Katherine Hayton | Words that are scary when Doctors say them
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19 Aug / Words that are scary when Doctors say them

Like… just a moment I’d like to get a second opinion

Like… I’m not sure what to do now

Like… has anyone ever told you you have a hole in your eardrum?

Today I went to see my fine doctor because my ear is still blocked up, I have vertigo that is getting worse by the day, and the nasal spray I was recommended to use was doing nothing except cause a horrendous-tasting drip down the back of my throat.

I was expecting that she would pick up her ear-peery thingy and look into my eardrum and tell me there was fluid in my middle ear (as the hearing clinic had done). Instead she said the above things then started calling out to her colleagues to see if any of them were free to take a look as well.

For a good thirty seconds I was sure that someone was about to mention the words ear-cancer, and my life would change forever.

I don’t know if there is such a thing as ear-cancer but if it exists I don’t have it. Instead I have a retraction pocket in my ear-drum that has, for some still unknown reason, started to cause trouble despite being a chronic condition rather than an acute one. A referral to an ENT and a vertigo-combatting prescription later, and I’m now on my third diagnosis. And the first one in which I have any sort of confidence.

So yes. I should have gone to my doctor’s office to start off with, thus saving myself six days, an appointment fee, and the $12 nasal spray that is of absolutely no use to me (nor anybody else now I’ve used it twice – shudder).

And also another lesson that when someone in a clinic who isn’t a doctor says ‘you don’t need to see a doctor’ ignore them with all your strength because a little knowledge is a harmful thing. Even when you have a lot of very detailed and very specific little knowledge. If you see what I mean. I’d usually say ‘you hear me’ instead of ‘if you see what I mean’ but my language has moved to reflect my current circumstances. Wonderful thing language.

Except in the mouths of doctors.

By Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog

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