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My Case Against You Is Swelling

, , | Healthy | December 20, 2017

(I have been suffering from a cough and breathing problems for a few days. Thinking it is just a passing cold, I don’t worry too much about it until one night I notice that my neck is noticeably swollen. Concerned, I go to my mother, who is a nurse, and ask her opinion. She decides to take me to the ER due to the swelling and my issues with breathing. After arriving, I am taken to a room to wait for the doctor to evaluate me.)

Nurse: “I hear you’re having some trouble breathing.”

Me: “Yes, I’ve been coughing, and I thought it was just a cold, but now my neck is swollen.”

Nurse: “Well, let’s just listen to your chest for a minute.”

(She listens to me breathe for a few moments, makes a note on her chart, and leaves. Several minutes later, the attending physician enters the room.)

Doctor: “So you’re having issues with breathing?”

Me: “Yes. I told the nurse I thought I had a cough, but now my neck is swollen and my mom was concerned it could be something else.”

Doctor: “Well, let’s just listen to your chest.”

(He also checks my lungs, the same as the nurse.)

Doctor: “Well, you seem to have some labored breathing, so we’re going to give you a breathing treatment to help with that.”

Me: “What about the swelling?”

Doctor: “I don’t really see any swelling.”

(My mother and I both stare at the doctor in disbelief. Full disclosure, I am overweight, and because of that, I do have somewhat of a ‘double-chin’. However, this is far beyond double-chin territory; it was noticeable enough for both me and my nurse mother to be concerned.)

Mom: “Her neck is obviously swollen. This isn’t normal. I know what normal is for her, and this isn’t it.”

Doctor: *dismissing her* “I’ll be back with the breathing treatment.”

(My mother and I are completely irritated by his behavior. My mom, in a stroke of genius, pulls out her phone. Not a week before, we had been on vacation, and had taken many pictures; my mom pulls up a picture of me, facing forward, that shows how I usually look. When the doctor returns, she shows him this picture as evidence that my neck does not normally look as it does now.)

Doctor: *taken aback* “Oh, your neck IS swollen! Let’s get you in for an MRI!”

(Thankfully, I just had bronchitis. However, neither my mother nor I were pleased that one of my symptoms was ignored, simply because the doctor assumed that it was irrelevant!)

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