Not A Healthy Childhood

, , , , | Related | July 15, 2017

(My father, a nurse, has always been of the opinion that unless you’re running a fever or near death, you don’t need to go to the doctor. Despite my pleading, he never took me in for yearly checkups or anything of the sort.)

Me: *age 12* “Dad, I really need to go to the doctor.”

Dad: “Are you sick?”

Me: “I don’t have a fever but—”

Dad: “Then you’re not going. You’re fine.”

Me: “It’s… a woman… thing… Can I please just go?”

Dad: “No.”

(Time passes.)

Me: *age 17* “Dad, I need to make a doctor’s appointment.”

Dad: “You’re not sick.”

Me: “I still need to go! I haven’t been to the doctor since I was eight and I have this lump—”

Dad: “No. End of story. You’re fine.”

(I move out and get my own health insurance.)

Me: *age 19, on the phone* “Gotta go. My doctor’s appointment is soon.”

Dad: “Are you sick?”

Me: “Honestly? Most likely. It’s not like I ever went to the doctor as a kid.”

Dad: “You never needed to. You were always healthy.”

(As it turned out, not so much. I had a slow growing cancer that had already spread, and I’d probably had it for at least a few years. And I also had a bad hormone imbalance that messed up my reproductive system so badly I eventually needed a hysterectomy — which I wouldn’t have needed if I’d been put on medication years back. There was a whole slew of other problems, all of which could have been caught and mostly prevented if I’d gone to the doctor regularly. Take your kids to the doctor, people!)

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  • Ladya Aloe

    When my sister was 3, she jumped off a table and broker her leg. My parents thought she was faking for 2 weeks.

    • Leah

      I’ve heard of parents not realising their child had a broken bone for a day or two because the kid wasn’t actually exhibiting a lot of pain. 2 weeks though?? That seems neglectful.

      • Ladya Aloe

        This was back in the 50s. Any sign of sickness or pain was treated as faking. This particular sister carries on the tradition of thinking everybody is faking…let’s just say we don’t talk any more.

      • Candy

        That legit happened to me – My thumb snapped after I slipped on ice and landed on it, and my friends landed on top of me.

        My step Father thought I was being dramatic and encouraged my friends to point and laugh at my screaming and crying and they stared at him with this haunted look on their face.

        After a couple of days my thumb was black and half the size of my palm and my mum decided to take me to hospital

        • Huck Perry

          Wow…. darn… parents and adults those days… they think kids are acting… (yes, some kids act like they aare hurt, but really…) 🙁

      • Laura Willhite

        I broke my ankle once but I only have a vague idea of when it happened. I had sprained my ankle six times in the course of three months, two of the times my ankle swelled to the size of a grapefruit and I could only crawl from place to place for a week (thank god for summer break!) because I couldn’t stand to put weight on it even wrapped in an ace bandage.

        My mom told me to stop being dramatic and never took me to see the doctor. I found out over ten years later when it was swelling and hurting again for no reason and I had it xrayed. The doc looked at me like I was a dumbass for not knowing I’d broken my ankle at some point, and she told me then that it had healed poorly for lack of treatment.

        To this day, my mom refuses to admit she did anything wrong.She just thought I was being over dramatic and she was a big goddamn hero for sitting back and letting me ice and wrap it instead of telling me to stop.

      • Katie Ford

        I was 12 when I fell rollerblading and fractured my wrist. My brother’s girlfriend (who lived with us, and was an EMT) told my father I should go get it X-Rayed. The next day at school the gym teacher saw my (swollen, purple) hand, took me to the nurse, who called my father and said I needed to go to the hospital for an x-ray. The next day, my father finally took me… and thats when we found out yup, fractured wrist. When asked why he didnt take me sooner, he said “You weren’t complaining so I didnt think it was needed”. My father had been a medic in the army.

