which I don’t, and a million people on the internet have handled that issue better than I ever could).  It moves me, carries me through my day, and almost never prohibits me from doing any activity, physical or otherwise, I want to.

So, when I mentioned to the doctor that I’d lost 10 pounds, she ACTUALLY CHECKED MY CHART.  And said “indeed, look at that, you DID lose 10 pounds.”  What the everloving fuck is that about?  Do people actually lie to their doctors about their weight?  I mean, sure they do, my very own driver’s license says I weigh 160 pounds, which I did, sure in 1990, or whatever.  But to the doctor?  The doctor with the digital scale?  I admit there is a (vanishingly small) chance I am misinterpreting what happened, but I was shocked.

And that, people?  That made me sad.  This is the person we trust with our health, the thing that at least we have that, the thing that is a direct measure of our TIME ON EARTH, and we’ve imbued them with such power and authority that we actually LIE to them about really, really insignificant things.  What other things are we afraid to tell our doctors?  What else do we hide?  These are the reasons *I* think we need health care reform.

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