doctor

Meet A Blogger: Victo Dolore

I’ve been doing the Meet A Blogger interviews since early on in the year, and my final question always asks the blogger to show some love and recommend a few other bloggers they’re really into. One of the names that has come up a lot is Victo Dolore, who blogs at Behind the White Coat.

As both a family physician and a mom, Victo covers many topics on her blogs. Meet A BloggerWhile many of her posts have a humorous side to them, you’ll often be left thinking. On top of that, stunning pictures always accompany her posts.

What’s your blog about and how did you get started blogging?

I started blogging, actually, as a way to force me to work a novel I had been dragging my feet on for years, Victo Dolore. It is about women, morality, and medicine and was set in Victorian times. My first post there was Prologue. At first it was great therapy, having a creative outlet, since I could not very well work on making jewelry with two toddlers running about the house, but I found that I really needed a way to write about my real life, too. Behind The White Coat was born. Just Why is my first post there.

If you knew your blog was going to self-destruct and you had five minutes to select and save three posts, which ones would you save?

Gah! It took me more than five minutes to answer that question and I think if I delved deeper into the archives I might have a different answer but here goes:

Grave is the first one I would pick. It is fresh and it still makes me angry when I think about it.

Gifted would be number two.

Multiples is number three simply because it was fun to write.

Would you rather…wear someone’s dirty underwear or use their toothbrush?

Dirty underwear, though it does depend on whose and how dirty.

If you could challenge another blogger to a dance off, who would it be and what would be your signature move?

I suck at dancing. But if I had to dance publicly against someone I would pick Desley at Musings of a Frequent Flying Scientist. She seems hip, creative, and fun and I think that she would be kind enough not to make me look like a complete fool. My signature move would be “crazy middle aged woman waves her arms frantically in the air while awkwardly hopping up and down with no apparent rhythm.”

As a mom, what is the funniest thing you’ve seen your kids do?

My kids are a never ending source of entertainment. All kids are funny as hell at times. Probably the one thing that still makes me cringe/laugh the most was when my son grabbed a patient’s breast in a pet store and squeezed hard to get her attention. He really, really wanted to tell her that he was getting a pet lizard. Here is the post if you want to read about Adventures at the Pet Store.

Let’s wrap this up by showing the blog love. List at least three other blogs you’re into right now. Please include a link to their site as well as a brief description.

First off, there are dozens of blogs that I love and visit regularly. If I have liked a post of yours, then you are on my list. Since I am charged with only listing three here, I am going to pick blogs your readers may not be familiar with:

John Callaghan of Get Off My Lawn, was one of the first bloggers I ever met on Word Press. He writes about all manner of things. He is not terribly prolific right now which makes me sad. He has a sharp tongue and a quick wit and can always make me laugh. My favorite post, however, is this serious one about his past, One Last Beer.

C. S. Boyack at Entertaining Stories is another one of those that I met early on. I learned a ton from him about blogging and creative writing and about making sourdough.

The Skeptical Cardiologist is another interesting blogger. His series on dentistry was especially fun. Part One and Part Two.

Go check them out!


Thanks so much for participating, Doc 🙂

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No “GTFO” At My Doctor’s Appointment

+1 for exhaustion

Thanks to not being able to sleep more than a couple of hours last night, despite taking my sleep meds, I was pretty darn exhausted when I went to my doctor’s appointment this morning.

While that’s not the best thing for a 30-minute drive, it did disengage my “give a fuck” or whatever it is in my brain that makes me clam up when trying to relay information about how my mood is, how my medication is working, etc.

So, when the doctor asked if I thought Effexor had made my depression and anxiety symptoms improve any, I told her that it hadn’t yet. I let her know that my mood has been lower and that I’ve been having more unwanted suicidal thoughts (which sounds weird to put it that way, I doubt anyone wants them, but it’s more of an intrusive thing that I can’t block out, is what I mean).

I asked if it’s possible that that’s just a side effect the medication can have before it starts kicking in, but she said that shouldn’t happen. She asked if I wanted to try Cymbalta, but I told her no, that I wanted to go ahead and get the referral to see a psychiatrist. (My husband was shocked by this.)

The doctor agreed that was a good idea and from there we discussed the possibility that those symptoms could be caused by an underlying condition, namely Bipolar II disorder.

When I started seeing this doctor two years go, she had said she had suspected a milder bipolar disorder in the beginning, which I had relayed to the psychiatrist at the time, who laughed it off and said that you can’t have a mild bipolar disorder. She shook her head like it was the stupidest thing she had ever heard, and that was that.