        • chickenface

          My daughter (10) recently snapped both ulna and radius above her wrist and it was OBVIOUSLY broken, yet she sat so still and quiet in the ER and the room while we waited (and waited and waited) for hours before they gave her pain meds. Once a year or two ago, she went in after school and asked for her dad to pick her up because she felt too sick to walk. We live 3/4 mile away and he gets off work right before pickup time and drives right past her school, so no big deal. They office said no, and she walked home, came home and collapsed and slept for hours. I got home and took her temperature, and it was 103F. She had the flu and pneumonia. I scolded the office and said she is not a complainer and if she says she is sick, they dam* well better let her call us.

          (my other daughter IS a complainer, and it’s in her school file to have her sit and rest for 10 minutes before allowing her to call us, to calm down and maybe let some pain/fear subside).

      • zizania

        I’ve had asthma since I was born, but didn’t have it diagnosed until I was in my twenties. When I told my Mom she said something like: “Yeah, you used to gasp and turn blue a lot when you were a baby.” And you didn’t take me to the doctor why?

        • Lauren

          Who looks at a gasping blue baby and thinks “meh”?

          • zizania

            And people wonder why I have attachment issues.

          • Lauren

            I feel like societally children should have as much a right to tell embarrassing anecdotes about parents. If your gonna pull the painful birth card then I get to pull the ignored medical issues card.

          • Kelly H

            more so, even. Ignoring medical issues is a parent’s fault, painful birth is not the child’s.

    • ladyrage8

      My mom told me about a kid at the school she worked at who got bitten by a snake on Halloween and his parents ignored it for two days before he went to school. The nurse was on duty (we have to rotate nurses), took one look at the kid’s ankle/foot when he walked in to ask about it, and called 911.
      UNfortunately, the local hospital is sh*t.
      They sent him back saying mosquito bites, parents finally caught on about his foot, and took him to another hospital 30 minutes away where they treated it.

  • Mouser

    Your father is a very poor nurse.

    • Scott O

      No, her father sees too many morons that run to the doctor every time they sniffle. That causes infinitely more issues than it helps, he doesn’t want to contribute.
      Going to the doctor does not automatically help you, it’s not a magic benefit, and not going doesn’t automatically have any negative effects.
      It sounds to me like the OP is just placing blame without any reason.

      • Mouser

        Not having a REGULAR CHECKUP for his child is what makes him a poor nurse.

        • S123

          Also not taking her seriously when she told him about her medical problems. OP: “I have a lump.” OP’s Dad: Eh, that’s probably nothing!

      • Lauren

        When your pre-teen daughter begs to go to the doctor for “woman problems”, and you say no, you’re a bad nurse.
        When your daughter says “I need to go to the doctor, I have a LUMP”, and you say no? You’re not just a TERRIBLE nurse – and should not be allowed near ANY patient ever again – but you are also a despicable excuse of a parent. Yes, lumps generally are benign cysts or something similar and nothing to worry about – but you ALWAYS check, no matter WHAT. I knew that before I finished primary school, and I didn’t need medical training either. And to deny your child that peace of mind? To even RISK the tiny minute chance that what your child has IS something serious?

        You don’t deserve to be a parent, let alone working in the medical profession. And yes, they probably have seen a lot of people wasting doctors time for no reason. But that does NOT mean you declare anything and everything a waste of the doctors time unless you have a serious fever. Again, I don’t need medical training to realise something can be serious enough to warrant medical attention without a severe fever being involved. Nor am I stupid enough to think that when my child says “I need to see the doctor”, it’s simply them overreacting EVERY SINGLE TIME – without even hearing what the problem is first.

        There is NOTHING to excuse what this idiot man did. Even if “he’s seen a lot of time wasters” was a reason to not let his kid go to the doctor EVER (and it’s not), still doesn’t change the fact that his decisions resulted in this girl going untreated to the point of needing a hysterectomy and developing cancer. So yes, the blame is placed on him with full reason – her condition now is 100% the result of her father denying her medical treatment, which is a basic human right, so hardly “placing blame without any reason”.

