Re: Plus, I am a doctor myself.

1

You're probably just hoping to get on an episode of House.

Bad news, heebie! They aren't making any more new episodes!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 6:06 AM
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Right, they'll figure out what they need to know when they send residents to break into your home.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 6:12 AM
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2: It would have been an even cooler show if it took place in Texas. Each time a duo of residents tried to break into a house at least one of them would get shot by a gun-wielding Texan. Each episode would have a sub-plot about House trying to convince another naive young doctor to come work for him.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 6:17 AM
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Rather than give a false history, why not hire a stand in to give it for you. Just tell them your temperature and blood pressure so they can act the part.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 6:23 AM
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How often are you going to a new doctor that this comes up? I guess I just started with a new gyno this year, but generally, I don't think I've done patient histories often enough to have policies about them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 6:41 AM
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I always wonder if I should round down how much I drink, as currently I'm scrupulously honest. So when I say $foo, and they think 'everyone rounds down a bit, and he's a Scot' and round up to $foo + $bar to get a number significantly higher, the resultant total will be correct.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 6:44 AM
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Whenever I go for a physical, they hand me a tablet computer with hundreds of questions, thought only a few are about patient history unless you mean really recent history. Mostly, they appear to be screening for stuff like depression, alcoholism, eating like shit, and being a bump on the recliner.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 6:46 AM
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Currently, in the brave new world of the NHS, I never see the same GP twice. Although they see the same history and files, obviously.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 6:47 AM
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5: every time there's labwork or a mammogram, there's a new clinic for that purpose with their own questionnaire.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 6:48 AM
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Why?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 6:53 AM
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Or that what a grandparent died of is irrelevant...

The Rosenbergs grandkids probably got sick of that question.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 6:53 AM
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Advantage of being an adoptive parent: we don't have to tell the pediatricians all this stuff. And we don't have the information about his biological parents, so skip the whole thing.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:01 AM
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depression, alcoholism, eating like shit, and being a bump on the recliner.

BINGO! What do I win?


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:01 AM
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A brief discussion on the benefits of exercise.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:02 AM
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13: Diabetes!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:03 AM
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11: too soon.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:13 AM
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I have decided that mentioning a history of depression will never happen again as it apparently means any future symptom will just be written off as depression. I base this on my own experience as well as the experience of assorted male and female friends. Of course, a friend of mine who is a nurse tells me that I'll get the same "oh, you're just depressed" treatment anyway once the history reflects "single mom." I hate doctors.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:16 AM
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10:

I invent a family history that has more of a breast cancer incidence, so that I don't have to go into detail. Or I decide that they don't need to know whether or not I've had an abortion.

I just don't necessarily want to put these things down on paper.

I edit the family history only when the questionnaire seems stupidly long or it's not my immediate family.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:18 AM
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The Rosenbergs grandkids probably got sick of that question.

I think I can Facebook one of them and check if you like.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:25 AM
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Oh, please don't.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:25 AM
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The mental health screenings get predictable after a while. Oh, look, these questions are checking if I'm suicidal. These are checking if I'm bipolar. It seems like a problem that the questions are so, so easy to game if you have ever seen them before.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:26 AM
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My problem is that I've got a very unhealthy extended family, and myself had a lot of health issues as a child. So to answer honestly, especially on any form that asks about grandparents, I'm literally checking just about every single box on the damn form. Which necessarily seems to entail discussions of all that stuff with the doctor. Even when I'm fairly sure my grandmother's diabetes and cancer and glaucoma and heart disease have very little to do with what feels like it might be strep throat; please just give me a strep test and some antibiotics.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:27 AM
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17 is a perfect example of the type of thing I would edit out.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:28 AM
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Just be sure to get your eye-puff test every couple of years. Glaucoma is easy to treat if you find it early.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:28 AM
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So is 22.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:28 AM
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I edit my history depending on how much I like the doctor. I had a really irritating gynecologist once, so I lied to her about my father's cause of death, something he requested we do on his deathbed and which is irrelevant to my own health.

I also tend to leave out having had cholera on visa application medical forms, because there's no written record and I feel like a country is less likely to let me in if they realize I've had a highly contagious disease mostly found in 19th century literature the third world. This isn't rational, but I suppose lying about medical history almost never is.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:31 AM
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OT: First paragraph: Parody? Self-parody? I can't even tell anymore.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:32 AM
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Oh, also, if people live long enough, they usually rack up most of the conditions on there. Do they care if 2 of my grandparents developed congestive heart failure in the late 80s? Does this mean I have a family history of 'heart problems' if no one under 85 has had so much as a clogged artery?


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:35 AM
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Sometimes the forms I've seen explicitly say "Before age 70" or something like that. That caveat keeps me from early colon cancer screenings.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:39 AM
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Oh, gynecologists. Yeah. You don't need to know I occasionally smoke.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:40 AM
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30: During sex, maybe.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:41 AM
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They kind of do if you want accurate advice on the risks of birth control.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:42 AM
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33

I actually had a nurse tech running through a bunch of questions with me, and she was answering them herself, but just sort of murmuring in my direction, things like "Doesn't smoke, doesn't use drugs, doesn't drink more than 1-2 drinks per week". Hey! I could use all kind of drugs! Maybe I huffed Scotchguard just this morning.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:43 AM
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My lungs won't stain now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:44 AM
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To the OP title: I have professional contact with someone who has a Doctor of Divinity degree, and has "Dr. Firstname Lastname" printed on their checks. This person also goes by a non-standard nickname for their first name, and gets all shirty if you use their actual first name, which they have printed on their checks. I am not even sure that this person is actively a professor at this point, so the "Dr." business just seems that much more like lèse majesté.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:48 AM
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32: And I don't because I am already fully informed on that and would like the ability to exercise my own judgment on whether the benefits outweigh the risks.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:49 AM
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37

During sex, maybe.

