Doctors Make Me Cry

I try to make them chuckle nervously.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve cried when I’ve gone to doctor’s offices, not every time but more often than I’d like. OBGYNs are the worst, but I’ve been known to cry at the dentist too. It’s not that I’m in physical pain necessarily, usually just moderate emotional trauma.

Inherent in any trip to a medical professional is the assumption that there’s something “wrong” with you. I tend to sit and stew about just how “wrong” I really am. The longer I wait the more troubles I can drum up.

I may be at the dentist for a regular checkup but when he asks me to open my mouth wide, I’ll remember that it hurts to open my mouth wide because I have a sore jaw… because I grind my teeth at night… which keeps Dan awake… which makes me an inconsiderate wife… which, why am I blaming myself when I’m the one in pain… which what if my jaw just freezes one night and I have to eat everything through a tube… and by the way, why do I eat so much… I really need to start working out.

THERE’S JUST SO MUCH WRONG WITH ME!!! And then as the doctor approaches, a small tear will trickle down my face as my heart silently mouths… “Please fix my teeth and make me normal… please.”

Don’t even get me started with my inner pleadings for normalcy at other health venues. Let’s just say that by the time I get used to my new normal after childbirth, I’ll likely be going through the changing and the flashes of hotness.

Guilt also contributes to the tearing up.

“How active are you?” = “Do you EVER workout, you lazy slob?”

“Date of your last pregnancy?” = “When are you gonna try for another baby, huh, huh? You’ve already told the whole world you’re baby hungry, why can’t you just take the plunge? Your kids really need more friends.”

“Do you floss regularly?” = “Do you floss regularly?”

Get off my back man! May I weep into your freshly starched white jacket?

So to get over my nerves/emotions/guilt at the doctor, I do what comes naturally and try to make them laugh. I don’t know how many points you score for cracking your doctor up while he’s delivering your 10 lb. 8 oz. baby, but it’s a lot. How about exacting a giggle from your psychiatrist as you joke through chattering teeth during a post-partum panic attack?

I have scored these points and many more, keeping the docs entertained while maintaining some sort of dignity and personal reputation, even if it is a reputation as the world’s only paper-gown-clad, non-flossing stand-up comedian.

Well this weekend my back went out and I lay around icing and heating myself and taking pain killers. I cried in my own home because my back problems are a major obstacle on my way to readiness for child number 3. How can this body carry a child if it can’t even hold my noggin upright for an extended period of time?

So today I went to a new physical therapist, yet another attempt to get my body back into shape after last year’s car accident. I knew that if I’d already been crying about my back at home, I stood next to no chance of remaining calm and visibly sane during a checkup, especially if they were nice. Nice doctors are the WORST for setting me off. I needed to come up with some good material.

When I got in and started filling out paperwork, I noticed that it asked for a name and also a NICKNAME. Hmmm…. I wrote down “shmoopy.” It’s a special little something Dan likes to call me for romantical love.

I handed the paperwork to the receptionist who carried it into the back. I could hear whispering. “… filled it out… only put the blank there so we’d know what people want to be called… snicker snicker… look at this… I’m not sure… hope she was being funny… pretty embarrassing.”

From what I could hear, I got the impression that they were worried that I thought they really wanted a nickname and that little precious pet name was all I could come up with. It sounded like the whole office was called in to consult and then she called me back.

“Kathryn. We’re ready for you,” she said with a face as straight as a pin.

“Oh man. I thought you were gonna call me Shmoopy.”

She squinted her eyes a little to size me up, unsure whether I was kidding or not and explained apologetically that they had only put that line there so they would know what name people preferred to be called.

“I was just being silly.”

So after my session, she called out to me with a grin, “Do you need to schedule another appointment Shmoopy?”

“You know, I love it when you call me that!”

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24 Responses to Doctors Make Me Cry

  1. Heffalump says:

    You are brave. I always want to write in things like that…but I am too chicken. How does Dan feel about other people calling you Shmoopy though?

  2. Bananas says:

    Oh schmoopy, you’re such a special peanut.
    I ended MY day with a root canal. Will the joys never cease?!

  3. Melissa says:

    I’m impressed! I usually pretend that I’m “fine” just so that I don’t have to go to the doctor or dentist till I’m in real serious pain

  4. Cakes says:

    My schmoop is so funny. I will tenderly kiss your forehead and reassure you that you are better than normal.

  5. Jeana says:

    Well you’re making ME laugh, Shmoopy. What a shame none of the office staff offered you romantical love. Don’t they know the code? Oh, and I’ve been meaning to ask you: How often do you clean your pores?

  6. Mike says:

    My dentist once asked me if I floss regularly.

    “Yes,” I said. “Once a week.”

    Hope you don’t mind my first visit here. Saw you at parentingpost.


  7. Terri says:

    You so sound like my best friend. She also uses humor as her secret weapon when visiting medical/dental professionals. She is very funny. She hasn’t had her own baby yet, but she totally cracked me up while I was in the middle of labor with my first baby.

