Where's my degree?



I am tired of seeing doctors and doctors and getting estimates and giving my insurance card to be photocopied and also the list of medicine I take. I'm tired of filling out forms that don't give me enough choice; I'm the insured but the place I work is not the place that provides my insurance. It's L's place of work. This week so far: Monday I saw my primary care doctor because her office called and said I had to meet with her because my last mammogram showed I had calcifications, probably benign, as I've had for the last year. The staffer who called said that my doctor had to examine me or she could be liable for malpractice, and that beyond that it was good doctoring to check me out. I did not agree but I went anyway since she was the one who first felt the cancer in me. She felt me and felt nothing. I told her I had been spotting--a few days a month ago and Sunday and Monday. My new theory was that I was having my period again. She said that didn't seem likely and to talk to my gyne. Which I did today--I left a message and she called back. I should not be so incredulous about that. What is the state of medicine that I believe this to be a miracle, even as I'm wondering if she's charging me extra for it. When you call the office you get a long recording talking about what they can and might charge for. But I charge, too, for phone consultations with my editing/coaching clients. But but.... And my gyne thought that my spotting might turn out to be the return of the period and she said to keep track and get back to her in two months. Because my uterus is just fine and dandy, and cervix and so on and so forth because she'd checked everything out in the last couple of month. She took out a fibroid in June and a polyp before that.

Is this TMI? One of my students is a Follower of this blog, meaning (I think) that she gets this delivered to her email box. Hello, J, here's info about my period and my surmising about my period. Welcome. A student applied to our program and her writing sample had much about her internal organ workings and impediments to the smooth working of her innards, and it was well-written and so she came into our program. I read last week from my book at a literary afternoon at Smart University and I felt self-conscious: I was afraid I had too much Content, that it wasn't Literary enough. I was advocating humor in the face of illness and reeling off the advantages of same. Did I have enough artistry? I wondered. So odd odd that I'm afraid that Work with Substance is not Artistic. God forbid I should provide information to an audience.

A professor from Michigan with prostate cancer wrote an essay recently about telling a class about the cancer. He mentioned me and my book, saying: "Reading the intriguing blog’s revelations and information, though, scared me straight. I could never share so much with my students." I teach graduate students and adult learners. Does the age of my students make revelation easier? I teach at least one nonfiction workshop a year, in which students write about abuse, body image, family, death, mental illness--so my natterings about Buspar, Wellbutrin and their ilk, and my bodily processes don't seem so unseemly. And the reader can always click on the X to get rid of the page.

My friend J wrote an essay once about in vitro fertilization, concluding that you can indeed be half pregnant. I am pre-post menopausal, or post-pre. After going to slee after chemo, my ovaries could wake up, my young oncologist has said, making it sound like they'd fallen asleep on the poppy field in the Wizard of Oz. I should make that singular, since my left ovary and salpingo (Fallopian tube) were removed a few years ago. The word salpingo comes from the Greek salpinx, trumpet. Gabriello Fallopio is credited with "discovering" the tubes connecting the ovaries and uterus, so you can figure how the tubes got their names.

And so immortality was conferred upon ol' Gabriello, who noticed things.

Yesterday my dentist cleaned my teeth and I met with an oral surgeon who gave his opinion about my impending implant, having a metal rod attach itself to my jaw bone, which will grow up and around it. That's three doctors in the flesh and a fourth on the phone, in two days.

And all I want is an MD degree so that I can put my vast knowledge of medicines to use.

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