NEED MORE LUBRICANT.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:51 AM
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36: Right. I'm not objecting to that. I'm just pointing out the doctor has a very good reason for asking in general.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:53 AM
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37: Or not. De gustibus.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:53 AM
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40

Moby's cute when he gets earnest about healthcare issues.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:54 AM
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41

Like Standpipe about online security. Years of bewilderingly amusing randomness, and then passwords come up and suddenly nothing but sanity and good advice.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:56 AM
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17: I made the mistake once of telling the person doing intake at the after-hours clinic that I'd been having breathing problems that I thought were sinus related but I suppose could be some sort of panic attack. She almost sent me home because they won't address mental health concerns and only didn't when I could come up with a few more reasons I thought it was sinuses. Turned out I had walking pneumonia.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:58 AM
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38: Oh, I know. I'm just bitter. And at my GP, or former GP, really. I have a few weeks yet to decide whether to confess to the Ob/Gyn that I've probably had 8 cigarettes in the past month.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:58 AM
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41: So that's why I was never able to log on to his blog.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:59 AM
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re: 35

Heh. I have to admit to increasingly using my title, and I don't teach or have (strictly speaking) an academic job. Not so much because I want to lord it over others [I never use it in contexts like that] but where I want to preemptively stop some fuckers lording it over me. So, work [when dealing with senior people or academics] or when I'm dealing with medical doctors and the like.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 8:01 AM
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It's not that big of a risk in absolute terms, but not mentioning it would be a significant omission because not everybody knows and because it is a strong relative risk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 8:01 AM
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42: A good friend of mine got sent home from the Peace Corps for mental health issues -- panic attacks. When she got home, her doctor figured out that she was having a drug interaction (I think between something she was taking for giardia and something for a respiratory infection?) that caused palpitations and shortness of breath. Very irritating.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 8:02 AM
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Risk of stroke or lèse majesté.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 8:03 AM
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42: I had an extended period of chronic insomnia. GP sent me to a shrink. I was willing to try anything. Shrink was willing to keep prescribing stronger and stronger and stronger sleeping pills and antidepressants. Finally went back to GP and said, look, I don't think this is a mental health thing, I'd rather not spend the rest of my life strung out on tranquilizers that aren't helping me sleep anyway. She told me that people just don't get this upset from sleep deprivation and arranged an emergency psych consult. I pointed out that I had lost a disturbing amount of weight following that course and would she please consider the crazy possibility of a physical cause, she humored me with some routine blood tests -- which revealed, lo and behold!, a physical problem that was easily resolved with a simple tweak to my thyroid medication. I'm still pissed.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 8:07 AM
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I tend to err on the side of disclosure, largely because I don't have much to say (no family history of anything, personal history of stupid sports injuries), and also because although I'm very well-informed, I expect the doctor is more so.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 8:15 AM
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The doctors trust the self-history unless they think you're mentally impaired or have some reason to lie (drug-seeking). They have to, because they can't check the facts against any other sources.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 8:25 AM
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They must assume that people forget a ton of stuff, because people forget a ton of stuff. I know Jammies' childhood better than he does.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 8:26 AM
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But most people don't pick-up a baby and raise it specifically to be a spouse.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 8:29 AM
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53: Yeah, heebie was lucky to find one.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 8:32 AM
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I just smanged myself, the first time I looked in his baby eyes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 8:34 AM
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If you are RH negative an ob-gyn may need to know about previous abortions because of that shot you need to prevent antibodies attacking an RH positive fetus. And there may be other, similar reasons to tell an ob, but probably not a dentist or what have you.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 8:35 AM
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The abortion clinic should test your Rh factor and offer the shot if you're negative, though a quick google seems to indicate that it's an extra charge, so I guess there are likely people who don't get it done. Heebie's had two kids though, so at this point I don't see what the problem is with omitting the abortion.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 8:50 AM
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That is, if you'd had kids already, you'd already have dealt with the Rh thing, so I don't see what the problem would be with the omission.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 9:00 AM
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And everyone gets tested for their Rh factor for their first pregnancy, so presumably if you were negative, they'd explain a little more about the situation. I've got to imagine that lying about abortions is common.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 9:02 AM
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Also, plenty of young women could have had a miscarriage and not think of themselves as ever having been pregnant before.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 9:04 AM
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I guess that is to say: on a lot of things, unlike Cala, I don't always expect that the doctor is more well-informed than I am. Maybe if the doctor knew me really well, and listened to me with attention, and took seriously the idea that I might know some things about my body better than she does. But I've never had that in a doctor relationship.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 9:07 AM
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Also, plenty of young women could have had a miscarriage and not think of themselves as ever having been pregnant before.

The doctor is supposed to account for that and ask more than one question about the subject, though I guess some of them think they can use osmosis to figure out whether you look like the sort of person who would have had a miscarriage or abortion. Just like if they really want to find out about animal exposure they should say "Have you been in contact with dogs recently? Cats? Mice or other rodents? Cows, pigs, horses? Thompson's gazelles?" instead of just "Do you have any pets?"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 9:13 AM
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As long as you use a Q-tip, does it matter?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 9:15 AM
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re: 61

Yeah. When I had a chronic over-use injury caused by playing guitar, and ditto on some sports injuries, I certainly knew more than my GP as I did the reading. And I have a rare minor chronic illness where I'm pretty sure I know more than my GP. None of these life-threatening things, but as a general rule, I don't expect my GP to know more than me about everything. I'm not entirely sure it's always fair to expect them to, given their role as generalists and gate-keepers for specialists.

That said, sometimes they are lazy ignorant sods.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 9:30 AM
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55: I just smanged myself said, "I'd smang that!", the first time I looked in his baby eyes.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 9:32 AM
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51: I've also heard they tend to proceed with the assumption that all women who could be pregnant are, rather than taking their word for it.

61: I was thinking more along the lines of drug interactions, or unexpected effects. E.g., antihistamines would be the thing that I'd overlook because as far as I'm concerned they're just spring vitamins, but apparently they're sometimes a problem if you're trying to have a kid, etc.

But to be fair, I almost never go to the doctor, and my knowledge of our family history is shoddy enough that I probably omit things unintentionally all the time.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 12:16 PM
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I just got diagnosed with HPV and my gf and I are trying to figure out how to handle it w/r/t sex. It's the wart-causing type, not the precancerous type. We've been having unprotected sex for the past 6 months, and we were hoping to do so for the rest of our lives. Do we have to use condoms forever now (or at least barring her getting symptoms), since there's always a chance she doesn't have it yet? (Since you can never fully tell if the virus is gone.) If she gets the vaccine, would that mean we wouldn't have to anymore as there would no longer be any risk of transmission?

