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Thursday, July 20, 2006

In the Office of Dr. Bizarre

I should have known he'd be a strange bird when I called to make the appointment. My dear friend, Marcie, had recommended him, but warned me that he was very popular, and that even she, an established patient, had had to wait quite some time for an appointment recently.

"Doctor's office."

"Hello, I'm hoping to get an appointment with Dr. B. I'm a new patient."

"What will you be seeing him for?"

The list of symptoms is too long, and I'm hoarse, and I'm near tears, as I often am these days. Deep breath. "I've been very sick for a long time and no one knows what's wrong with me."

"Dr. B. can see you at 9:00 next Wednesday."

"Wednesday? Five days from now?"

"Yes. What is your name?"

Had this doctor actually given his office staff instructions to be kind to people? Sick people? And to use some judgment as to who would be seen when, based on how desperate they seemed to be? And I didn't leave out the part where she asked about what kind of insurance I have. She did not ask. I should have known then that the guy was a weirdo.

When I arrived, the front desk people were friendly. I waited about 15 minutes, and then Dr. B. himself came out to get me. He didn't put me in a holding cell. He brought me into his office, and took my thick stack of lab and radiology reports.

"It's a long story; I'll try to give you the short version..."

"Tell me whatever you need to tell me."

So I did. And he listened. And during the next half hour that he spent with me, he took about 12 phone calls. Actually answered them while I sat in the chair in his office, or lay on the table in the exam room. At first this was disconcerting to me. And if it had been anyone else, it would have pissed me off. But it didn't. This was clearly just one of the quirks that make him him. Obviously, his staff has no concept of "holding" calls. If someone asked for him, they got him. And each person who called was spoken to with kindness, thoughtfulness, clarity. "No, dear, we're not going to talk about dementia, now. We're going to get your B-12 levels up, and you'll be just fine. Don't be frightened, this will work, you'll see." I could almost guess the age, the gender, the severity of illness, by the tone of his voice. And I wasn't perturbed by the interruptions because I knew that he would take my calls, too.

In my work, if one of my clients is under a doctor's care -- a psychiatrist, a neurologist, whatever -- I will, more often than not, get consent from that client to speak to the other caregivers involved. It simply makes sense to me, as one member of a team trying to help improve the quality of someone's life, to communicate with the other people who presumably have the same goal. So many, many times since I've been on this long, strange medical trip, I have said to Jif, "I wish Dr. McC would talk to Gastroboy. . . This would be so much simpler if Dr. S. would just call Dr. McC . . . Apparently radiologists are like the Wizard of Oz, and NO ONE is allowed to approach them . . ."

So imagine my surprise when this bizarre Dr. B. says to me, "Do you have a good gastroenterologist? Would you like for me to talk to him?" I think he was trying to kill me right there, saying such a thing.

And if I had any doubts that he was trying to make me stroke out on the spot, do you know what he said to me as we were ready to say goodbye? He said, "Here is my email address. I don't want you to ever be unable to reach me. You've been too sick for too long, and I know you must be frustrated."

I think he's an alien.

My friend told me that he has the reputation of being a "brilliant diagnostician." I don't know yet. He has a theory, and he's started treating me for his theory. And he listened to my theory, and told me it makes sense, and gave me the test orders to check that out, too.

I don't know if he's going to diagnose me and/or cure me. I do know that for the first time in months, I left a doctor's office feeling hopeful. Thank you, Dr. Bizarre. The world needs more docs as crazy as you.


file under: &Partial Nudity &Can't Make This Stuff Up

45 heads are better than one . . .

Blogger Momentarily_Distracted said...

Amen for that!
God, I hope this works. He sounds promising in his unorthodox manner...a good sign in my book!
You have been putting up with this for tooooo long. Time to get well.
:o)
(((HUGE HUGS)))

 
Anonymous Sharkey said...

You don't realize how important hope is until you're in a situation like yours.

Crossing my fingers and hoping Dr. B. is on the right track!

 
Blogger Closet Metro said...

Hooray for hopeful!

 
Blogger Jim said...

