A couple of weeks ago, I found a business card. The name was Arab so I wasn’t sure if was a woman or a man. I don’t remember where I found it, was it in a pharmacy? When I saw the physiotherapist? In a shopping center? Maybe I’m developing Alzheimer because I have no clue where I got it. The point is that card was in my wallet with my collection of reward cards. So, I decided to call and ask if this family doctor was available to accept me as patient. The nurse or receptionist, ok, the receptionist disguised in nurse gave an appointment “to talk to and know each other”. I told her I was still using the Quebec health card and she said she’d put me in the waiting list until I had my Ontario health card.
I went home that day and in my mailbox guess what I received. Yes, the Ontario card!!! I was happy but the picture was awful and the green color on it reminded me the American working permit, the famous green card. I called again to the nurse (or receptionist) and we fixed another appointment. I spoke to a college about this “meeting” “is it a kind of contract?” I said. Because in my innocence I thought I just make a call and ask “can you be my family doctor….I’m begging you, please?. She told me the new procedure says to meet the patient and talk to know each other.”was is the benefit”? Most of doctors have acrobatic schedules and they’re not available like in the walking clinics. So, if the walking clinics you can see a doctor easily….”why having a family doctor, then?” She explained me is better to have one person holding all my record or history. I was confused. I lived 8 years without a family doctor and it wasn’t an obstacle…in Montreal maybe. Here in Ontario it wasn’t that bad.
Finally, the appointment day arrived and I was ready to launch my artillery of questions and I thought the doctor would ask me to sign a contract or something like that. I went to the office and…a woman with hijad appeared. OMG. She looked like in her 40’s, wearing glasses and and with a form she would lately she filled out. We shake hands…my hand was firm, hers was like trying to grab a giant gummy bear. She started the conversation asking me with a big accent “why do you need a family doctor?” Ok, my boxing gloves weren’t ready for that kind of opponent. I said “I don’t know, since I’m here in Ottawa everybody tells me and asks me if I have one, it’s been 8 years in the country without a family doctor, I guess is important” She was smiling, and she started the formal questions like “any allergies, any heart disease? any operations?” The conversation was fluid and believe me, I was having fun, fun to talk to somebody and to be listened. Then she asked me about my sexual life…ok, ok, ok, when I said my boxing gloves weren’t ready is was about this. To an woman Arab? are you serious? I said to myself, if she change her body language I swear I’m going to talk to Doctor’s association and send a formal complaint. Well, I said I was gay. She said “you’re gay, do you have sexual activity?” without changing her tone or body language she continued to ask me more questions about it because she wanted to set up a test. I said “no, no sexual activity since my break-up” “when was that?” I said “4 years ago” Now she changed her face she was surprise “you didn’t have any sexual activity?” I said no again…come on, I didn’t want to tell her that I was having fun with my hands and free porno online! Well, there were many reasons I didn’t have any interest in relationships or casual sex (read the old post of my blog please, I want to avoid details here). She took my blood pressure and she asked me where I was from. I said Peru and I asked her where she was from; she said “Iraq” “No way” I said, she said “why?” “Because is a country with little troubles” “with big troubles” she added and laughed . She told me I was funny. I told her I had to see the gynecologist next day, a surgery would be performed on me soon. We shake hands again and she gave me a big smile and asked to schedule the annual check.
Today, I went to see the gynecologist. I saw her like 2 times before. A real butcher, no manners and I made feel like a freak because I was gay. I don’t know why, maybe because before she was booked with too many pre moms or whatever, or her students trying to touch my belly, because the fibroid is too big. In fact, there aren’t many patients with a fibroid like mine of 28cm, from hip to hip and that looks like 5 months pregnancy (those were her words). The IMR was to determinate if there were any concern about …I don’t know, I knew I didn’t have anything wrong but she insisted. I waited 7 months to have the IMR. She was in a good mood (probably when I saw her before she was struggling with her premenstrual symptom) and she told me “good news, you got nothing wrong, no cancer or any trouble” Heyyyyyy man, wait a minute. She told me IMR was to see if there were troubles with the hips and veins…no cancer thing. Anyway, she grabbed a ovarian graphic and explained my 2 options. The first one it was about….I was still processing in my mind the word cancer so I didn’t listen very well, in general it was to keep the “baby” there with things attached, something ridiculous. The other option was and is hysterectomy. So, my avalanche of questions started. My legs were shaking, I was nervous: what about the periods? what kind of incision will I have? recovery time? who’s going to take care of my cat?. Well, no periods, because the surgery won’t touch my ovaries (which produces hormones). Because the “baby” is too big, bikini cut will be performed, although, with the anti-hormones I will be received, the size could be reduced and a perpendicular cut. Anti-hormones? Yes, I will need 3 shots, 1 per month that will induce an artificial menopause, less blood for the baby and eventually shrinks its size. She asked me again if I wanted to have kids….no way, I got an Android phone, who needs a baby? Not me, I can’t hardly bare with my own life alone in this town.
I set up another appointment for my first shot in October. I was still nervous, I drove work with shaking hands, a bit confused. This butcher will perform the surgery January 21st 2013. She said like until 5 weeks of recovery will be necessary. A lesbian will be chop off. And who’s going to take care of the cat?
What was the lesson of all this? The stereotype of my Arab family doctor was broke. She was so cool and opened minded and the native Canadian was the opposite. Sometimes you got surprises while you wait for some people’s reactions.