To offset the sobering nature of this question, I have included a link to a cat in a bumblebee costume falling off a couch.

http://i.imgur.com/zf9oe.gif


Posted by: Lee Adama | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 12:37 PM
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A) Damfino, ask your doctor. B) I don't think the vaccine protects against the wart-causing HPV -- it's only a couple of strains. C) After six months unprotected, and given that HPV is (AFAIK) asymptomatic in most people, if I were her I'd probably say fuck it and not go back to condoms. But that's obviously about her comfort level.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 12:54 PM
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As in, the HPV presented symptoms, and that led to the diagnosis? Because I was under the impression that, absent symptoms, there wasn't any test for men.

1. If it's not the precancerous kind, the vaccine/s may or may not help her; apparently Cervarix only protects vs the cervical cancer ones, HPV-16 and -18, and while Gardasil also covers -6 and -11, those might not be yours. Talk to your doctor, I guess?

2. As for what it means, I think that's really up to your gf, and how she feels about risk (and genital warts). But ... 6 months of unprotected sex ... she almost certainly has it by now, no? I guess the cervix-cell test for women only looks for the high-risk types.

But this is fundamentally about what she feels comfortable with. If either of you are feeling freaked out about (potentially) having HPV, remind yourselves that "all adventurous women do"!

I mean, that last is a bit glib, but--I've long assumed that I have it, for example, though I've never been symptomatic.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 12:58 PM
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Pwned, but I gave links, damnit.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 12:59 PM
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there's always a chance she doesn't have it yet?

A small, small chance.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 1:05 PM
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I've also heard they tend to proceed with the assumption that all women who could be pregnant are, rather than taking their word for it.

That's for "fear of getting sued" reasons.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 1:08 PM
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67: If it helps, condoms don't really protect against HPV. (And the real concern with HPV is cervical cancer, which you can't get from the wart-causing strains.)

Most people end up clearing the virus in a few months, anyway.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 1:09 PM
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Are we all agreed that HPV is officially not a very big deal, at least the non-cancer-causing kind?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 1:11 PM
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I've also heard they tend to proceed with the assumption that all women who could be pregnant are, rather than taking their word for it.

True fact. I had (minor) surgery twice last year and each time they made me take a pregnancy test day of.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 1:11 PM
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You people should be watching this nutter US-CAN women's soccer match.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 1:18 PM
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76: "You people"? I feel otherized.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 1:38 PM
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77: The proper term is "otherizified."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 1:41 PM
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E.g., antihistamines would be the thing that I'd overlook because as far as I'm concerned they're just spring vitamins, but apparently they're sometimes a problem if you're trying to have a kid, etc.

Because they tend to dry you up everywhere, right? Drug side effects are actually one of the things I trust doctors least about. I've had more than one experience in which a drug was causing non-minor problems, which my doctor knew about but never connected to the drug. I ended up eventually figuring out the connection on my own.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 1:45 PM
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Otherficated.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 1:46 PM
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For dinner we're having otheraconi.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 1:47 PM
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The proper term is "otherizified smanged."


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 1:49 PM
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Othenarke Nanamer!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 1:49 PM
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80: Marxist:Marxian::Otherizified:Otherficated.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 1:50 PM
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85

Hot and othered.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 1:51 PM
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One bad other-fucker.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 1:52 PM
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High on a hill was a lonely othered.
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 1:59 PM
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Thanks Unfogged!


Posted by: Lee Adama | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 2:00 PM
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88: Are you implying that we gave you HPV?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 2:01 PM
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'Cuz that shit could happen.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 2:02 PM
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To your cat.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 2:02 PM
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92

Or some othered cat.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 2:03 PM
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93

In Wisconsin.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 2:03 PM
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Or so the moggies would have you believe.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 2:04 PM
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93: The Other Wisconsin.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 2:05 PM
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76: I want to be Megan Rapinoe when I grow up.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 2:09 PM
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76: I want to be Megan Rapinoe when I grow up.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 2:09 PM
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I feel so strongly about it I felt the need to post that twice.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 2:09 PM
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But then you'd live in Redding. Which is set in some gorgeous landscapes, but I've never heard you pine for a more rural locale.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 2:13 PM
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Alex Morgan!!!1!1ELEVEN!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 2:14 PM
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OMFG
(soccer)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 2:15 PM
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I so hope that 85 is the name of someone's dissertation.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 2:16 PM
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That said, Canada got jobbed on the indirect free kick/handball penalty combo.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 2:17 PM
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102: Good call. It must be.

103: That comment clearly belongs in the Icky Sticky Rhymes thread.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 2:21 PM
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The only Google Scholar response for "hot and othered" comes from a 1945 issue of the Journal of School Health. Elsewhere in Google it only appears in typos, although one of those typos (in a comment on a Nick Gillespie blog post) was recognized as a potential joke.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 2:32 PM
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This title might include the phrase.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 4:23 PM
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79: Yup. Fluids is fluids.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 6:41 PM
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I don't go to doctors. I'm in a Tim Hortons, having just sampled the wares, so ymmdv.

No joy here about the soccer.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:17 PM
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I don't go to doctors. I'm in a Tim Hortons, having just sampled the wares, so ymmdv.

No joy here about the soccer.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:17 PM
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103: Yep. Overall I counted two good examples of Canada being screwed. I counted one good example of the US being screwed. Too bad for Canada!


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:41 PM
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110: actually, three for Canada. Rough gig.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 7:41 PM
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I agree with everyone else about how frustrating it is if you have symptoms that tend to corollate with depression and so you get asked about it over and over again. But what's much much weirder are physical symptoms that prompt both those questions and more than one doctor asking "So, this is a bit of a weird question, but were you sexually abused as a child?"


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 8:47 PM
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I have a couple of weird things my body does that no doctor has ever been able to help me understand. They're not Morgellon's weird but weird enough that people who share these symptoms spend a lot of time (apparently!) complaining on bulletin boards on the internet that doctors just don't understand. It's true! It seems there are a lot of things they don't understand!