        No one said not going to the doc automatically results in something bad, or that going to the doc automatically results in something good. But she HAD actual problems and actual warning signs that something was seriously wrong. So by default, not going to the doctor was ALWAYS going to automatically result in something bad, because not going meant her problems were not getting diagnosed and treated. And going to the doctor when there IS actually something wrong generally does mean something good will happen – it’s called treatment.

      • AliceInWeirdoLand

        There are people who go to the doctor too frequently, yeah, but on the flip side, we have the hard data that proves that a little preventative care can save lives down the line. It’s a parent’s responsibility to care for their child, and that includes providing proper medical care. A nurse of all people should know the importance of good health.

      • Zack Wagoner

        She has a slew of medical problems that wouldn’t be an issue if they had been found and treated years ago; so yeah, she has damn good reason to blame her father.

      • chickenface

        My kids each got one “I think X is broken” urgent visit with an xray and nothing was broken. After that, I told each kid that now they knew what pain without a broken bone felt like, and that was their one free visit. (of COURSE if they need it again, I will take them, but I just don’t want to encourage that kind of thing).

        • Thaeri

          A badly sprained ankle or wrist can actually hurt worse than a fractured one, depending on the exact nature of the fracture, so it can be extremely hard to tell whether something actually is broken

          And (not that I think this would apply to you), what those that deem anything less than a broken bone unworthy of medical attention often don’t get, is that even if something is “only” sprained, you often need to have it bandaged up properly, and once the swelling has gone down, maybe wear one of those support thingies (I don’t even know the proper word in my native language, let alone my second one) for a few weeks. Not to mention that if it’s an ankle, you’ll need crutches, and very few have any of those lying around at home just in case.

  • SupaNovaGurl12

    I REALLY would like to know the Dad’s reaction to all of this. I know nurses make the worst patients but this is something else.

    • Kitty

      “So, dad. Hope you never wanted grandkids from me.”
      “Oh, what, you’re infertile?”
      “No. I USED to have a perfectly functioning uterus, but because YOU decided to be the lord over MY body’s health, I had to get my uterus removed.”
      “Um…”
      “Also, slow-growing cancer.”
      “Well, why didn’t you ever say anything?”
      “Cause you are a nurse and seem to think you know better than a freaking doctor.”
      I know Nurses are not to be f***ed with, but come on.

      • Laren Dowling

        “Why didn’t you ever say anything?”
        “I DID! You cut me off, told me off, and refused to let me get proper medical care for what’s now a potentially life-threatening condition. Screw you.”

  • Hobarth

    You wonder why there will never be a cure for Cancer? This right here is why. It seems to be a common theme here, fear mongering with cancer. Its how they motivate you or “nudge” you into doing what they want.

    • Zack Wagoner

      …What?

      • Huck Perry

        seriously… my comment had no bad words… so I guess if someone else say it, it’s okay and my comment will come late.. :p

    • Esidara

      Want to say that again, but in a way that makes sense?

      • Phil Adler

        He’s saying that people like the OP’s dad are refusing to go to the doctor for what could be early signs of cancer and perhaps if people WOULD go early, they’d catch it in time to treat it.

        • Esidara

          I’m not sure that’s what they’re saying. They sound more paranoid than that.

          • Zack Wagoner

            Exactly.

          • Esidara

            Possible interpretation: Hobarth thinks that people like the OP make up or exaggerate having cancer to manipulate others? (Obviously people can and do, but many more don’t)

          • Zack Wagoner

            I can see that. “How dare OP try to “nudge” me into having regular medical exams to avoid long term consequences by telling her story about dealing with the long term consequences…” etc.
            Though I’m still lost as to how this will set back cancer research…

          • Rebecca Jones

            My best guess: They (medical professionals, medical insurance carriers) nudge you through the fear of cancer to get regular checkups and check out any odd lump, which really could be anything, don’t be so worried. If cancer is cured they will lose that control over you and the money that comes with it, so they do everything in their power to keep that from happening.

            (My dad believes something similar. Yeah, I didn’t go to the doctor much as a kid either, and retain bad habits about that sort of thing.)

