Oh Doctor I’m in trouble
My immune system has never been robust. As a baby I contracted mumps and nearly died. Childhood years brought whooping-cough (twice), chicken pox (3 times) and fainting fits. Teenage years heralded glandular fever, quinsies, regular bouts of tonsillitis and a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting. Serious illness was interspersed between flu, colds, fevers and a suspected case of appendicitis. With university came gastro, another bout of glandular fever, a mouth abscess resulting in the removal of all four wisdom teeth, more fainting fits – mainly due to excessive alcohol intake. The most embarrassing ill-health moment to date was at university when I jumped out of bed, passed out and woke to find myself on the floor naked with 5 concerned housemates and one boyfriend standing around me.
Understandably, due to my history of sickness, I grew up with the conviction that my ideal marriage partner was a doctor. Because it was a reputable and noble profession? Because there are a lot of handsome male doctors out there? Not likely. My reasons were more altruistic, like easy access to prescription drugs and medical help. Unfortunately, some of my encounters with doctors of the male kind have put me off. Arrogant, thoughtless, judgmental, patronising, authoritative, self-opinionated, abusive and discriminatory are some of the attitudes that I’ve experienced and now no amount of free antibiotics would induce me to tie the knot with one of their ilk.
My first family doctor was catholic. Under no circumstances would he prescribe birth control in any shape or form. I should imagine that when the fruits of his refusal to prescribe or advise on birth control went back to his surgery in the hope that he would help them out of a predicament – he wouldn’t (being a pro lifer and all). I changed doctors in the end as he developed a propensity to shove a gloved digit up my ass every time I visited. Very dodgy. Then there was the time I staggered into surgery with a severe case of tonsilitis which were causing hallucinations. All I wanted was drugs, but I got a lecture on birth control thrown in for free. But the best one has to be the doctor who recently told me that having an ovary out at my age was no big deal because I was too old to have children and wouldn’t miss it. If the situation was reversed I wonder how he would react on being told that he was going to lose one of his balls, but it was no big deal because he’d had his quoter of children.
Conversely, I have also met some really kind, compassionate, caring doctors who listen to the patient and act in their best interests. Most of them have been women. It’s a shame I’m heterosexual!