I mostly manage to avoid talking to them altogether, because the experience of talking to a medical doctor is a lot like calling tech support and spending an hour getting walked through "Ma'am, have you tried restarting your computer? Is the screen turned on? You should see a green light." This seems weird to me because all the medical doctors I personally know seem really smart.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 8:51 PM
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In my only adult experience of going to a regular doctor (not a psych or gyno, and then only at the request of my therapist), I mentioned a few symptoms I'd had in an off-handed, non-medical way, because I don't know what they mean, and she kept rolling her eyes and sighing and saying, "Well, I guess we pretty much have to send you to a hospital for more testing if you say those particular words to me. Would you like to take them back?" And I, not knowing what that means, am like, "So, are you saying those things aren't happening?" and she says, "Are they?"

We went back and forth in this coded way, and I finally escaped after a blood test, an EKG, and a neurological motor test, with a bill for $1500 not covered by my insurance.

That might be another reason I dislike doctors.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 9:03 PM
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And when you got home, there was a hook on the handle of your car's door.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 9:17 PM
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No it really happened! I can show you a year's worth of threatening notices from collection agencies!


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 9:19 PM
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I believe you. It's absurd. That is, 114 is absurd. 113 is just what you get when you have an enormously complicated system. Rare-ish problems with complex causes are usually not understood.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 9:22 PM
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I came away from that experience feeling really ashamed of myself, like I should have known not to use this word or that word if I didn't want to pay a bunch of money I didn't have. It's not like I went into a store and accidentally bought a MacBook. It's like I went into a store and accidentally paid for a MacBook and walked out empty-handed.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 9:24 PM
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My doctor has gotten used to seeing me when I've broken something or need shots. He's a pretty good sport.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 9:26 PM
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I went to a doctor today. As usual, they just confirmed my correct self-diagnosis (well, except the time when the first doctor was wrong and sent me to a specialist who then confirmed my self-diagnosis), but I didn't feel like I could trust myself to tell the difference between a sprain and a tear.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 9:43 PM
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In my experience, doctor's can figure out what's going on if and only if I can figure it out with google.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08- 6-12 9:44 PM
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114 is strange, both in the general American sense about having to worry about paying for healthcare as well as the idea that doctors have to respond to certain code words and you should know what these are and avoid using them or otherwise they're forced to sign you up for expensive shit.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:24 AM
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121: In my experience Google tells me I have several horrific life threatening diseases and my doctor tells my it's just the flu. I'm pretty sure I have several forms of cancer and a couple of neurological degenerative diseases at this point.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:50 AM
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So, just returned from a GP visit where I was patronised, I think, more than ever before. The temptation to play educational top trumps was high.

'I think you'll find that blahblahblah Mr nattarGcM'
'That'd Dr fucking nattarGcM to you, dickwad.'

I think he knew I was furious, but I didn't actually call him a cunt. Damn socialisation.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:56 AM
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124.last: that's what they mean by socialized medicine?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:00 AM
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122

114 is strange, both in the general American sense about having to worry about paying for healthcare as well as the idea that doctors have to respond to certain code words and you should know what these are and avoid using them or otherwise they're forced to sign you up for expensive shit.

Just because they recommend some expensive test doesn't mean you have to have it done.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:02 AM
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as the idea that doctors have to respond to certain code words and you should know what these are and avoid using them or otherwise they're forced to sign you up for expensive shit.

I think the only thing that makes this weird is that the doctor apparently thought the tests were pointless. If the doctor had presented the interaction as: "If those are your symptoms, [scary condition X] is a real possibility, and you should be tested for it," that wouldn't sound like a problem -- the expense is a horrible shame, but the medical decisionmaking seems sane. It's the idea that a reasonable response to AWB's saying that she had some worrisome symptom was to encourage her to take it back or be forced to go through some apparently pointless test (that is, if the test wasn't pointless, then it was really strange of the doctor to pressure AWB to change her report of her symptoms) that seems like such a problem.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:04 AM
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I had a hospital appointment recently. The hospital referred me back to my GP as he'd need to refer me on for some further testing based on some slightly abnormal results. GP cunt spent ten minutes giving me shit for coming to see him, as 'without the proper information, how would I know who to refer you to?'

Apparently it was my fault he didn't have the results, and couldn't be arsed getting them. Which in itself would be mildly annoying, but it was the layers of condescension in which it was wrapped:

'Of course little people like yourself may not know that the mighty medic needs his information served up on a plate, by flunkies, but you'll know better next time, won't you little man?'



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:06 AM
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127

I think the only thing that makes this weird is that the doctor apparently thought the tests were pointless. ...

Not pointless but perhaps not worth the money.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:27 AM
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But given that the doctor didn't explain anything to AWB, how the hell was she supposed to make any sort of judgment about whether to have it done?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:31 AM
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17: My doctor is, for the most part, really good about that. Maybe it's because she has dyslexia didn't go to college until her 20's and graduated form med school as a single mom.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:50 AM
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130: *That* probably sums up my biggest complaint about doctors. "I'm the doctor, so just do what I say and quit asking me questions and why do you need to know what I'm doing anyway are you trying to say I am stupid?"


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:50 AM
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On the other hand, a friend of my Mm's fired a doctor, partly because he put down an anxiety disorder in her chart when she has an incredibliy high incidence of heart disease in her family, and she didn't want that showing up in her chart.

The main reason they dumped him was that it wasn't until the next year that the doctor told her husband that his PSA was really elevated and somebody should have called. Since, in fact, he did have cancer which required both surgery and radiation, I think that this was a pretty big oversight.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:53 AM
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I think that this was a pretty big oversight.

Some might even say "malpractice." (Which everyone knows is just a word created by trial lawyers to drive up doctors' insurance premiums.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:58 AM
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I don't know the specifics, but PSA screening and whether or not to treat on the basis of it are both disputed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:01 AM
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Was about to say the same as 135. Maybe the doctor was just ahead of the curve. (Though it sounds unlikely.)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:02 AM
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79: I kind of snapped at a med student who quickly dismissed the idea that my weird jerky uncontrolled movements might be caused by the Prozac I was taking. My shrink, on the other hand, decided to take me off of it.

