New feature: What happens when you don’t like what the doctor orders?

// 1 May 2010

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Bryony Long talks through how she resisted the dubious directions of a doctor in A&E

doctorsoffice-1.jpgI recently had an adverse reaction to some antibiotics I was prescribed, which resulted in my throat swelling up and a burning sensation down my throat and into my chest, and two separate trips to A&E.

The first went fine. The doctor (male) prescribed me some antihistamines to reduce the swelling and kept me in for a couple of hours for observation, after which he was satisfied I wasn’t getting any worse and sent me home.

A few days later the throat and chest pain persisted, so I went back to A&E, for an out-of-hours appointment. The doctor (male) seemed completely disinterested in everything I said. He scanned the torch past my throat, paying little attention to see any swelling. He then asked me to stand up and turn around (which made me think of that scene in True Romance where James Gandolfini’s hitman, Virgil, asks an uncertain but compliant Alabama Worley (Patricia Arquette) to do the same thing; disorientating her before he punches her in the face).

The doctor asked me to pull up my cardigan, which I did. He then asked I pull up my dress too. Now feeling in a similar uncertain state, I asked “Pull it up how far?”

Photo by Maggie Osterberg, shared on Flickr under a Creative Commons license

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