OH SUSIE! That's absolutely WONDERFUL! It almost made me CRY. I hope he's successful! I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE!!!!

 
Blogger eclectic said...

Yes'm... sometimes bizarre is a very good thing. Hugs to you, sis.

 
Anonymous M&Co. said...

Oh I'm so glad you've found a good doctor! It can be so frustrating to be sick and not know what's going on. It's nice to have someone on your team. I'll keep my fingers crossed and you in my thoughts.

 
Anonymous Jason said...

May God bless this doctor with as many diagnostic skills as he has people skills. All the best in your search!

 
Blogger Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

I've worked with some strange docs in the past at the psych hospital, that's for sure. They always seemed to surprise me most when I didn't think they'd be able to "correct" a certain situation.

I myself would never allow the amount of pressure they have on them, thrust upon me. Yikes.

Very good for you though. A man...that may actually listen. Who'da thunk it?

 
Anonymous Barb said...

How wonderful to "hear" the optimism and relief in your voice. Finally a the silver lining appears. I'm cheering right along with you!

 
Blogger ieatcrayonz said...

I am happy to the point of tears. I never doubted it, but you will get better. Your dreams will come true. Too many people need you.

 
Blogger Circus Kelli said...

Hey, doll... I kept reading your entry, waiting for the crazy part to start and then I got to the end! I'm SO VERY VERY VERY HAPPY for you that you have such a obviously insane doctor!!

HOPE IS AN AWESOME THING!!

Love you!

Big, big HUGS!

 
Blogger Nina said...

He sounds like a gem . . . there needs to be more of them out there, of that I have no doubt. I am married to one who makes himself available 24/7. Most do not do that . . .
I'm thankful that you have found him and am hopeful that he will be the answer.
sending love and hugs!

 
Blogger Andrea said...

Wow...a doctor who understands what being a doctor is all about. What a novel concept. (My kids see a family doc who is similar; we spend about a half hour with him each visit, sick or well, and his practice deliberately schedules fewer patients so they can spend more time with each one. I wish ALL of the docs my family has to see were more like him.)

So glad you've found this guy! Hope he does indeed have a gift for diagnosis.

 
Blogger Susie said...

Aw, MoDis, I can "feel" the smile in your comment. Thank you so much. Big hugs backatcha. I agree, unorthodox is fine by me. And kindness is always good medicine.

shawkey, thank you, sweetie. You're so right. My physical symptoms are the same, but I feel better, having seen him.

CM, hooray!

jim, your capitals and exclamation points are contagious!!! KEEP HOPE ALIVE!!!

eclectic, this is something that we've known for a while, isn't it? Bizarre CAN be good ;)

m&co, thank you so much, and yes, I do feel like someone's on my team, now.

jason, welcome, and thank you. From your mouth (fingers?) to God's ears. (You're not the Jason I know IRL, are you?)

mrB, I would have pegged you for one who's spent a fair amount of time around the Hut ;) Do I detect a hint of sexism in your comment? Some men can be very fine listeners, indeed.

barb, thank you. Gee, I sound that different? I guess I do. It's good to "see" you again :)

crayolalips, aw, stop. And thank you. Dreams coming true. Sounds good. xoxox

ck, thank you, my friend. Insane is good; I do fine with insane (have you seen my friends, here?). And you have OBVIOUSLY been a BIG supplier of HOPE in these parts.

nina, I have always had the impression that Dr. John is one of the good guys, in that regard. However, you must take due credit for the fact that he can only be that way because his wife has such a loving and generous spirit. It couldn't work otherwise. And I'm sure he'd say the same.

thanks, andrea, you know, having always been blessed with basically good health, I had no idea what a nightmare it can be when you really NEED a good doctor. The ones I always thought were good, turns out they're good if I'm easy. If I need an antibiotic for an obvious ailment, or some such. Otherwise . . . this experience has been a real education in what healthcare is like for the people who need it most. It ain't pretty. I tell Jif all the time, when I'm well, I have some new causes to champion.

 
Blogger WILLIAM said...

So maybe all this praying stuff works?