I felt sort of bad about being a "difficult patient" and my PCP said that I'm not a difficult patient. She said specifically that I had been experiencing some rather scary symptoms and that that particular student learned a lot about how to talk to patients during her time at the practice.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:05 AM
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I love my doctor.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:06 AM
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The discoverer of PSA:

"I never dreamed that my discovery four decades ago would lead to such a profit-driven public health disaster. The medical community must confront reality and stop the inappropriate use of P.S.A. screening. Doing so would save billions of dollars and rescue millions of men from unnecessary, debilitating treatments."

Cited from the usual suspect.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:09 AM
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135: I know, but this was an excessively high number. It's also the case that they should give you your results.

My doctor, who works in a hospital practice, has specifically said (following a pap smear) that if I don't get the results within a certain amount of time I should call back and not assume that everything is fine.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:24 AM
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135: Yeah, but this doesn't sound like the doctor made a decision not to treat but that someone who should have failed to follow up. And of course the patient never got the information from which *he* could evaluate the best course of action.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:37 AM
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I have to say, I'm super curious about AWB's symptoms.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:44 AM
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139: I heard the inventor of the PSA, who was being interviewed by (I think) Terry Gross, go as far as saying he wished he'd never invented the test, as it has clearly caused more harm than good at this point (due to misuse).


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 9:03 AM
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(143 before I read that BG was talking about an excessively high PSA, which, yeah, obviously that's different from the unnecessary-diagnosis results one typically hears about.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 9:06 AM
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I have a crappy-doctor story! My current medical provider has a "one issue per visit" policy. For example, I went in for a mysterious painful swelling on my neck and the doctor did not want to hear about my chronic headaches or similar-except-not-painful mysterious swelling on my knee. "We only address one issue per visit," she told me. How the fuck does she know that the two mysterious swellings aren't related? Why would anyone have a policy like this??


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 9:27 AM
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145: Becuase they just bill for the visit by code. If you go back, they get to bill again. (That probably doesn't apply if you're going to a student health service, in which case who the fuck knows why.)

144: I think it was like 12 or something.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 9:33 AM
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142: The weird ones? OK, here's stumper, possibly gross. Since I was about 11, I have had acne in my armpits. It goes in waves, starting with a few small pimples that spread into a huge red region of conjoining painful pustules. When I was younger, I could hardly put my arms down a lot of the time because the pain was so bad. Not wearing antiperspirant makes it much worse. Keeping it clean helps a bit, and when the breakouts were very bad, anti-bacterial stuff helped it from developing into really massively painful things. The only thing I have found that makes it go away completely is sweating very hard on a regular basis, like in the bathhouse. It seems to keep things moving. When I stop going to the bathhouse, it comes back. (It's never been as bad as when I was a teen, though.)

The second: occasionally, when I run, after about 12 minutes, I start having violent, sight-blindingly painful uterine contractions. They hurt so bad that sometimes I vomit. I haven't run far, fast, or hard in any way, and I've only just started to warm up. It doesn't happen with other exercise. It's happened the past three days in a row, and I've practically had to crawl home. I've looked it up and there are huge communities of women talking about it, giving body and running statistics, and they're everything from thin to not, fast to slow, in to out of shape, with and without endometriosis and whatnot other symptoms. Doctors try to say it's a stitch in the side, and, no, this is definitely some kind of uterine contractions. The pain comes in huge sickening, tightening, dull waves of agony over about 20 minutes, constantly tensing and releasing a bit and then tensing again.

There are other things, but those are probably psychosomatic. I'm pretty healthy otherwise.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:18 AM
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147.2 is in different parts of the cycle, too. I used to think it was just a pre-menstrual thing, but it's not. In the past, it's been completely random when it's hit, but in the last week it's every day.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:19 AM
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Huh. Never heard of the running cramps thing before, but as you say, on a quick look it's all over the internet. You'd think someone would have figured it out by now. Does popping a couple of prophylactic NSAIDs before a run do any good?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:23 AM
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147: I'm flabbergasted - I have both those things. Limited experience with the former, but loads of experience with the latter. The former - I stayed in London for one summer in college, and got armpit zits the whole time. Big ones, and kind of painful, although not as bad as you describe.

The latter, I know well. About ten minutes into intense sprinting, I used to get nauseatingly intense uterine cramps. Like, I could feel them all down my legs, and I would have to lie down on the bathroom floor.

The sprinting had to be insanely intense to trigger it for me - outdoor soccer almost never did it, but indoor soccer did it regularly. This happened to my mom, too, when she was younger, although not from soccer.

There are two things I found that helped, ever, and I tried everything from acupuncture (and accompanying squirrel shit pills) to doctors to online anything:
1. Lots of calcium the day of the game
2. Less helpfully, carrying a pregnancy to full term and stretching that uterus out so much that it's not as reactive anymore.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:27 AM
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149: I will try it. In the past, it's been isolated, and I've thought it was because my core muscles were out of shape--too much bouncing around or something--because they've gone away after a few days in a row of running. This time they seem to be triggered by very little. I'm not breaking a sweat after 10-12 minutes, just jogging on a flat surface.

As you'll see from various women's frustration with their doctors, they're getting the "Have you tried restarting your computer? Is it plugged in?" responses too.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:27 AM
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150: My sister! Calcium helps, you think? I'd imagine I get enough, and I've been replacing my usual breakfast with a fruit and kefir smoothie every day for the past few weeks. Some people suggest coffee is a problem, but when I was running 3+ mi a day every day in a row this spring, I didn't get them at all, until one day in July, I did again.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:30 AM
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147.1: This is a thing! My friend has it and has medicine for it! I will ask him what it is!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:32 AM
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stretching that uterus out

I can help!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:34 AM
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Man, the NC state authorities are going to shut us down so hard for giving unauthorized advice.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:35 AM
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153: Please do! Thank you! My childhood doctor's complete inability to help me with it was the first step toward my suspecting that doctors are idiots. No, it's not razor burn. No, it's not allergies. Yes, I've tried not using antiperspirant. No, it's not a fungus.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:36 AM
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ALSO, IT'S NOT A TUMOR.


