Working in healthcare, I’ve seen my fair share of bizarre people, random diagnoses, and heartbreaking situations. But one thing that I’ve seen across the board is the reticence people have to explain their symptoms to doctors and nurses.
People are bizarrely ashamed, when in reality healthcare providers are simply gathering data to best treat the illness. If your doctor is judgmental then you need to fire their ridiculous arse. Period.
Let’s take a look at some of the topics you should be open with your doctor about, and why they definitely won’t be grossed out by your descriptions.
When you don’t want to talk about your period.
Believe me, I get it. Every month funky-smelling blood and clots gush from our uteruses, and hormones wreak havoc on our skin and gastrointestinal system. So for about a week we’re cramping, strangely horny, messy, and feel approximately like this:
But (unfortunately) this is completely normal. Our menstrual cycles are an indicator of overall health, and if you suspect a problem keep track of what’s going on so you have more data for your doctor.
If you are feeling squeamish about having the period talk with your doc, just know that the following are more serious problems that can potentially happen:
- Prolapsed uterus: That’s right, a woman’s uterus will just slip right out of the vagina and hang outside the body like a funky orange.
- Menorrhagia: Basically it’s like a really enthusiastic period. It can cause severe iron-deficiency anemia and sometimes requires hospitalization.
When you don’t want to talk about your vomit chunks.
Yes, doctors want to know what your upchuck looks like. The color, consistency, and frequency of your barf are all pieces to their nerdy puzzle. Do you want your doctor to help stop the vomit train? Yes? Then be forthright about the situation.
If you think your vomit is gross just be grateful you don’t have a gaping fistula in your abdomen that is literally oozing shit, and whatever else you ate for lunch. Fistulas are abnormal connections between vessels, organs, and/or intestines. Fistulas can be created from the small or large intestine to the skin, or there can be a fistula between the large intestine and the vagina—so leaking stool out through the vagina, and any other variety you can imagine. Take my word for it—you’d rather be vomiting than leaking out of unnatural places.
When you don’t want to talk about your random skin problems.
Whether you have acne, psoriasis, scars, or cysts, everyone has skin problems they’re concerned about. We go to the dermatologist and cringe while they scrutinize our skin.
But, at least you don’t have gangrene—i.e. where an appendage is literally rotting due to lack of blood flow. During that process it essentially smells like something flies should be swarming on. If the appendage isn’t amputated then it can cause a systemic infection and you can die.
We all have dealt with chafing issues, but with the condition hidradenitis suppurativa, lumps form tunnels under the skin and can break open to drain putrid fluid. The problem typically has to be addressed with surgery, incision and drainage, or steroids.
Now that you’ve seen some of the gross things our bodies can churn out, there’s no reason for you to be embarrassed about whatever your problem is. Yes, there are always the judgmental snobs, but in the end it’s all a big science puzzle. Do you want to be healthy? Then get on with your bad self and talk your doc’s ears off.