    • TheLastHonestLawyer

      We can cure most cancers now. The problem is early detection before the cancer metastasizes and begins wrecking multiple vital organs.

      I’m a survivor of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. You should be scared of cancer. It’s your own body run amok, your own cells trying to kill you. But fear can prompt action. Learn how to do self-examination of your breasts or testicles, get the scheduled exams (the prostate exam sucks, but dying in worse) and make the changes you feel comfortable with to reduce risk factors.

      • Sylphon

        And how do you detect pancreatic cancer? My mom went for her normal twice yearly checkups and all was fine, then she started having pain in her side and went to the dr, only to find she was already at stage 4! Not everything can be caught at home 🙁

        • Laren Dowling

          True. But as you just said, even normal checkups didn’t help in your mother’s case. Not all cancers can be caught early enough to matter. But TheLastHonestLawyer was discussing some of the most common types, which do have screenings. And there are risk factors for cancer in general that can be reduced.

        • TheLastHonestLawyer

          I am sorry for your mom and your loss. Pancreatic cancer took my father from us. It’s still one of the ones we immense trouble curing.

          But in answer to your question, regular doctor visits, even just an annual physical with lab work, can catch the early signs of many serious problems.

      • Hobarth

        Its always the medical fear mongers who pop up months later to try to scare us isnt it? How odd.

        • TheLastHonestLawyer

          I replied to you within a day or your original post. As I said, I’m a cancer survivor. You do not want to go through what I went through, so learn to do self-exams, and get regular check-ups. Catch it early, and you have a much better chance of living with minimal after effects.

  • Caroline Levén

    I’m sorry you had to go through that. I hope your dad will pitch in for adoption.

    • 4302

      If she wants kids he’d better pay for it. She paid for his neglect with her own body parts so he’d better pay her money.

  • Kitty

    Your dad sucks. Yeah, you shouldn’t go to the doc for every sniffle and sneeze, but some times it is necessary. Especially yearly health checks, so they can see when something changes. As for when it was ‘a woman thing’, at least at age 17, you should’ve said, “DAD! There is something wrong with my vajayjay! DOC! NOW!”
    Especially once you started your period. That’s just a time where a girl/woman SHOULD go see a gyno.

    • Tänya Kirkle

      I was always told that you didn’t need the gyno unless something was seriously wrong or once you turned 18 or once you became sexually active.

      • cylon_toast

        Same, I only started going because I have stomach problems and they wanted to check if it was my reproductive organs, since I was there I just made an appointment anyways to get BC to regulate my periods. I was 18.

      • Boots

        once periods start is a better metric, because sexually active doesn’t really influence hormonal issues or physical defects (bicornate uterus ftw!)

        • Tänya Kirkle

          But once you become sexually active, risk of STD’s and pregnancy go up, so it’s still not a bad time to start.

          • Boots

            of course, but generally the appointment then is from a slightly different point of view – ie. STD’s and contraception, rather than baseline assessments and physiological problems.

    • dave

      I’m a dad, but not of a daughter. However, I’d think that once a girl reached a certain age, it would behoove a parent to talk to their pediatrician about when it would be appropriate to have her plumbing checked out.
      Failing that, has Dad never had brought her in for required immunizations? Summer camp or cheer-leading physical? Nothing? When our son was born, we had to show proof that we had a pediatrician lined up as part of the check-out procedure from the hospital, just like we had to show them we had a car seat.
      Lastly, I’m not unsympathetic, and I don’t want to play the “blame the victim” game, but were there NO other women in her life? A Grandmother, aunt, school nurse or counselor she could confide in? It’s not at all unusual for a teenage girl to not be able to talk to *Dad* about ‘lady troubles’, and want to seek out another female to for advice and sympathy.

      • Kitty

        I agree with pretty much your whole comment. There are kindergarten here in Germany who *refuse* to take on a child that hasn’t been getting its vaccinations.

