A trip to the Doctor

At my last dentist visit, my doctor spied something strange on my panoramic X-Ray. He said my right sinus looked like it had a polyp. He recommended I travel to an Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor and have it checked out. I didn't like the sound of having a polyp in my face, so I made an appointment to get it checked out. Last Friday, I had my meet-up with the Dr at Duke. Wow, that was an experience.

I have never been to an ENT doctor, so you can say I was slightly surprised when the first act of procedure was to shoot a numbing agent up my nose. Why on earth did they need to numb my nose? What were they going to do to me?

After letting the numbing take effect, Dr. Jackass came in the room with his Indian resident. Dr. Jackass mispronounced Indian doctor's name at least twice - was correct at least twice by Indian doctor - and barely acknowledged that he had addressed her completely incorrect. Anyway, this guy must have missed bedside manner day in med school. He proceeded to say my dentist was an idiot and that there was no polyp on my sinus. He then jammed a camera up my right nostril and down my throat (I nearly fainted at this point - really. I was seeing little colors, getting all sweaty and very very woozy. Thanks to relaxation and some self-hypnotism techniques I learned a few years ago, I kept conscious.) Then he said the three words anyone loves to hear at the doctor. "That looks bad. " A few sentences later he popped out with the one word that can beat out the first three - cancer.

WHAT? This is the second time I have had this happen at Duke. Something strange happens to me, and the doctor starts to prepare me for cancer. Is that REALLY necessary??? Anyway, folks, if you are worried, I am guessing I do NOT have cancer. My left tonsil is abnormally large, and I have had recurring problems since I was a kid with my tonsils. Well, evidently my left one decided to get big at some point and stay that way. Dr. Jackass doesn't like the way it looks, and he thinks I need to have my tonsils pulled out of my throat.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about adult tonsillectomy:
Tonsillectomy in adults is more painful than in children, although each patient will have a different experience. In adults it can be extremely painful often referred to as more painful than child birth. Post-operative recovery can take from 10 up to 20 days, during which narcotic analgesics are typically prescribed.

Worse than childbirth???? Oh goodness. And 10-20 days recovery means at least one week off work, and possibly two. Normally this would be great, except I am at a new job where I had to sweet talk to get the week of Christmas off. I DO NOT want to have this surgery.

So, I'm going to get a second opinion. I'm going to make an appointment with a non - Dr. Jackass, and I will see what he or she has to say. If they say I should do it, I just may have to go through with the procedure. I'll keep you updated on that.

In the meantime though, I got a cool little toy at the doctor - a nose flushing kit!!! You know that in many parts of Asia, flushing your nose is as routine as brushing your teeth? I also learned at the doctor that I have very tiny nasal passages were also hindered by a rather deviated septum. He said that by practicing nasal irrigation, it will help me feel better. So, I'm working on making it part of my routine. Sounds weird, but so far it's helping. Aren't you glad you know that about me????


Anonymous said...

There are way too many Dr. Jackasses out there. I've come to the conclusion that far too many dumb people become doctors. Good luck on the 2nd opinion. I'll be thinking about you.

Thos nasal flushing things are awesome. It's like you've just been swimming in the ocean. I got one for John when he was in Iraq. They make a world of a difference.


Amy said...

So we had to take Owen to an ENT about six weeks ago due to persistent cough that would not go away. While he was at the doctor they to gave him the nose numbing medicine and then stuck the small camera/ microscope up his nose. They had Owen sit on my lap and then had the doctor do the camera thing and brought another nurse in to hold his head. He was a trooper. He didn't fuse or complain or really even move. The doctor and the nurse kept commenting on how amazed they were that he was behaving so well. If the entire ordeal was as awful as you just described than I too am amazed that he didn't complain.

Luckily for Owen the verdict was just a very severe case of sinusitis and after a nasal inhaler and three weeks on a very strong antibiotic the cough has finally disappeared.

Good luck with the second opinion.

And just so you know, kids doctors appear to have very good bedside manners, so if the second doctor is just as bad perhaps a kid doctor will take pity on you.

B- said...

Oh, Childbirth doesn't hurt. They give you an epidural and the pain stays away! Good Luck!