Going to the doctor can be a drag. But if you have a great doctor, you might even look forward to it!
Honestly, my own doctor, Dr. Peter Dews of the Providence hospital group in Detroit, is one of the great ones. In fact, when I recently called to make an appointment and learned he had moved to another hospital group many miles away, I gladly tracked him down and followed him there. He’s one that I could not let get away. In fact, he really renewed my faith in the medical profession after several bad doctor experiences.
But in this post I want to talk about a doctor that Dr. Dews referred me to. A doctor that made me laugh, despite being zapped with electric shocks and repeatedly stabbed with long needles.
In an effort to try to find out what is wrong with my continually painful wrist (other than the fact I am on the computer for 14+ hours a day!), Dr. Dews referred me to Dr. M. David Jackson for an EMG. That’s Electromyography for the uninitiated. And I have to say I had no idea what it entailed.
Completely innocent of what an EMG was, I went to see Dr. Jackson with no expectations. On the way to the appointment, I encountered construction and was running late that morning. I sat for some time in the examination room, face-to-face with a strange looking computer, and assumed this was the Electromyograph thingy.
I was correct, but it was more than that. When Dr. Jackson came into the room he explained that this machine would not only record the response of my muscle cells, but would do so by administering a series of increasingly powerful electric shocks.
Referring to my lateness, he fake-maniacally laughed as he attached the electrodes to my hand and arm, and said, "After this, you’ll never be late again."
I must say that this procedure was overall very, very unpleasant. But this joke made me laugh, and set the tone for the rest of the ordeal, which was made much less of an ordeal with humor.
As we entered the phase of the test where a long needle would be inserted into my arm and hand muscles, he swabbed the various sticking points with alcohol, removing some of the ink that had helped him place the electrodes.
"This alcohol serves a dual purpose," he said. "Not only does it clean off the ink… it also increases the sting!"
As he put on his gloves for the procedure, he informed me: "These gloves are to protect me from all the gushing blood."
As he poked a needle deep into my thumb muscle – the absolutely most painful part of the entire procedure – I looked at him helplessly and said, "I don’t like this!"
He gazed back with all seriousness and said, "If you did, we’d be treating a different problem altogether."
Needless to say, Dr. Jackson had me in stitches (Figuratively! Not literally!), and despite the unpleasantness involved in this testing procedure, I left with a smile on my face.
I learned later that Dr. Jackson does a lot of rehabilitation work with amputees and people suffering from acute pain. I have to believe that Dr. Jackson’s sense of humor – all the more hilarious because of its unexpected mock-sadistic nature – sets his many appreciative patients at ease.
Keep cracking jokes, Dr. Jackson! And thanks for making what could have been a quite unpleasant experience very enjoyable!