  8. Jessica says:

    And I thought my son was huge at 10 lbs, 1 oz. My hat is off to you…the nurse had to pile drive my fat belly to get Deuteronomy out when his shoulders were stuck and the cord was wrapped around his neck. When he was FINALLY delivered, the Dr said, “Congratulations, you had a toddler! If we had known he was this big we’d have induced you 2 weeks ago!”. Which everyone else thought was kind of funny, but I thought–“I have been telling you for WEEKS that this kid is huge. NOW you believe me?!?!?!”. Anyway, wow–10 lbs 8 oz is quite the impressive feat.

  9. Shalee says:

    I went to a new dentist and filled out all the paper work. Under “Preferred Name” I entered “Queen Shalee”. The assistant looked at it, giggled and said, “Well, that’s a new one. This way, Queen Shalee.”

    I think I’m on to something here.

    And I think humor is the best medicine, be it at the doctor’s office, the dentist, the midst of back pain or when you’re in trouble with your husband… well, especially when you’re in trouble with your man. It gives him a reminder as to why he still wants you around – other than the cleaning, the cooking and the use of his “ahem” needs. A girls gotta have something to fall back on in times of need, and humor is one of mine too.

    (If it makes you feel any better, I think the doctors use that code with everyone, especially the bit about working out. I hate it when they’re asking why I’ve gained 10 lbs since I’ve last come in and they look like they haven’t seen a treadmill in years… Grrr.)

  10. surcie says:

    I cry at the doctors office, too! It always happens while I’m sitting on the table, waiting for the doctor to enter the room. The posters on the wall, which talk about body mass index or diagram anatomy or whatever, make me feel so worried. And guilty.

  11. Tonya says:

    Humor helps everything. You have made me laugh today as we can all relate to the joys of putting yourself out there (sometimes literally). Hope your back feels better Schmoopy :o)

  12. Karen says:

    How do you make me giggle and feel sorrow all in one post?

    Hang in there Schmoopy. This too shall pass. I’m not sure which one, but hopefully all of them. 🙂

  13. Lois E. Lane says:

    Wonderful…that gave you another thousand points, easily!

  14. Kimberly says:

    I don’t know whether to laugh or offer you a cyber hug!

  15. emily says:

    i’m so sorry you’ve having back pain. i can (unfortunately) relate. and i *hate* to even offer any ideas or advice; i have chronic migraines and have heard EVERYTHING people are going to tell me before they tell me – i research it all the time. but if you’re interested in something that helped me a lot post-back injury, please feel free to email.
    hope that you get to feeling better soon, schmoopy.

  16. Carrie says:

    I’ll be thinking of you when I fill out the paperwork at my annual next month!

    It’ll be hard not to write Schmoopy on the nickname line!

  17. Tiffany says:

    This might be the hardest I’ve ever laughed at a blog post. Thanks! And I’m not even in the medical profession.

  18. grammyelin says:

    You’ve always been my schmoopy and you sill crack me up. Love you! Feel better.

  19. Oh, it’s been a long time since I’ve visited but I can always count on you, “Schmoopy”, for a good cry and a good giggle. I am sorry your back is not doing better… ever try massage? It’s wonderful- but sometimes people cry because it feels so good… and we are usually nice people, those of us that do massage so you will probably cry anyway… but we always try and make people laugh by ticking their feet… no, not really, but massage could help!
    How about honey bunny for the nickname line?

  20. RGLHM says:

    YOU ARE HYSTERICAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Sorry to hear about your back. Lets start a blog for us hypocondriac women who seem to keep getting something wrong with them when they want to multiply and replenish some more:-) I’m in physio too.

  21. Erin Marie says:

    It must be because it’s 2 in the morning (or cuz you’re just hilarious) but I had to try so hard to not laugh out loud and wake up my hubby.

    Sadly, my doctor has no sense of humor. At my last prenatal appointment at 16 weeks, my doctor asked me if I was ready for my pop quiz (which he has said EVERY TIME I’ve gone in to see him). This time I said sure, and he asked me how long a pregnancy was (in general). I said “20 weeks, right? Only 4 more?” (Not as funny as being asked to be called schmoopy or queen erin but it’s the best I could come up with.) He looked at me funny and said, “No, it’s 40 weeks.” Uh, yeah… thanks.

  22. Rachel says:

    I laughed so hard at this because it’s the kind of thing I can see myself sitting in the doctors office thinking about doing but not having the guts to actually do it. Doctors leave you way too much time to sit in a waiting room and think of all the things that are wrong with you.

  23. Mara says:

    I’m totally with you on the nervous-humor thing. Does it count to get a wry chuckle from the Nurse-Practitioner who’s telling you that you’re about to miscarry? In that case, I get points too!

  24. JD says:

    Messing with the frount office!! Soo much fun.

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