Good for you and the doctor.

 
Blogger Squirl said...

Yes, William, the miracle of prayer is unfolding.

Susie, I'm so excited to read this! Hope is here. I just know he's going to be able to help you. The first thing he's done is make you feel like you're a person, not just a set of symptoms.

This is so exciting! Hang in there, sis.

 
Anonymous Julie said...

I completely agree ... more docs like that, please. I hope you get some answers/relief very soon. Sending hugs.

 
Blogger No_Newz said...

It is so sad to me that this doctor's ways are not part of the norm. You have been through hell, here's to hoping that is over now. I'm still praying for you Susie.
Lois Lane

 
Blogger LadyBug said...

Oh, Susie. I'm almost afraid to be as hopeful as I'm feeling right now.

I'm keeping you in my prayers, and hoping Dr. B. can help you find the answers you've been searching for so long.

Love and hugs to you, my friend.

 
Blogger Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

Oh, I have some WUNNERFUL stories about those days. There were some truly amazing characters.

That comment was just one of the many self-aimed potshots I like to make. Those broad male-based ones always make me think of a former co-worker. He was the only male in the accounting firm he worked for at the time. Seems he had a bit of an attitude adjustment by all the male bashers about the place. First time I made a generalized joke about men I thought he'd crawl out of his skin. So I made another. And another. And another....hehe So here’s to you GS, you typical male you!!

 
Blogger Karen said...

When you're well, the world had better look out!

So glad you found a good doctor. It can be scary out there, and seems like you've had enough "scary" for a while.

{Hugs}

 
Blogger Effie said...

HOORAY for Dr. Bizarre, whoever he may be! May many many more doctors be just like him!

I think I'll direct my sister (who is in med school) over here to read this post--maybe she can take it to heart to be a doctor like that!

 
Blogger leatherargento said...

What you have just experienced is A GOOD DOCTOR... I'm a woman, and my dad's a gynecologic oncologist. He's a good doctor. I know because he never acts without knowing the whole situation, and he's always thinking 360 degrees around and inside the problem (no pun intended). It sounds like you have (unfortunately times 1000) been the unknowing prey of much indifference and quackery. If my dad had those losers in his residency program, he'd boot 'em right away with stern warning letters on their records. Disease needs treatment, not requests for referral forms...

 
Blogger hemlock said...

Dr. Bizarre sounds like a dream. A doctor who gives out his email address? WOW!!!

Here's hoping.

 
Blogger Susie said...

Oh, william, it SOOOOOOOOO works! Can't prove it here yet, but I will. WE will :)
(You know, sometimes it works kinda like the cable guy -- the repair happens, but it happens in that too-damned-long window of time, rather than right when you want it.)

Amen Sister Squirl! That's it exactly. A person, missing out on a lot of stuff, for many months now. Hopefully not much longer :)

Thanks for the hugs, julie :) Always great to see you.

lois lane, thank you for the prayers, so very much. I was thinking just the same thing -- it really is sad that this doc looks so weird, with his caring and his commitment.

ladybug, thank you, honey. Don't be afraid. Let's hope. All will be well :)

mrB, you always make me laugh. You should post stories from the Nut Hut. Everyone likes to read them; many of us really identify :)

Self-deprecating humor is a wonderful thing. Nice packaging.

karen, yes, I was just thinking today, I've gotten so far behind in . . . ass-kicking lately. The world really had better look out ;) Hugging you back.

effie, thank you, little mama. Yes, I'd be happy to tell your sister a thing or two. Canadian doctors may get better training in . . . general humanity; I'm not sure.

leather, (may I call you leather?), blessings to your Dad. By the time someone gets to him, she's probably been through a lot of bad apples, doc-wise. Thanks for stopping in :)

hemlock, I know, can you believe it? Thanks for hoping with me.

 
Blogger Von Krankipantzen said...

Clearly, he is a freak. GRAB ON AND HOLD TIGHT!!! Don't let him go.

Just to feel listened to and feel hope is such a wonderful thing.

Hugs to you, Miz. Susie.

