Makomed's Weblog

Why Male Patients Can’t Make Appointments

Posted on: October 16, 2009

I quit my job. I only have two weeks of health insurance left and I don’t want to make that quick phone call or go online to make an appointment to see the infectious disease doctor. At this point, the disease is probably getting ready to explode out of my blood cells, effectively weakening me from the inside. Of course I won’t feel a thing since there are no nerves to express the damage done from within, but I know it’s there because I went to my other appointments.

But I refuse to go to this next one. I’m three months due. Still, I’d rather face death than go through the most heartbreaking part of this quarterly medical routine: the blood draw.

It doesn’t seem so bad. They take your blood and after two weeks me and my doctor have something to talk about. No, it’s not that that’s disheartening, it’s two things really:

1. Sitting in the lab waiting for them to draw my blood. I can see the old ladies, the crying newborns, and the newlyweds all excited to hear that they’re all fine and dandy. But I’m different. I have the virus. THE virus. And it isn’t causing me physical pain. It’s quite gentle, actually.

The only thing wrong with it is that I see everyone else happy but me. I know it’s a facade, but I feel UTTERLY LONELY waiting for my anonymous number to be called. I can’t ask my friends to come with me since it’s just a simple specimen collection so I can’t have them lose pay over this. Yet despite that getting your blood drawn is a harrowing experience since there’s no one to talk to personally behind closed doors. Sure you have small talk with the receptionist and the phlebotomist but those are only meant to fill the awkward gaps. It’s dreadful being in there. You’re not significant enough and the place makes sure you know it.

2. The next worst thing about keeping your appointment is getting bad/different news. Granted, this is what we as patients expect from our doctor, but men–whether straight or gay–are quite incapable of changes to their everyday routine. We like our lives as it is. Right now. We spent months or years adjusting to the last bad news the doctor gave us, why would we want to go back for more? It’s like asking someone with a spiked bat to smack you high in the face where it can graze your eye.


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