        And I wouldn’t call that victim-blaming. It’s a very good question to ask. I didn’t go to a gyno until I was almost 17 and I only went because I was having a really bad yeast infection, so it seemed the only sane thing to do.
        Course, I should have technically gone earlier because my periods were very irregular and very painful when I did get them. But the irregularity was just assumed to be ‘growing pains’, the body not having gotten its routine yet, so neither I or my mother thought I *needed* the gyno.

        But even without there being issues, the kid should have gone to a doc. If anything, maybe call a friend and ask if their parent would be super-duper helpful and drive them to the doc. Especially if it was to the gyno cause of ‘lady problems’.

    • Laren Dowling

      Every doctor I ever had told me there was no reason to see a gyno until I was sexually active, unless there was a problem. Obviously, OP had a problem. But no, most girls don’t go just because they’ve had a period.

  • Souless night

    Thank god my parents have never been inattentive… I’d have a nasty scar where my appendix was.. well a nastier one I should say

  • Bajovane

    OMG – that is simply terrible.

  • Abigail Davis

    How did he respond to the news? He needs a serious guilt trip for that, at the very least. And probably a new career, since he obviously isn’t a particularly good nurse.

    • Shuu Tsukiyama

      This is what I came to ask.

    • ShinyStar

      I want to know this as well

  • Deadpool

    You might want to get a paternity test. One sign that you weren’t raised by your biological parents is them not wanting you to interact with doctors or other authority figures. Then check the results against missing persons who were born within a year or two of you and disappeared before they (or you) were eight.

    Goggle: Kidnapped at birth.

    • Max

      I’m gonna go with the simpler options which are: the father believes he is always right, and/or the father is a cheapskate and the US healthcare system is broken.

      • Deadpool

        If the father is a nurse, then he should have a very good benefits package within his own hospital/health system. Withholding the free yearly checkups stinks of something bad going on.

        • Fyva Prold

          The yearly checkups only become free with ACA (Obamacare)

          • Deadpool

            Yearly (or semi-annual) checkups were free under certain plans pre-ACA. Healthcare workers had the best health plans and thus usually had free checkups.

          • Phil Adler

            Health care workers and government workers always have the best plans because they’re directly involved and either write exceptions, find loopholes, or lobby to get what they want.

          • Cathrope

            I had free checkups twice a year until dipshi* for brains Obama came into office. Now it’s one free checkup a year. Obamacare turned our excellent health insurance into a pile of steaming Dog Cra*

          • Laren Dowling

            Ditto. And my premiums have tripled, to the point where we’ve scaled down to bare-minimum healthcare, instead of the comprehensive coverage we had before.

          • Cathrope

            And the Democratic Party is running around saying this is a good thing.

          • Phil Adler

            You are so blindsided it’s almost unbelievable.

          • Cathrope

            All I know is this. I want the system fixed, and I’ll be damned if we go to single payer.

          • Phil Adler

            That’s bad why? Single payer helps everyone. I can understand you’re selfish and are only out for yourself, but we have to do what’s best for all of America.

          • Cathrope

            I don’t believe I should be responsible for another adult’s healthcare. But if I’m going to be forced to pay for someone’s healthcare I have a list of things I want to be illegal.

          • Phil Adler

            You realize taxes pay for a LOT of public services you take for granted? For example, why should I have to pay to maintain every public road in the state? I don’t drive on all of them. Why should I pay school district taxes? I haven’t gone to public school since I graduated in 2008!

          • Cathrope

            You pay taxes for roads and education for it helps the country in the long term. Healthcare has no real benefits. Too me, only a selfish person would force another person to pay for their medical bills. If your in the military and are discharged with Honor I’ll gladly let my taxes go to the V.A. they DESERVE to be taken care for, and not spend their own dime on healthcare ever again. So you want single payer? Join the military and I’ll gladly pay my taxes so you get free healthcare.

          • Zack Wagoner

            No benefits? Really?

          • Phil Adler

            So, in your eyes, everyone’s worthless unless they join the military?

