I would make an excellent cartoon

By Mir
January 24, 2006

I’ll confess that I’m disappointed; this morning’s doctor’s appointment didn’t yield the acres of comedic material for which I’d hoped. Let’s blame this on my HMO. They are not, strictly speaking, responsible, but I blame them for so many other things, why not this as well? So yes, the HMO is not only responsible for the continued struggle to fill my prescriptions in spite of their sacred formulary (read: cheap medications they’ll consider covering), but somehow they took the funny right out of the exam room today.

Those bastards.

Oh, wait. There was that one thing.

Dr. Maindoc is an elusive creature, much like a unicorn or a wood nymph. Some people don’t believe she exists at all; I know that if you just wait very patiently–say, over the course of several years–and endure a few appointments with Dr. Backup and leave a trail of magical manna (in this case, bizarre symptoms), she will eventually appear. This morning when she walked into the exam room I found myself holding my breath, lest I exhale and spook her.

So we had a nice chat while she was feeling me up.

Me: Oh my God, I became a yammering IDIOT when I saw Dr. Backup last week. I’ve never had a breast exam done by a man before and I could NOT. SHUT. UP.
Her: Yes, well, we all do this stuff all the time. He knows what he’s doing.
Me: I’m sure he does. But, see, this didn’t stop me from completely freaking out.
Her: Heh.
Me: See, but for you, I just talk about how I made a fool of myself, rather than doing it again.
Her: I’m sure you were fine.
Me: No, really, TRUST ME.
*I notice, as she continues to palpate my breast, that I forgot to shave my pits this morning. Stubble! Right there! Next to… ummm… my lumpy boob. Who am I kidding; she’s not going to notice the stubble. I look back up at the ceiling.*
Her: Hello… what’s this?
Me: What? Where? What?
Her: *checking my chart* This is a different lump.
Me: I strongly suspect I am about to start babbling again. Now would be a good time for you to tell me it’s nothing.
Her: Well, it’s not NOTHING. But it’s consistent with an abscess.
Me: You don’t follow directions very well.
Her: Heh.

They we played One Of These Boobs Is Not Like The Other, where she checked my unafflicted breast for comparison purposes. And then went back to the first one. At one point she was going back and forth between the two and I fully expected her to start playing them like little bongos.

Finally she closed my gown and started talking about ultrasounds and surgeons and in my mind I pretty much just retreated to my happy place until she told me to get dressed and she’d be back in a minute.

When she came back, we talked some more and I actually paid attention, but as we talked she was writing. Writing and drawing. Dr. Maindoc, she’s a big fan of illustrations in her notes. When I had that eczema under my nose? She did a sketch that made me look like the Elephant Man. Er, woman. Anyway. Today, she drew two perfectly round circles, placed dots in the center of them, and then circled a small area inside one of the circles…

… which was when I realized that she was drawing a picture of my BOOBS. And then I started laughing hysterically.

Me: Are those supposed to be my breasts? Damn, they haven’t looked that good since before I had kids.
Her: Do you like my artwork?
Me: Very much. I’m so… round! And perky!
Her: *laughing* How old is your daughter, now? About 8?
Me: Almost, why?
Her: When my daughter was around 8, she walked up to me one day when I was getting dressed, and said, “Are they supposed to… point DOWN like that?”
Her: … so I understand.
Me: I think I love you.

So that was, you know, somewhat soothing in the midst of words like “excision” and “mass” and whatnot. And now I am going back to my happy place where we pretend that none of this ever happened. Except for the part where I have to go see a bunch of other doctors. Lalalala, tomorrow is another day, and today, um, well, I’m in my happy place, DAMMIT. Shut up.

Anyway, how about something completely different?

The extremely lovely Shiz is married to this guy. In a fit of generosity, Shiz send a fabulous package to me and the kids, containing The Rubber Chicken Guy DVD. We haven’t actually managed to watch it, yet, but today Chickadee spotted the DVD and was very interested in it. I had to explain that no, it was nearly time for bed, so we weren’t going to watch it tonight, and she begged me to at least tell her what it was about.

I’m a bright girl, so I flipped over the DVD case and started reading to the kids from the blurb on the back, in my best game show announcer voice.

Meet the Rubber Chicken Guy. He’s funny. He’s friendly. He’s borderline psychotic… but in a good way. Your parents warned you about him. But now — thanks to the wonders of technology — you can take him home and safely watch him again and again from the comfort of your own home. Ketchup vanishes, knives fly, a raccoon gets shot out of a cannon, and the audience rolls with laughter in this manic romp across the stage.

There’s more, but here Monkey interrupted me.

“I don’t think I’m going to be very interested in that,” he said. “It doesn’t sound like so much fun to me.” I told him that I thought he was nuts; it sounds like a LOT of fun to me, but nevertheless, it was bedtime. I sent them upstairs to get ready for bed.

“Monkey,” I heard Chickadee declare as they headed up the stairs, “I think you really would like that movie once you SEE it. Because, right now, you don’t even know if the raccoon WANTS to be shot out of the cannon!”

Right, because the raccoon’s intention will really make or break the whole thing. I think I heard Lee Strasberg clapping from his grave.


  1. Cele

    Mir my thoughts are with you, you take a stressed out moment to make us laugh.

    About ten years ago I went in for a well woman’s exam and low and behold there was a new Nurse Practioner / Midwife there to do my exam….I graduated from high school with her..there were only 40 plus girls in the class. It can’t get much better because he graduated three years behind me.

    I hope things get better soon.

  2. Cele

    darn phone…always read before posting…

    My doctor graduated three years behind me. errr

  3. D

    Mir – coming out of lurk status to wish you well. Scary times hon, but all will be well in the end. Happy place, Mir, Happy Place!

  4. Melissa

    I just found your blog, but I’m sorry about your appointment. My prayers are with you and I suggest finding a book by Erma Bombeck. She keeps me sane.

  5. holley

    Once again, Chickadee provides excellent backup.

    I hope your next Dr’s appointment is less scary, and, if it helps, funnier.

    Stupid HMOs.

  6. Julie

    Thinking of you this morning sweets.. Love ya!!

  7. Karen

    Oy, looking forward to hearing some good news from you after the next round of medical appointments….

  8. Jessie

    I hope everything goes well for you at your follow up appointments.

    And I now have “One of these boobs is not like the other…” playing over and over in my head. Ha!

  9. Aimee

    I’m glad that you at least got to see the elusive regular doctor. She sounds great, even if the appointment was not so much great as yucky. I hope everything goes well — I’ll be thinking about you.

  10. alyson

    Good luck with your appointment. As Iead bongos I thought banjos, dueling banjos, thank goodness I read it again because I was thinking how could she feel anything if she was strumming. Again Good luck.

  11. DebR

    Sending lots and lots of good thoughts your way, Mir.

  12. Armaedes

    Only a blogger would search for humor in a doctor’s visit.

  13. InterstellarLass

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you for your follow-up appointments.

  14. chris

    Only you could make your doctor appointments so funny.
    Keeping my fingers AND toes crossed for you. May this Boobpusapalooza be gone soon.

  15. Shiz

    Heh. You made us laugh with the story at the end. Yes indeed, does the racoon want to be fired out of a cannon? THAT is the question.

    Thinking of you, holding my breath inside.

  16. Amy-GO

    Just catching up again…scary! Lots of prayers and hugs your way…want another pie?

  17. Angel

    Sending lots of good thoughts your way!!! I had a lump removed 5 years ago (benign), and in light of your friend’s cancer, I can totally understand how freaked you may be.

    Hang in there (((((Hugs))))))

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