I hadn’t mentioned that to my doctor back then, but told her that today, and she seemed surprised and said that there is more than just one form of Bipolar disorder, and that the symptoms aren’t as severe as Bipolar I.

She said that it would make a lot of sense, except for one thing–whenever I get where I can’t sleep and stay up for hours doing whatever (it used to be writing stories), that the lack of sleep would catch up to me, whereas I guess that’s not typical for someone with Bipolar II? I dunno, but I’m gonna resist the urge to research out the wazoo and just wait to discuss it with the psychiatrist.

I’m going to take a lower, non-extended release dose of Effexor for a few days, along with Klonopin, and see if that helps until I go to my appointment (usually it takes about a week to get a call from the office we’re referred to, then 1-2 months to get in for an appointment). If it doesn’t, then I’ll switch back to Zoloft and Wellbutrin until then.

That game plan works for me. And, in reference to my last post, I didn’t go all Shakespeare in there, nor was I told to “GTFO” or “get the fucketh out.” 😉

Get Thee to a Nunnery

What the heck was I thinking, making my doctor’s appointment at 8:00 in the freaking morning? Obviously I wasn’t.

Going straight from waking up to taking a quick shower to going out the door leaves me no time to mentally prepare for the appointment, which I rather sucked at doing in the first place. Maybe probably sounds silly–“mentally preparing” for an appointment, but I get rather nervous about going and need a little time to calm myself (which means going from a 10 to a 9).

I’ve made my pros and cons list for my new medication. I’ve written stuff down on this blog over the past few weeks. I should totally know what I’m going to say, right?

Yet when I picture actually being in there and being asked “So, how are things going?” my mind is drawing a complete blank.

Gah. Words. Why must I suck with them?

I should just go all Shakespeare and prepare a monologue.

Or steal bits and pieces from various Shakespearean monologues. From Hamlet. Namely, Hamlet. Because I ❤ him.

Doctor: Has the new medication been working?

Me: To be, or not to be, that is the question—
Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them?

Doctor: Ah, I see. Well, why do you think that’s happening?

Me: How the fucketh shouldst I know?*

Doctor: Can you further describe your symptoms?

Me: How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on’t! ah, fie!

Doctor: GTFO.

Probably wouldn’t get any stranger looks than normal.

Nah, might be better to just shove that pros and cons list (which is complete with my husband’s “acting less like a zombie”) in her face and hope there are no further questions.

*Not found in the first three editions of Hamlet.

Avoiding the Doctor

“How bad do we need $500?” I asked my husband yesterday. He looked confused at first, but put together what I was getting at pretty quickly.

“You are not canceling your doctor’s appointment. We aren’t losing $500 just because you don’t want to go,” he said.

A couple years ago, our insurance company started offering a $500 discount per adult if we went for a physical and had certain numbers recorded to submit to them by the end of February. Coincidentally, our insurance went up about $1200 that year. I used to be able to fairly easily avoid going to the doctor unless I was really sick, as my husband wouldn’t press me too much then, but not anymore.

As usual, I don’t want to go to the doctor. No offense to the doctors out there. I don’t want to get my physical and hear that while I might be as big as a horse, that I’m certainly not as healthy as one. And that I’m going to die.

Maybe I tend to blow things out of proportion. “You need to eat better and get your cholesterol down” or whatever it will be isn’t the same as saying “YOU WILL SURELY DIE” in the demonic voice that plays in my head when I’m freaking out about having to go, but it pretty much feels the same. Besides the obvious that we’re all gonna die thing, WebMD has assured me that I am suffering from about a dozen ailments that could all cause my sudden death, so I definitely don’t want further confirmation of my impending doom from a doctor.

“Maybe I could push my appointment until the very end of the month,” I suggested to my husband. Because an extra seven days would definitely give me time to lose 20 pounds and to do everything else I need to do to avoid having to read between the lines to hear “YOU WILL SURELY DIE.” I also have to talk about the mood/depression stuff that’s been going on, so I have two reasons to want to avoid this.

“That would give them one day to do your tests and submit your paperwork,” my husband replied. “Just go.”

“Well, say I got sick and couldn’t go, would the insurance company take the $500 out of your next check?”

Another look from the husband.

“If you get sick, then you’ll be in luck, since that’s where you need to be anyway.”

“Not if I get explosive diarrhea,” I countered.

That elicited a chuckle. “Well, they wouldn’t take it all at once; they would space it out over the year.”

I did the math. “So, $20 per paycheck is all that we would miss if I didn’t go on Friday?”

“Yep, two packs of diapers or a big canister of formula is all we would miss if you don’t go. You’re going.”

I sighed. “I know. But I don’t want to.”

So I will go–but not without acting like a baby about it beforehand, clearly.