Of A Master to A Slave


Of all insults, the temporary condescension of a master to a slave is the most outrageous and galling. That potentate who most condescends, mark him well; for that potentate, if occasion come, will prove your uttermost tyrant.

I had my appointment about my anemia. The doctor I saw didn’t want to discuss them. He said, “another doctor already mailed those to you.” Well, that’s nice, but the other doctor mailed them to Nana’s house. That means that it will take over a week for them to even get there, and I won’t know them for even longer. I’ve been anemic long enough that waiting isn’t really something I’m willing to do anymore.

So, he looked up the results. My hemoglobin was finally normal. It was 13.2. He was ready to send me out the door right then and there, but I persisted in asking questions. I could see that my red blood cells were continuing to go up and were now at 5.98 MIL, up from 5.31 in July and above the 5.10 reference range for their lab and above the 5.03 listed on the Mayo Clinic‘s website. I pointed out that the red blood cell count had been rising, even when the anemia persisted. He didn’t really care. I also pointed out that my platelet counts were still too high, and had been throughout the time. (I know that can be normal for iron deficiency, but it is still worth noting.) He didn’t really care about that either. He said that it being just .8 above the normal range for the lab was no big deal.

Instead, he focused on the hemoglobin A1c that was at 5.9, instead of 5.6 or lower and technically that’s prediabetes. I get that prediabetes is a big deal, but I’m not worried about the test result. Why? Well, an A1C level can be off because of anemia. It can also be off due to other issues.  It probably doesn’t help that I’m still eating a diet high in sugar and fats. That gives my blood sugar a false high reading sometimes. I’m not horribly worried because when I’ve checked my sugar, it isn’t high. He wanted me to go back on the Metformin. I refused. When I took the Metformin, my blood sugar dropped too low. It hit the 50’s. He didn’t know what to do, so he got his attending, who decided to lecture me on my refusal to take Metformin. Apparently, his wife has to take Metformin and he wouldn’t give her a dangerous drug. And according to him, Metformin can’t possibly cause a hypoglycemic reaction. That’s bullshit. According to him, if I don’t take a diabetic medicine, my pancreas will die and my blood sugar will stay between 600-700. My mother, the woman who has type 2 diabetes and hasn’t had great control over it despite medicine after medicine, has never had hers shoot up that high–even when she’s had no medicine and a higher sugar diet. Hers may have gotten into the high 200’s or possibly into the 300’s, which is too high, but it isn’t the level he was suggesting. He told me about all the shitty stuff that could happen because of diabetes, which I knew. He closed that part of the lecture/discussion with, “I’m not trying to scare you.” Yeah fucking right. You don’t walk in and say, “If you don’t do what I say, you’ll get sick and die a painful death, so you better do what I say. Oh, by the way, I’m not trying to scare you.” Or maybe he does, but I don’t have to take him seriously if he does.

I asked him to please stop talking down to me. He had come into the room and called me young’n, and talked in the kind of condescending voice that you might use with a whiny toddler. When I pointed that out, he said that the M.D. stood for “teacher”, and though in Latin, it would mean that, he is also supposed to be a healer. He is supposed to be a human being. He isn’t supposed to stand there and look at me with that snide head tilt, his voice in a chastising manner, and treat me like piece of trash. What kind of asshole tries to make a patient feel like shit in order to get them to do what they want? That’s not good bedside manner.

So how did I deal? I started trying to break a pen. It was their ink pen, so I didn’t feel bad about it when it was over. It was the only way I could keep from screaming at him. I was already crying and trying to get him to shut up and let me talk. He didn’t care.

I finally started asking him, non-diabetic questions, which he somehow tried to turn into a full discussion of the potential prediabetes that he thinks I have. He said I could have skewed blood results because he thinks there may be something wrong with my hemoglobin. He said my blood sugar and other things don’t match up with the A1C level and the CBC levels. He said something is off.

He said I definitely needed to see a Hematologist/Oncologist. (No, I probably don’t have cancer, but H/O doctors are trained to deal with cancer and blood disorders.) He was going to let it go at that, when I asked about the consistent blood in my urinalysis. He said that he didn’t think that the anemia could have anything to do with the microhematuria, even though there have been cases where it has caused anemia. But he’s sending me to a Urologist to get it checked out. He thinks it’s caused by vaginal blood, because he thinks that even when I haven’t been having my period that I’ve been leaking blood from my uterus.  He only agreed to send me to the Urologist to prove that he is right and I’m wrong. Maybe he is, but I doubt it. He doesn’t seem to be up on most of the other stuff, so I don’t know if I can trust him to say anything that is correct.

So, yeah, I came home rather pissed and with ink all over my hands from the murder of the pen.


About Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.