Posted by: OPINIONATED ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:40 AM
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While I'm getting advice, is it worth it to complain to the property manager of my apartment (who is the most incompetent person on the planet) that while I was not living here for the first three weeks of July, her maintenance guy turned the whole-house A/C to like 60F day and night and now I owe $200 for my electric bill for a month when I was barely here? Not worth it, right?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:48 AM
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158: Worth it. You might end up paying it anyway, but I think working the refs might serve you better in the future.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:49 AM
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159: Or really, go straight to the electric company: "I didn't live here" ought to settle it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:50 AM
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It might be a cultural thing. Everyone I've met in Rural State loves being cold when it's 105F outside. It makes me feel ill, but they claim they can't do a thing unless it's really cold where they are. The moving company guy couldn't get me a moving date guaranteed until the day before the movers came because the A/C wasn't really working well in his office. I could not understand how these things are related.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:54 AM
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160: Ooh, that's a good idea. Though I think if the electricity was in my name (which the property manager asked me to do as of July 1), I am liable for it.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:54 AM
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Oud, is this what your friend has? Mine sounds like this, though less severe. I'm not about to get skin grafts, and I've never had any kind of professional lancing, but it has at times been extremely painful, and has gone through remission for long periods of time before coming back. The article mentions that it is often misdiagnosed and not well understood.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 11:03 AM
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You know, I'm pretty sure the name has "hidra" in it, but as I understand it, his isn't super severe.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 11:10 AM
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On looking at the related photos, though, that does not look like mine at all. Foiled.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 11:10 AM
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152: I started downing mega-calcium on game days - three or so tums at a time, 3-4 times a day. And they'd be reduced to gone on those days.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 11:16 AM
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If the calcium pills didn't reduce after you downed them, you'd have real problems.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 11:17 AM
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166: Thanks! I'll try it today and report back.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 11:18 AM
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Oh me me me I have a weird symptom is that still what we're talking about?

I've never asked a doctor about it because it's minor and avoidable, so maybe not really what we're talking about.

I get sharp, pretty bad pain in my jaw from drinking certain things, usually well tequila or I guess other clear liquors, worst with sweet drinks (so like this absolutely always happens to me after a frozen margarita.) It lasts for 15 minutes or half an hour. It feels slightly like my jaw bone is splintering.

I probably have other weird stuff too but this one I've only ever met one person that had it and found some pages of internet crazies talking about perhaps the same thing.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 11:46 AM
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Maybe you have Mouthgellons?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 11:48 AM
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I'm not a doctor or a life coach registered with the state of North Carolina, but I'd prescribe not drinking margaritas.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 11:49 AM
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Does it not happen with the brown liquors?

As long as we're talking about this, I appear to be allergic to beer; I get a super stuffy nose after anything more than about a 1/2 glass of beer; the wheatier beers are worse for this and Budweiser is better. Obviously I shouldn't be fucking around with a grain based drink anyway but anyhow.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 11:50 AM
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I think I might be vaguely lactose intolerant. Also I'm allergic to BORING!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 11:51 AM
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Beer can give you gout, but so can diets too rich in meat.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 11:52 AM
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172: Before you went paleo, were you sensitive to beer then? What about other grain-based things like bread?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 11:52 AM
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The internet seems to think I could be allergic to hops. Maybe I'll go with that.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 11:52 AM
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175 -- I had the same thing with beer for a few years before going paleo (but not in my teens/twenties). Not with bread generally (although I did get plenty of bloated/tired feeling from bread).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 11:54 AM
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Beer definitely gives me much worse hangovers as I get older, and I feel deathly in ways that I don't with wine. It's not related to pure alcohol consumption. I can consume more alcohol-units of wine per unit of hangover-misery. I think lots of people respond quite differently to different forms of booze.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 11:57 AM
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But I love margaritas.


Posted by: Mister Sadcase | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 11:57 AM
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If I take a shower before cooling down after exercise I just get sweaty again after I get out. I suppose that's not technically a medical problem.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 11:58 AM
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179: don't listen to him. He's no doctor.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 11:58 AM
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I'd try a dentist if I couldn't quit margaritas. A cracked tooth might do that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 11:59 AM
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One thing I learned from my root canal experience is that a bad tooth can hurt in a completely different part of your mouth.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 12:00 PM
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Isn't histamine allergy/intolerance/reaction/something a beer thing? My mother gets stuffy after beer or red wine, and explains it by muttering 'histamines'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 12:00 PM
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Speaking of drinking and weird symptoms - I used to have a weird burning pain during and after urination, but only after ejaculating during/after a night of moderate-to-heavy drinking (generally while still buzzed). Never was able to make any sense of it, and because I could just avoid it, I never asked a doctor (Also, I hardly ever see doctors and would not be willing to set up a visit just to be told "well, don't do that"). I say "used to" just because I haven't had that particular behavior pattern as much in recent years, not because I think it's gone away.


Posted by: Thomas Jefferson | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 12:02 PM
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All I can think of is Eddie Murphy in Raw:

"What does it mean when you go to the bathroom and fire shoot out your dick?"

"Let me get this right. So you're getting a burning sensation when you urinate?"

"No, fire shoot out my dick, is all. A burst of flame fly out my dick when I pee. I can't even pee in the house, I burn my house down. I gotta go outside. I was outside peeing, dude tried to mug me, I turned around and burned him up on the street. Because my dick is a blowtorch, is what I'm trying to say."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 1:04 PM
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AWB

I had the menstrual-like running cramps. I used to run competitively and I frequently had mild cramps, but they got progressively worse, to the point where after the 20 min warm up before races I'd have to throw up in the toilet sometimes because the cramps were so bad. Eventually my doctor diagnosed it as an ovarian cyst. I found NSAIDS did very little. I was put on high estrogen BC for several months, which seemed to solve the problem.

