Doctors: we all love 'em. But sometimes, they disagree with each other. In fact, it seems like you need to go to exactly 10 doctors to figure out what is going on!
Over the past month, that's exactly what I've been doing. In fact, I decided to get them to pay it straight by asking 10 doctors what they think about this weird thing on my neck that is stiff but doesn't hurt and has a real pulse to it that's slightly different than my heartbeat.
Here's what 10 doctors said:
“I'm not that kind of doctor.”
-Dr. Suzanne Preston Blier, Allen Whitehill Clowes Chair of Fine Arts and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University
“It's definitely some sort of blood disease. Please stop leaving, we need to take further tests.”
-Dr. Thomas Blinkwell
“Thank you for emailing me. I am on vacation until October 3. If this is a pressing medical emergency, please go to your nearest hospital. If you are calling about a routine matter, please contact Kevin Everton, my assistant. Thank you!”
-Dr. Joel Rothstein, via E-mail
“This isn't good. I would really like for you to come in for further tests. Unfortunately, it seems to have progressed past the point of treatment. Do you have any close relatives or next of kin? If so, you should consider contacting them.”
-Dr. Kristina Bakewell
“Please get out of my kitchen. Also, that looks really bad and you should see a doctor about it. Just not me, since you broke into my house with a tape recorder.”
-Dr. Jerry Price
“Two things. One, I'm a dentist and am not qualified to diagnose that thing on your neck. Two, it's taking up a third of your neck and appears to have green veins extending from it. This can't be good.”
-Dr. Jennifer Miller, DDS
“I'd give you five weeks…maybe six, if you're lucky.”
-Dr. David White
“There's clearly a very serious problem. If you actually want to stay here I can try to give you treatment for it, but if you just run to the next doctor for another quote it will probably be too late. Either way, we're looking at removing a significant portion of your neck in a way that will change your life dramatically.”
-Dr. Lee Ives
“No, I think you misunderstood me. My name is Kristen, Dr. Muffin is the name of my dog. Also, that thing on your neck looks really serious and I can see your hair turning grayer as we're having this conversation.”
Wow! Talk about a medical revelation. By the end of it, my head was spinning with knowledge.
I was also experiencing cold sweats, severe diarrhea, and I may have even vomited a little bit of blood. Guess I wasn't cut out for medical school after all!
Overall, I learned that you should always ask a doctor about problems. But they won't all tell you the same thing; that's because doctors are still people. Before this, I was never in the habit of going to the doctor — now I think I'll be here to stay!