Urgent Care

7 Sep

When this situation happened to me a couple of days ago, I was mildly annoyed and uncomfortable, but the more I think about it, the more upset I become.  And when I’ve told co-workers and friends the story, the look of horror on their face has made me realize how much worse the situation was than I realized.

I’ve been sick. A week or so ago, my left submandibular lymph gland became swollen. Last weekend my ear started hurting…a lot. By Wednesday this week, I was sent home from work for “looking like death” and feeling dizzy and nauseous. By Thursday I decided it was time to see a doctor. I walked to an Urgent Care near my boyfriend’s apartment where I had been staying the night before. I was taken into a children’s exam room, walls covered with Toy Story stickers and sneaker scuff marks on the walls. A nurse look my vitals and asked me some questions about my ear pain.

About five minutes later, a doctor walks in. He doesn’t introduce himself. He doesn’t even say hello. He walks up to me, stands about a foot from my face.

“Your eyes are puffy,” he says to me.
“Oh, that’s not why I’m here. My ear hurts.”
“You have dark circles under your eyes.”
“I know. I’ve had them since childhood. That’s not why I’m here.” He lifts his hand to my face and runs his fingers along the skin under my eyes.
“We are in the same boat, you know. I have rings under my eyes too. I know what it’s like.”
I sit there silently, confused as to why he’s talking about this. He goes on for the next 5-10 minutes telling me about different products from Clinique that he has used and that I should use. All I can think about is how much pain I’m in and how all I want is a prescription to fix it, some advice on what I can do to make it better.

Once he finishes my makeup lecture, he finally looks at the notes the nurse took and grabs an otoscope. Not to look in my ear mind you. He comes over and asks to look at my throat. I open up and say, “Ah.”

“So do you use cucumber or ice packs or anything?”
“On my ear? No. I’ve put a warm towel…”
“No, your eyes!” he interrupts me.
“Oh, no. I don’t. I put makeup on sometimes.”
“Do you…not care?”
“No, no I don’t.”
He sighs and turns away from me, “It’s just that most women CARE about their appearance.”
I sit there feeling awkward, reminding myself in my head that at least my boyfriend thinks I’m pretty. It can’t be all that bad.

He comes back over and uses his stethoscope to listen to me breath.
“Well I think you have a throat infection. I’m going to give you an antibiotic, take some advil, and you’ll need more vitamin C this winter. Oh, and get plenty of sleep. I’m not going to see you in the club at 4am tonight, am I?” He turns to me and smiles.
“I don’t go to clubs.” I mentally decide I hate this man.
“Okay, come with me, and we’ll get you some prescriptions.”

I follow him to his office where he writes up the prescription. THEN, he goes on the Clinique website and starts showing me the products he thinks I should use. I’m not paying attention. All I want is my prescription so I can start taking care of the ear that is throbbing with pain.
“You know, these products would only cost you about 60 bucks and they’ll last you like five months. It’s an investment you really should make.”
“Can I just have my prescriptions?” I say coldly.

Three days later. I don’t feel better. My ear is throbbing. I get out of the subway after work to go to a different urgent care. I walk by this one and see him standing outside. I’m so furious. I’m also incredulous at how unprofessional the whole experience was. How dare he critique my appearance? I rolled out of bed and went to a doctor’s office in pain, not to have my makeup criticized. I wish I’d said something.


4 Responses to “Urgent Care”

  1. Liz September 7, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

    omg. Is there somewhere you can report that doctor? That was SO incredibly unprofessional of him, besides likely being unethical. He never even looked at your ear?!? 😦
    And are you feeling any better yet or is your ear still hurting?

    • Chrissy September 8, 2013 at 12:55 am #

      Looking into reporting him. He should be reprimanded somehow! Going to a different Dr tomorrow. Hopefully he will actually look at my ear.

  2. wiseone September 8, 2013 at 12:51 am #

    The guy is a rude moron. You are beautiful and that is that.

  3. queerf0x September 9, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    That’s so horrible, Chrissy!
    I can totally sympathize, although thankfully none of my bad Dr run-ins have been quite to that level of pure unethical shouldn’t-be-allowed-to-practice. I hope the new Dr is/was better and actually got you what you needed, and that your ear starts feeling better soon… *hugs*

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