In the US, what makes healthcare worse is that doctors have the YOU'RE GOING TO DIE card they can pull out at any time. Being a cheap bastard with little shame I try always haggle with my doctors, but 1) most doctors don't know how much things cost and I think aren't allowed to tell you even if they do, and 2) sometimes the nature of the problem is even if they're price conscious and considerate of your finances they won't know if it's serious until after the expensive test. I had a period of time where I'd faint randomly, and basically either it was caused by low BP/sluggish veins or VERY SERIOUS PROBLEMS (heart arrhythmia, brain tumor). After about $1500 of expensive tests, including a 48 holter monitor and a tilt table test, I was diagnosed with the former and told to eat more salt and drink more water. I've found, at least at my student clinic, the worst are nurses practitioners, probably because they're more worried about what happens if they're negligent. I refused a typhoid vaccine for spending 2 months in China (the vaccine is $200 and would have worn off before my next trip which is over a year). I spoke with a doctor for an unrelated checkup and she agreed it could make sense to risk it for 2 months and then get it before the year long trip, but I should consult with the travel nurse. When I met with the travel nurse, she tried to bully me into getting the vaccine, and then basically all but told me she hoped I got typhoid when I was there.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 1:06 PM
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186 is actually what I thought of also. I remember watching that in a group and somebody trying to explain the jokes to the foreign exchange student.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 1:12 PM
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I went to the doctor and said, "My penis is burning." He said, "That means someone is talking about it."


Posted by: Garry Shandling | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 1:17 PM
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the worst are nurses practitioners, probably because they're more worried about what happens if they're negligent

I have seen a lot of great NPs, but I do think you might be hitting on a thing that plagues some of them. I once had to battle a NP over allergy eye drops. I told her I needed a refill, she wrote out the script, and I only realized once I got out of her office that it was for one teeny bottle only. I use this stuff multiple times a day during allergy season. I asked the receptionist to see the NP again, and rather than taking me back in the office again, she came out to talk to me in the waiting room. I politely asked for her to prescribe me more, and she accused me of drug seeking. For allergy eye drops?! It ended with us screaming at each other in the waiting room (so professional!) and me filing a complaint. She then refused to give me the referral I needed to be able to see an allergist. Again, so professional!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 1:19 PM
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Oh, and this was shortly after I had started grad school. As part of my argument I mentioned that the amount of eye drops I was using had been prescribed by my allergist in Missouri, and the NP responded that some doctors in some places behind on current practice.

(This clearly turns out to be a story about how terrible that particular woman was, not about NPs in general.)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 1:23 PM
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refused to give me the referral I needed.
Ah, American healthcare. I <heart> my PPO plan, even though it probably makes me part of the problem.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 1:23 PM
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For allergy eye drops?!

On the street, they call them bath salts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 1:25 PM
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Are there some secret words I need to say to get a referral to a pain specialist? At this point, it would be much easier for me just to buy heroin.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 2:28 PM
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I get sharp, pretty bad pain in my jaw from drinking certain things, usually well tequila or I guess other clear liquors, worst with sweet drinks

I used to get what sounds like that too, only it was sometimes in my jaw, sometimes in the top of my left shoulder, sometimes both. Sometimes accompanied by cold sweats. Would hit out of nowhere and I'd be completely miserable and then it would disappear in 20 minutes or so. I stopped drinking margaritas ~15 years ago as a result--since that was the most reliable trigger--but maybe a couple times a year something fruit-juice based or something will set it off. I did ask a doctor about it back then but got nowhere. A while back some googling turned up a number of similar reports, but the only explanation that made anything approaching sense was something something gall bladder spasming something something not terribly serious so I stopped worrying about it.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 2:38 PM
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194: "Ouch."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 2:43 PM
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169, 195: Ooh, I get that weird jaw pain thing, too! Not bad enough that I've ever considered not drinking margaritas, though.

172.2: Allergy to the yeast? I know I've had more trouble like that with homebrew than commercial beers, but I'm also allergic to basically everything. My dad home brews a lot and keeps track of all his data -- I should start comparing to see if particular strains are worse. "Dad, I'm going to need a bunch of beer -- for science!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 3:04 PM
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187.1: I hope I don't have a cyst! I haven't been to any kind of doctor in a very long time, but when my health insurance kicks in, I'll talk to a gyno about it. I hate going to the gyno because they always decide hormonal BC is the answer, and, in my experience, hormonal BC makes me homicidal. I have heard good things about low-hormone IUDs from so many people I'm tempted to try it, but it's hard to work up the motivation to get one when I never have sex with anyone for any reason.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 4:21 PM
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187.2 sounds familiar to me, too. There's something weirdly charged about the doctor-patient relationship, and I think it's partially charged because doctors seem to be used to patients who are lying morons, which, strangely, makes me feel less able to be honest or analytical myself.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 4:23 PM
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Oh! I forgot that the whole point of me looking at Unfogged right now was to report that, because today was too hot to run outside and I wanted to change just one variable at a time, I went to the gym and ran on the track. I went a lot faster than I usually do, and felt pretty good after 1.75 mi, but there was a twinge, so I sat down to see if it would pass. It did, so I sprinted another quarter mile to get some energy out and still felt fine.

Why would inside be so much easier? It wasn't very cool inside. I wonder if it's the surface. When I was running well this spring, I mostly found empty suburban asphalt roads or trails because I hate cement sidewalks, and here I've been running on cement. The track is that lovely slightly soft corky polymer stuff.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 4:32 PM
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low-hormone IUDs from so many people I'm tempted to try it

I'm just saying. Ten years of zero-thought/zero-effort birth control. You can double up with condoms for disease prevention, but short of getting surgically sterilized, nothing could be easier.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 4:37 PM
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On the cramps -- I wonder if you were partially right about the core-strength thing? Like, that there would be some other fundamental cause, but the immediate trigger would be abdominal muscle strain/tension relating to the sort of balance/agility demands of running (which would go with Heebie's having trouble with soccer). So, running on a track might not trigger it. But I'm making things up -- it just seemed like a possibility.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 4:41 PM
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It's probably good for me to do some work on the track, where I feel like less of an idiot doing short sprints, which feel like they're doing good things to my lower core. For some reason, doing short sprints on public roads makes you look like an idiot.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:02 PM
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I do short sprints on public roads. Of course, I'm either chasing or being chased by a pitbull, so I don't look at all like an idiot.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:15 PM
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A pitbull would make a great prop for sprints!


