Modern Medicine

Dr. Snorffler

I had a doctor’s appointment recently, a doctor that I don’t see but about once a year, and since he probably doesn’t read my blog, he knows nothing of how fascinating I am other than what he reads on my chart.  I am just the next body on the medical production line.

I understand that. He is a busy man. He’s a doctor. He’s got a lot to keep track of. Still. I just think that if someone is going to get to see you semi-naked they ought to at least make eye contact with you, they ought to at least pretend that you’re special.

So I’m in the exam room, I’m in my paper party dress, I’m teetering precariously on the table with my arms crossed and my legs twisted up like a pretzel in an effort to keep the party dress on when the doctor breezes in.

He, apparently, is already involved in a conversation, about me, but not with me. I’m not really sure if I’m in the conversation or if I’m in the audience. Kind of like Ron Paul at the Republican debate.

“I see here that you’ve had a hysterectomy since the last time I saw you,” he reports without looking up from the chart.

“Yes, well, I like to keep busy,” I say.

He stopped with the chart and the flipping of the chart and the writing on the chart. And he looked up at me.  At my face.  In my eye.

And after a momentary awkard silence when I thought he might lecture me or send me to the principal’s office, he sort of sniff snorted.  He snorffed.  And then he snorffed again.

And then he went back to talking to my chart.

Laughter is the best medicine, but a snorff might cure what ails you too.

45 thoughts on “Dr. Snorffler

  1. Having just been to one of these kinda doctors myself in the last month, you had me laughing out loud. Snorff. I think that just might become an accepted word around here. Thanks for the laugh.

  2. Good for you for making the oh-so-serious doctor laugh (well, sort of)…and see you as a person. I like to tell them stuff to make them look up and pay attention…like the last time I went to the doctor, they told me that I really need to exercise more. I told them that, unless it involves s*x, I really don’t like to sweat. Yeah, that made the doctor snorff!!!

  3. Huh. Snorffed. Do you think it was his way of laughing?

    I am not fond of those paper party dresses. They come in a “one size fits all,” and this past year while I was pregnant, they got smaller and smaller and covered less and less as my midwife “breezed in,” like you said. No consideration, I tell ya!

  4. You cracked Dr. Snorffle!? See, we all TOLD you you’re hilarious!

    You know what made ME laugh at my last OB/GYN appointment? That after I got all undressed and put on my paper party gown, I CAREFULLY tucked my underpants and bra deeeeeeeeeep down beneath the rest of my clothes neatly folded on a chair, because OHMYSTARS! we cannot have anyone SEE our delicate underthings, no no NO, not EVEN the person who is about to poke, prod and closely scrutinize all the parts we keep inside them. That would be embarrassing!

  5. Well, it seems there are two extremes — I either get the mumbling to the chart doctor or the cheerful, breezy, let’s have an innocuous conversation while I’m poking and prodding parts you’d rather I leave alone doctor. Why, oh why isn’t it an option to just vote no?

  6. He must have been speechless if he could only manage a snorff! You should have given him your blog address so he could get to know you a little better before your next appointment!

  7. Okay… I have a funny story… after I had my twins, I went to see my doctor for my annual exam… he hadn’t seen me in a while, and I had been running and lost a little bit of weight. I wasn’t looking that great, but it was definately an improvement from my right after twins ummm, squishyness. So anyway, I’m laying there, ackwardly aware that the actual exam will begin at any moment, when right as the doctor turned to begin, he said, “I just can’t believe how good you look!” Terrible, awful, ackward silence. I knew he was just talking about my weight loss (perhaps made more noticable by my terribly exposed thighs) but his timing was terrible!!! I blushed a horrible shade of red, the nurse nearly swallowed her clipboard, and the doctor didn’t really speak for the rest of our visit! I’m not sure who was more embarrassed. Him, or me!!

  8. Was he trying to clear his sinuses? I hear that crud is making the rounds. ::giggle::

    My favorite dr story is when he said, “Oh — no epsiotomy for you…” I said, “Oh no — I DID have one.” He gazed a while longer then declared. “Wow — that’s looks great — I did a great job.”

    So — when I got home I told my dh, “While the dr was doing his duty, he said, “Wow that looks great.” Ha ha… I cropped a few words… but I got the desired effect. I laughed and laughed at that expression!!

    Sometimes ya gotta laugh — or you’ll flee from the room running, uncomfortable in your blue knee highs and your paper party dress, but running none the less.

  9. You could take you’re act on the road… with your clothes on of course.

    Finally, a doctor who takes the time recognize talent when he sees it. And to look you in the eyes. You totally rocked the medical world with that one, AM.

  10. Ok, as a disclaimer I should say that I am a doctor (pediatrician) but I too know the quirks of the people in my profession…

    My favorite story from being a patient was the Dr. I went to see while I was in Medical School for my annual exam. He nervously began by telling me he usually just did research but someone else had gotten called out sick and he was covering. He then proceeded to do the exam while muttering to himself the whole time things like “it’s ok…you can do it….that’s right…doing ok…” It was a lesson for me in what kind of bedside manner not to have. 🙂

    We docs also have our fair share of favorite patient stories…My favorite was the 9 yr old boy who on hearing that I had to examine his privates, solemnly considered and then asked if he could check them himself at home and let me know if everything was ok. I managed NOT to laugh and to explain why that wouldn’t work but that I liked his thinking. 🙂

  11. One of my friends, horribly enough, used to say to her doctor “You could at least kiss me first” right before her Exam. Which is both horrible and funny….