 
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Either a freak or the best thing since sliced bread. But he has given you ONE thing you haven't had before: Hope.

Very best of luck, Susie.

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Susie, I am so thrilled about this latest development! Let the world be on notice - yes, some of us march to the beat of a different drum, but that can be a good thing. It can be a very good thing! Lynn

 
Blogger JessicaRabbit said...

Finally.

FINALLY.

Finally.


sigh.

This is making me quite smiley.

 
Blogger Traci said...

OMG...I think I have to move to a pretty mid atlantic state so I can have a brilliant doctor like him! Can you imagine?

Susie, my dear, I am so happy to hear this. Hope is a powerful thing and I'm glad you received this gift today.

I'm a bit weepy just reading this. Bless you my friend. MWAH!

 
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

My prayers are with you each day.

Your phone call to make the appointment reminds me of a Monday joke I posted some time ago.

Of course, your need to see the doc ain't no joke.

Blessings and shalom!

 
Blogger mrtl said...

Give me the word and I'll send brownies to the good man. I have my sources, you know.

Love love

 
Blogger hellokittn said...

May his Mars magic work on our girl that is so cool she's out of this world :-D!

Good luck Susie!

 
Blogger Greenthumb said...

Progress!?!? I hope so...but until I know you are truly cured or being helped for whatever this is specifically I will have to keep myself diligent in that non-prayer good thoughts kinda way.

Hanging in there....


LOVE GREENIE

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

James 5:16 at work! God is good!
Katy

 
Anonymous Denise said...

I truly hope Dr. Bizarre can help you. The peace of mind you must feel just knowing that he truly listened.

Denise

 
Blogger SassyFemme said...

So, so glad you found him! Here's hoping he's able to help you!

 
Blogger Susie said...

kranki, hugs, back. And yes, Dr. B is definitely a keeper.

hoss, thanks, my friend. Yea, I loves me some freaks.

thank you, lynn, and Amen!

jr, you sure THIS is what's making you smiley?

traci, thank you, and it is a bit troubling that a doctor like this would be so unusual, so newsworthy, isn't it?

ssnick, thanks for the continued prayers; blessings and shalom backatcha.

mrtl, I have an idea! Just send them to me and I'll make sure he gets them :) WHAT?

chchchchia, that's so sweet :) I feel like it's a special, customized greeting card: "Chchchchia, when you care enough to send the very best."

thanks, greenie! xoxox

katy, all the time :)

denise, you're right. A friend asked me if I feel any better yet, from the medicine. I had to pause and take inventory, and the answer was, "Physically, no. But I do feel better, because someone listened and understood."

sassy, thanks for the hoping :) And congratulations to you, again!

 
Blogger Nilbo said...

I have notified the AMA. This man is a threat to the established order and an arrow aimed at the heart of a well-functioning economic system. Damn him! He must be stopped before the unthinkable happens and you actually get better.

Seriously? Best news of my week. I'm crossing everything I have two of that this is the start of the road back to being Susie again :)

 
Blogger It's Me, Maven... said...

Hopefully this is a sign that things will change for you and your health, both mental and physical. After a protracted battle with a disorder it's normal to be taxed, emotionally. I can only imagine how much MORE taxing it can be, in NOT knowing what, exactly, is wrong.

Sending you good thoughts, and praying THIS doctor holds the keys to your health and happiness.

 
Blogger Bucky Four-Eyes said...

The man is clearly a freak of nature.

And you know how fond I am of freaks.

Good news, good news, no whammies!

 
Blogger Amy said...

Oh!
I'm with Jess, the tone of this post has got me sitting up straighter and smiling large.

GLAD for you. And crossing my fingers and eyes and whatever else I can for you.

 
Anonymous sheryl said...

I live for the hope.

I am so thrilled to read this, Susie. I am hoping hoping hoping...hoping my heart out.

 
Blogger Annejelynn said...

oh - I should have read this first - - I hope things are still hopeful with this new doctor! he sounds fabulous!

 
Blogger sometrouble said...

wow, I am so happy to hear you are hopeful after this visit. I will keep praying for you and your family!

 


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