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:20 PM
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198.last: If you want one, play it up as needed for health reasons, because that is something else that lots of insurance isn't eager to cover.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:25 PM
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206: Or rather, make sure your doctor plays it up thusly.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:25 PM
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207: Yikes. I am not looking forward to this process. Isn't it enough to be saving them from the cost of pregnancy?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:29 PM
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I hate that star otic drops are described as over the counter but aren't really. My ear is starting to bother me, and I want something I can use other than vinegar. I have to see the doctor about something else on the 23rd and don't want to have to go in before that or be in pain.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:33 PM
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201: The Mirena IUD/IUS is only 5 years. Some people stop having periods which could be freaky, but otherwise what you say is totally true.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:35 PM
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Paragard is ten years, but has no reducing-periods effect (somewhat the reverse, but not too badly).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:36 PM
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211: I have one. I think it's great too. But it sounds like White Bear might have a non-family-planning reason for wanting a Mirena.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:42 PM
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(which would go with Heebie's having trouble with soccer).

But I never had trouble with outdoor, which is all the same motions, just spread out over 90 minutes instead of 40 minutes of indoor soccer. For me, at least, it was the sprinting. (It sounds like there's a lot of variations of the exercise-induced cramps, though.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:42 PM
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213: I'm completely making up stories here, and I have no reason to think there's any basis for them. But I was thinking that indoor soccer, on a smaller field, might be sort of jerkier -- more quick direction changes -- and so might be a bit harder on the core muscles if that were a trigger for the cramps.

But I don't play either real soccer or indoor, so if I'm wrong about the higher level of jerky, agile movement on the indoor soccer, then the theory doesn't make sense.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:51 PM
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It's super jerky, true. If it's not exactly the sprinting-leg-movements, it's still the "sprinting"-level of core muscle use. Something about the engaging the top gear for 15 minutes in a stretch.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:04 PM
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208: Well, my seemingly good insurance, which happily covered all my (fairly complicated!) pregnancy stuff wouldn't cover Mirena until a bunch of "Oh, my period is so heavy and debilitating" was initiated. It sort of wasn't a problem. Once it wasn't instantly covered, it was instantly reapplied for (by the doctor's office) thusly.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:06 PM
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One thing that used to drive me up the fucking wall is that I could only get insurance to cover birth control pills one month at a time. I just got so livid that I had to make a monthly trip to the drug store instead of stockpiling for a few months.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:08 PM
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Meh. If you have issues with hormonal BC, which I do, go for the paragard. 10 years, no hormones, and while it makes you cramp more often, the cramps aren't worse in intensity (at least for me). I have the most sensitive uterus my gynecologist had seen in 15 years, which means I get horrible menstrual cramps (like, vomiting and passing out), plus the ovarian cyst, which is often mistaken for an appendicitis because of the level of pain, and I have to say the copper IUD hasn't made them worse. Pre-IUD, bad cramps meant a day out curled in the fetal position along with with prescription pain killers, a heating pad, and wanting to die. Now, I take several ibuprofen, have an hour of discomfort, and am fine. I have had several friends on Mirena, with terrible side effects. One had a 6 month period, and the other simply has no sex drive. I feel like if your body hates hormones, lower doses won't necessarily solve the problem.

Oh, on hormonal BC, speaking of side effects, two major side effects for me were chronic yeast infections and loss of libido, along with the more common depression/mood swings and bloating/water weight gain. The first two were symptoms I diagnosed myself over several years of going on and off BC. When I finally mentioned them to my gyno, she was like, "oh yeah, those are less common but noted side effects." Of course, no doctor brought it up before prescribing BC.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 08- 8-12 12:23 AM
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My cramps are terrible now, which is why every doctor I talk to wants to sell me hormonal BC, but yeah--no sex drive, weight gain, deep depression (like the kind where you don't pay your bills and don't care when they shut off the gas because who cares if you can feed yourself), angry rages, crying at work, envisioning killing people a lot of the time... I'm very hesitant to do even a very lose dose of anything. When I got on a low-dose pill I didn't try to kill anyone, but life was still behind a gray filmy thing. When one hasn't had a regular sexual partner in four years, it's hard to get up the enthusiasm to try something new.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 8-12 12:50 AM
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Shall I celebrate not having a uterus with another glass of wine? Why yes, I think I shall.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08- 8-12 1:04 AM
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Oh, just have a uterus with your next glass of wine, they go down pretty smoothly.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 08- 8-12 3:24 AM
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218: Yeah, I don't know. I think that Thorn wanted to get one for something that would otherwise require surgery, and the surgery might have been ineffectual.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 8-12 5:34 AM
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chronic yeast infections [...] When I finally mentioned them to my gyno, she was like, "oh yeah, those are less common but noted side effects." Of course, no doctor brought it up before prescribing BC.

Yup. When I told my doctor that going off the pill had immediately cured my years of yeast infections, she said, "It's pretty common that people find that." The same doctor I had seen many, many times for said yeast infections, and who had ended up writing me a standing Rx for Diflucan. I am still livid.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 8-12 5:42 AM
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222: Yeah, mine would be for menorrhagia thanks to (presumed, because I'm obviously not going back to let them scope me all the time) recurrent uterine polyps. Like AWB, it's probably partly not needing anything to prevent pregnancy that's keeping me from being more proactive about it. I had a D&C once and it got rid of the polyps for a month or two, but apparently I don't respond very well to anaesthesia or having my uterus scraped or something and so I was a mess for those months for other reasons and so I have no interest in doing that again. Instead I'm just anemic and listless and cranky and not getting the IUD put in even though I know it's stupid of me.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08- 8-12 5:50 AM
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AWB,

Yeah, I resisted an IUD for years because of the cramps issue. Finally I let my doctor talk me into a Mirena, but they couldn't insert it (don't ask), and I gave up. About a year later, after an attempted abortion/ectopic pregnancy, Planned Parenthood agreed to insert copper IUD. I was on prescription pain meds for the first month, which is usually the most painful. Currently everything is back to normal, except I get random cramping throughout the month, and cramps last longer during my period, though again, they're manageable with OTC NSAIDS.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 08- 8-12 10:21 AM
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That just sounds horrible.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 8-12 10:34 AM
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A month on prescription pain meds? Insane.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 8-12 10:37 AM
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That was for the ectopic pregnancy, which required a methotrexate-induced miscarriage. I only mentioned it because it meant I don't know how much the copper IUD would hurt the first month, since I had so many other things going on then. But, yeah, fun times :)


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 08- 8-12 10:57 AM
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