  12. I used to wait tables at a steakhouse. My ob-gyn was in with his family one night and I had to wait on him. I thought I would break the ice by saying that he looked different when I had my clothes on……….his wife laughed and laughed and we became friends!

  13. He “snorffed” right after looking you in the eyes — gee, that would have hurt my feelings. I’m sure that he will repeat your comment many times in years to come. Doctors don’t get that many good lines! (Was that an endocrinologist?)

  14. I would have snorffed out loud (sol?) and rolled on the floor snorffing if I’d heard you say that. You are very funny.

    I think your doctor might be the same that delivered my baby in June. He’d yell from the delivery room door without entering or even looking at me, “You’re doing great there Angela, keep up the good work.” Like I even had a choice at that point. And he should have asked my husband, I don’t really think swearing at someone for their past deeds truly qualifies as “doing great” or “good work” that should be kept up.

  15. I try to make my doctor laugh too, but as a general rule I don’t think they’re a very comical bunch. Or maybe I’m just not very good at being funny!

  16. I always feel like they should take us out to dinner or coffee at least if they’re going to be that intimate and all. 🙂

    I’m happy for you that Dr. Snorfler at least read your chart. Sometimes that’s not always the case. There are times when I feel like shaking folks and saying, “Did you read my chart?!!! I tried that already!”. Being a former healthcare worker I know that they are busy, but knowing who/what/why is important before one breezes in.

  17. It would be nice if just once in a while you could find a doctor with a little bit of personality. It is bad enough to be sitting in one of those “paper party dresses” but if they could just have a litle bit of humor and make the patient feel more at ease, is that asking too much?? Honestly??

  18. V. witty – glad he had the time to notice. I’d like to relate two comments made to me by doctors that I think demonstrate they really don’t think of us as people.

    In the ER – new doc. into my curtained cube – clipboard in hand – glances up at me, down at the chart, up at me and inquires – “Are you threatened miscarriage” – no, I’m Katherine. (I’ll add, she almost won me back when she explained that the chart said I was 38 and surely, that’s a mistake!)

    At OB/Gyn – after the speculum bit “Well, this is all holding up well.” I take him to mean no sign of prolapse – but jimminy!

  19. I think I snorffed when I read your entry. I can so identify with Drs who seemingly have no interest in you as a real! live! human! being! Of course, I don’t hold this against them, but it doesn’t make me feel any less like a cow being herded to the slaughter…know what I mean, Vern?

  20. As a doctor currently in the middle of a long clinic day, thanks for the “snorff” you gave me. We doctors like to have fun interactions with patients. So keep up the good work! And thanks for the reminder to actually SEE each of my patients as people, not just “the next body on the medical production line.” I’ve been spending LOTS of time in the ER lately, and when you are nearing the end of a 12-hour day, that temptation is certainly strong. THanks again for the good laugh. Now it’s back to my next body…uh….patient.

  21. My problem is completely different. Our doctor came to town just as hubby & I got married 24 years ago. He has since accepted every member of our family as patients, from my grandmother to my parents, to my sister, to my in-laws, to my aunts, my cousins, and my nieces. He also delivered my daughter and two nieces. When I have an appointment, he wants to talk to me about every person in our family, “How is Aunt So and So?” or “Is grandma recovering from her flu?” or “How is Hubby’s back these days?” I sit on the table in my paper dress wanting to wave my arms and scream “Let’s talk about Meeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!” But, gotta love him, he’s practically family now.

  22. ROFLMAO As a 20+ year nurse and the observer of countless DR. Doo Doo Heads you just made my day. It’s good for them to get a little dose of humor sometimes

  23. I’d love to be a fly on the wall when he shares THAT story among the colleagues!!! You crack me up.

  24. I got eye contact and, eventually, a laugh, when the doc walked in and, from inside the paper outfit, said “take me to your leader.” Then again, it’s always good when they actually DO read the chart.

  25. Oh, my! I read your blog every morning between homeroom and 2nd period. Yesterday, my daily guffaw was perfectly timed with my 1st student from second period crossing the classroom threshold. Being a teenager and all, she stopped in her tracks and stared at me, then down at her own body, searching for the cause of my outburst. I said,”it’s not you,” and proceeded on to my morning routine.

    This morning, I decided to click on my “favorites” link just 1 minute earlier. I selfishly kept all of my boisterousness to myself. 🙂

  26. My husband is a second-year resident, and I just had to laugh at the idea of HIM in a situation like Dr. Snorffler.

    You are too funny!

  27. You must’ve made the doctor’s day with that remark. He probably keeps a notebook in his desk where he writes down funny comments and patient’s names that he’s going to turn into a book when he retires. Be sure you get credit for that gem.

  28. Are you still “asymptomatic”……? Now I know that word would have scored you some points….top of the chart I’m sure.

  29. Gotta love it! That’s funny.

    My doctor had the nerve to tell me I have tennis elbow, I’ve never even played tennis.
    Why don’t they just say, “you’re 40, out of shape and ripped a tendon while using a screwdriver to put up curtains from Walmart.”

    (My favorite part of the post was the line about Ron Paul!!!!!LOL)

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