Friday, April 15, 2011

The icky side of medical treatment

When we were young we would go to the doctor and get a shot and then a lollipop. That was the worst thing - the shot. (But then the 'politically correct' stepped in and said no to giving candy to children.) My dentist as a child used to give us little toys - animal shaped erasers.

As we got older and life started giving us more 'medical lemons' like cancer, we got all sorts of fun procedures, tests, medical adventures, and related ickiness. As a veteran of many of these fun little adventures, I have come up with a plan of cation for 'coping' with these medical visits.

1. Plan to be very mature at the appointed time and come armed with a list of questions - will it hurt, when do I get to go home, when do I get the results - and the list of medications, and a really good, long book. (The book is mandatory the less reading matter or other items to keep you occupied, the longer your waits will be. If you have a really good book you are interested in, you will have two minute waits and never have a chance to get into reading it. If you don't have a book, you are doomed to 3 hour waits staring at blank walls. Games on your smart phone are an acceptable option to a book but the point is there.)

2. Begin stressing up to a month before hand to ensure you are a complete zombie the day of the procedure. Look up the procedure on the internet and read up on all the possible side effects possible.

3. If possible before the procedure, take an Ativan or something equivalent to relieve the stress built up in #2 above.

4. Upon arrival at the appointment, prepare your inner three year old, lose your list of questions, turn over your list of medications, and start reading your book. My way of coping during the procedure is to keep my eyes closed at all times so I don't have to see what is going on. I don't want to see anything. (This also works for dental procedures.)

5. After the procedure, a little retail therapy can help why you mentally say 'that wasn't so bad, was it'. Because no matter how bad it really was, you just need to put it out of your mind and pretend it never happened and didn't hurt.

6. Begin preparing for the next adventure by going back to step 1.

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