The Curse Strikes Again


Man, I hate going to the doctor. You’d think doctor’s kids wouldn’t mind it as much, but an informal survey of the doctor kids I know shows that I am not alone. I get really keyed up about going. This is partially because I am a mega hypochondriac/worrywart. Ever since I was a kid. I once spent two weeks inside because I was worried about getting rabies.

I’m better than I was, but when you go to the doctor (or dentist for that matter) the absolute best thing that can happen is that they say, “Ok we’ve found no evidence of your impending death. Nonetheless, you will die someday. Come back in a year.” So best case scenario is the status quo. Worst-case scenario is that you’re dying of rabies. Most likely you’ll just get yelled at for brushing wrong or being fat or something.
But so the other reason I hate going to the doctor is that I have some kind of curse where I choose terrible doctors. Once I accidentally went to an abortion clinic for my ob/gyn checkup because it was the closest doctor listed on my insurance’s website. I chose a dentist whose office was under construction (but still seeing patients) and had my teeth cleaned literally surrounded by wires and dusty piles of broken dry wall.

The best part was that their water pick thing was broken and got my shirt completely soaked, so I spent the rest of the day AT WORK in a soaking shirt. Fun times.
I think those are pretty fair reasons to hate going to the doctor. I went this week for results of a blood test I had about a month ago, and holy cow, it was not a good visit. When I went last month, it was the first checkup I’d had in about ten years. I finally broke down and agreed to get a physical, and I went to this doctor that just moved in near my house, in the bottom floor of these awful condos that my landlords are suing (long story, but these developers are jerks.)

I know. I should’ve known better. It’s just hard to find doctors in New York and it was so convenient. When I went for the first visit, they were okay—I must have lucked into the one day in the universe that that place wasn’t a madhouse. I thought perhaps the curse was broken.

Not so. I waited forever, people kept calling me “Andrew,” there were old ladies screaming at the receptionists, pretty much textbook bad. I was really really nervous about the results of my blood test, and when I get all keyed up like that it makes me really prone to crying. So yes, I cried like a baby at the doctor’s office.

I can’t help it. Needles just make me cry. First of all, she strong-armed me into a flu shot. Second, I had to re-take the blood test because there were some abnormalities (which, don’t worry, I later found out from my mom are normal for Ferences) and also because I have high cholesterol.

I’m too young to worry about cholesterol! You say you have high cholesterol and people automatically get so uppity, like oh gross you must eat out of the garbage can. I’m not a 65-year-old fat dude, guys. I’m a 28-year-old non-smoking gym-going pescatarian—it’s not like I can just change my diet or something and fix it. If I ate any less saturated fat, I’d be vegan.

I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal, high cholesterol, but it was what I was all worried about. Everyone on my dad’s side has super bad cholesterol and I was really hoping I didn’t have that gene. Since I do, my choices are basically going on drugs, which, no, or drinking this horrible homeopathic gloop that my dad found out about that lowers cholesterol. Everyday, twice a day, forever. Or dying of heart disease.

Sucks man. I know it could be worse, right, but it was just something I was hoping wouldn’t happen to me.

Anyway, back to the story. So I’m all upset because of my cholesterol and because I’ve just had the prospect of not one but two needles sprung on me. The doctor does not care to discuss any of this and shoos me down the hall to wait on the blood-taking nurse. I am like millimeters away from tears at this point. I’m sitting waiting, and a nurse-type lady walks by. We have the following exchange:

Nurse-type lady (pointing at my tote bag tucked under my chair): You should move your bag. It’s not nice to have personal bags on the floor.

Me: What?

NTL: Your bag. It isn’t nice to have your personal bags on the floor.

Me: Where should I put it then?

NTL: On the chair.

Me: What if someone else wants to sit down?

NTL: They can sit somewhere else!

Me: ?

What? Not nice? What does that mean? I don’t know. So okay, now I’m fighting back tears and extremely confused. I finally get called in to get blood taken and of course start crying. I am very embarrassed at this point and just want to get this over with. I apologize to the nurse about the crying. We have the following exchange:

Nurse : Nice red.

Me: Thanks. I like red. It looks good on everyone. (I’m wearing an orange dress, so I can’t tell if she means my dress or my hair or what. Also, I AM SOBBING.)

Nurse: I can tell something about a person that wears red.

Me: That they cry easily?

Nurse: That they are vain.

Me: ?

Nice way to diffuse the situation, nurse lady. And that, folks, is where I pretty much decided it was time to find another new doctor. The curse strikes again. Also I have high cholesterol. Did I mention that the gloop is a natural laxative? Sigh.