Early in my sophomore year of college, I awoke with a strange bump at the base of my spine. Having super important classes and auditions to think of, I brushed it off as a spider bite in a super weird place (Arizona has uniquely vicious fauna) and went about my day. The bite continued to get worse throughout the day and into the night until it was so uncomfortable I got out of bed and headed to Urgent Care.
I was such an asshole know-it-all at 19 that I burst into Urgent Care and explained I’d had a spider bite and demanded they fix that. When when the excellent doctor, who at 5 AM was more patient than I am all day, explained it was not a bite, but a cyst on my tailbone that was enflamed, I was not happy. He set me up with a doctor’s appointment for that afternoon and sent me on my way. He didn’t roll his eyes once in my presence, which was impressive.
After a full day of spazzing out over my potentially fatal cyst and the many ways it could affect my future BFA prospects, I headed into the doctor’s office, an emotional wreck before I even gave the receptionist my insurance card.
I stood, bent over the examination table, pants around my ankles as the doctor used me to teach his medical student exactly what to look for in these situations and explained to me that I could either try antibiotics and see if the issue could be temporarily calmed to postpone surgery or I could have surgery immediately. I was not about to wait around for this to get worse. That is not the body part to treat conservatively. But the thought of having surgery so far from my parents and maybe missing class, which could lead to my getting kicked out of the program which could lead to the end of all my dreams was too much for me. I had a pantsless meltdown right there in the exam room. I sobbed and sobbed, ranting unintelligibly. The shocked and terrified look on the med student’s face was almost enough to snap me out of it and into fits of hysterical laughter, but not quite. After what was maybe a thirty minute temper tantrum (pride and shame really do go hand in hand), I pulled myself together, told them surgery was the only way and it had to be that Friday, giving me a three day weekend to recover.
Would that this were a premise for my medical choose your own adventure books, but alas it is my life. More to come on what happens when Pandas stop being polite and start getting surgery on their butts.