On Thursday, I went to my general practitioner to get the results of a blood test and to my surprise, it was a different doctor than the one who had initially prescribed the test. This time, it was a lady doctor – let’s call her Dr. Quackalicious. Her limp and clammy handshake should have been my first indication that she was shady.
“Great news,” said the doctor. “It doesn’t look like you have arthritis, but I’m recommending you visit a rheumatologist for further tests.”
“Ok, great,” I said, getting up to leave.
“There is one more thing I noticed though,” she said, thumbing through the results of my blood test. I furrowed my brow, concerned that the tests had revealed something more serious.
“Are you depressed?” Dr. Quackalicious said. I laughed out loud. (Go ahead, you can laugh, too.)
“No, definitely not. I’m bouncing of the walls.”
“I only ask because you seem to have a big wrinkle on your forehead,” she explained. I raised one eyebrow a la John Black on Days of Our Lives. I guess I shouldn’t have furrowed my brow earlier.
She continued, “I’m recommending a series of Botox and Restylane shots to fill in your wrinkles.”
OMG. Wrinkle…s? Plural?!
“And don’t worry,” she said. “It costs next to nothing – only about $2,000.”
As you can imagine, I was too shocked to speak. Maybe my wrinkles form a dollar sign on my face that made her think I actually have that kind of extra cash? Dr. Quackalicious took my silence as encouragement to continue.
“Also, you have large pores, so I’m recommending multiple microdermabrasion facials and chemical peels,” she said with an feeling-less smile and no forehead wrinklage. She was a walking Botox ad.
I continued to furrow my brow, effectively worsening my heinous condition, pondering how I could have been walking around the image-conscious streets of Manhattan all this time with hideodorous face canyons and pores. How come no one told me?
Just when I thought the beauty assault was finished, she added, “Have you thought about losing any weight?”
In my head, I thought, “Yeah, Bozo, I’m a girl.”
Out loud, I said, “Actually, I work out more than anyone I know. That’s how I broke my foot.”
“Mmmhmm,” she murmured gravely. “I’m going to prescribe you a strong weight loss drug. That should help a lot.”
Has it really come to that? I’m such a superchunk that I need a prescription to save me? I leafed through the literature on the drug and here’s what it said:
For persons 60+ lbs. overweight
Side effects may include uncontrollable pooing your pants, so bring a change of clothes
So, um, a couple of thoughts…
1) OMG. When did I become 60 lbs. overweight? Is it possible for that to happen without noticing?
2) Would it be worth it to me to lose weight if I also lost my dignity? Seriously – do people really have poo-pants in public?
I envisioned a future conversation going something like this.
“Hey, Ang, wow, you look great – did you lose 60 pounds? Also, you smell like a sewer.”
As I left the office, obesity prescription in hand, I started to well up with tears. I just wanted to know if I had arthritis, and I felt like I’d just handed over a $10 copay for the privilege of being emotionally kicked in my wizened face. I was in no way prepared for the assault on my self esteem and with my birthday right around the corner, I was already more attuned than normal to the fact that I’m getting older.
I immediately called home and squawled to RaeRae, “I’m obese, old and wrinkled!” Once I relayed the story though, and heard the incredulity in her voice, I realized that I’d just had an “Only in NY” experience. It goes without saying that I’m not going to get the recommended procedures… I’m only 25 and no one really cares what I look like as much as I do anyhow. It should also be said that I’ll never go back to that doctor’s office… quack… anybody have recommendations for a sane GP?
On Friday morning, still reeling from the weirdest doctor appointment I ever had, I opened up my Daily Bible Verse email.
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
AMEN! Wrinkles and all, I'm just the way God meant me to be =)
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