The trials of telling the truth to your doctor

I have broken a bone in my hand. That’s the actual doctor’s diagnosis. But how it got to that point is an interesting journey…

Before I went to the doctor, I knew my hand was injured. I knew approximately when it happened, but I didn’t remember any specifics.  It simply started hurting one day. No bruise. I don’t remember hitting it on anything. I ignored it at first, thinking it would get better.

When the pain reached the point where I really should see a doctor, I realized I didn’t have some of the really important information that doctors ask for – namely, the date I hurt it and what I did to hurt it.

I really had no idea what to tell the doctor.  I knew it really hurt and I wanted to be taken seriously and not dismissed with “if you didn’t specifically injure it then it’s just overworked and you should take it easy”. I’ve been dismissed by doctors before, and it just causes more problems in the long run. I know I admit I wanted to make it simple and just say “I fell on Thursday”, giving him the date and cause in one fell swoop. I really considered it. But if there is anyone you should never, ever lie to, it’s your doctor! (And your spouse, but that’s a different subject.) So I went in to the office and told the truth. The plain, unvarnished, stupid-sounding truth.

And in return for my honesty I was treated to five minutes of questions about alcohol and drug use!!!! Seriously! Do you drink, how often do you drink, were you drinking when you injured your hand, do you ever black out when you drink, do you use illicit drugs, do you take prescription drugs… the list went on. (And in case you’re wondering, none of those are issues or even temptations of mine. In that area I’m so straightlaced you could use me to double-check the edge of a ruler!) Sure he needed to ask, but he went on and on and on and on…

So after I’d convinced him that I’m not a drunkard or a druggie, he proceeded through the rest of the appointment repeating “It’s OK, you don’t need to tell me how it happened for me to be able to treat it.” I heard that at least four times in the remaining appointment.

Grrrrrrrrr!

In the end, he showed me my knuckles – I had four on my right hand and three? on my left. Where my ring finger knuckle should have been there was a funny, oddly-shaped shallow bump. The bone in my hand leading to that knuckle (the fourth metatarsal, for those who know anatomy) is broken right below the knuckle, resulting in a “boxer’s fracture”. Those usually happen when you punch something, hence the name. I know I didn’t punch anything! Too bad they’re not called “falling fractures” – that would be much more appropriate for me.

No cast needed since it’s partially healed already. A long finger split to stabilize that joint, held in place with a hand brace, and taped to the finger next to it. Looks awful, but keeps it from hurting so I appreciate having it.

Broken knuckle brace

Broken knuckle brace

For those who want to see what the brace looks like, I’ve attached a picture. Now imagine trying to button a coat or feed rabbits with that. Everything is taking a lot longer these days.  🙂

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3 comments on “The trials of telling the truth to your doctor

  1. Doctors can be so much…FUN, can’t they 😉 I’ve butted heads with doctors more times than I care to think about, gave up on finding a good conventional doc after the only one I’ve ever liked and respected left for Chicago years ago. I’d almost given up on professional physical medical care shortly after that, then my Midwife directed me to a great Naturopath reasonably local to me – more expensive, yes, but worth every penny! Glad you’re on the mend! 🙂

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