The Human Ping Pong Ball

I’m feeling a bit batted around lately, and am wondering if there’s any way to prevent it.  Patients see one doctor, who suggests a different one, who suggests a different one…  When my kids got interested in horses, I discovered what an expensive hobby that is, but it pales in comparison to doctor-ping-pong.

Rheum:  Not rheum, you might ask your dentist.

Me:  Okay, I have an appointment in two weeks; I’ll ask then.


Dentist:  Dentists do teeth, not mouths.  I can give you a referral if it bothers you.

Me (not aloud):  If it didn’t bother me, I wouldn’t have brought it up.  Why can’t I get the referral now?


PCP:  It could be either a or b.  Sounds like it’s infected.  Let’s try a week of antibiotic; if it’s not better, call me and I’ll write a referral to an ENT.

Me:  sigh


ENT:  I don’t think it’s a or b.  That looks normal to me.  You need an appointment for a CT, then make a follow-up appointment to come back and discuss it with me after I have the results.  If it bothers you, I can operate, but some people with either one of these problems do fine without surgery.

Me (not aloud):  Wait!  What?  You think it’s normal, but you’re talking about surgery?  Nobody’s going to be cutting holes in my skin and tinkering around with my insides unless it’s absolutely necessary.  No surgery.  Is it essential to know exactly what it is we’re not operating on?  I think not.  If things get worse, that would be the time to investigate further.

I wonder what the response would have been if I’d just asked, “Is this a CYA test, or do you really think I need it?”


Getting bounced between doctors is expensive, time-consuming, and exhausting.
I’m seriously considering cancelling my CT & follow-up appointments.