            That’s fricked up.

            You don’t seem to understand single payer. it’s not about ‘being selfish.’ It’s about TAKING CARE OF OUR COUNTRY.

            You’re the cancer that needs to be removed.

          • Cathrope

            I’d rather pay for MY own healthcare/health insurance, then expect someone else to do it. I’ve never been given anything for free since I turned 18 and people shouldn’t expect free stuff from me. What ever happened to personal responsibility in this country?

          • Phil Adler

            Lose your job and tell me that again. I hope you croak because you can’t afford healthcare.

          • Cathrope

            Been there, done that. I was able to get decent health insurance when I was paying 100% out my pocket. Was below $1000/month.

          • Phil Adler

            You had income, obviously. Try being without a job for a while. Otherwise, shut up.

          • Phil Adler

            You’re a pompous fool who thinks everyone is in the same situation as yourself. Wake up and smell the coffee. Life doesn’t work like that.

          • Cathrope

            I know it doesn’t work that way, but your going to have an easier time finding a snowball in a lava flow then convince me that I should care about people healthcare, when I don’t care about people in general. I see people as an annoyance that I just deal with. Besides why do I pay taxes for Medicaid and Medicare?

          • Phil Adler

            I have a hard time believing that you even want to stay employed, since taxes are so hard on you.

          • Phil Adler

            The problem with people like you is the stupid “free stuff” mantra. Some things we certainly need and no one should consider it a problem to have to pay for them: healthcare, education, etc.

            The only reason we have trouble achieving those things is because of selfish people like you. You’re selfish, get over yourself and move to a country that doesn’t care about its people.

          • Cathrope

            I have no problem paying taxes for pre/K-12 education, but after that, your on your own. And I can live with paying taxes for roads. But with a single payer system, the prices will be so high, along with the premiums, only the rich will be able to afford healthcare, and I can almost guarantee, that they will have laws passed to protect themselves. And right now, we have an almost single payer system with colleges. For the colleges know that they can set their fees as high as they want and the government will pay it.

          • Phil Adler

            “the prices will be so high”

            And you know this, for some reason? I can pretty much guarantee you’re just making it up through fear generated by the GoP and anyone else opposed to national health care.

          • Cathrope

            Nope. I watch the news and seen the stories on how Obamacare caused health insurance to be so high that they were forced to just pay the fine. I use to be able to go to any health clinic and hospital, but now, I and my fellow co-workers have to go to one clinic and get referrals to see an actual doctor or our insurance wouldn’t pay anything.

          • Phil Adler

            May I ask what news channels you watch? I mean, it seems rather obvious but still…

            You seem to fail to understand the grasp that corporations like those in the health insurance industry have on the government. If people from the industry and most Republicans would have been hog-tied then the Affordable Care Act would have been perfect.

          • Cathrope

            ok, it seems to me that we’re never going to agree.

          • Phil Adler

            I agree with you on that sentiment.

          • Cathrope

            Later.

          • Audrey Dorland

            “Healthcare has no real benefits”? You misspelled “many”.

          • A McKay

            Wow. I really thought that the image of Americans being selfish, self-centered egotists who only cared about themselves was wrong until I read your post. I’m so glad Stephen Hawkin wasn’t born in America. We’d have been deprived of his genius if you’d had your way. Thank God for the NHS.

          • Cathrope

            So, you don’t believe in personal responsibility? I believe owning a car is a human right, and the government should pay for what ever car I want. Why should I have to pay for it, when the government can force Peter to pay for it even if he can’t.

          • Laren Dowling

            Yeah, because only being able to afford to go to the doctor when I’m half-dead, and having to pay for my inhalers and epi-pens out-of-pocket (and getting charged 3 times more for the privilege of buying everything myself) is FANTASTIC!

          • Phil Adler

            You wanna talk about dipshi*s why don’t you talk to your friend Trump? Maybe give him a kiss, we all know you love him.

          • Cathrope

            Trump is just another Washington insider. You can say he’s not all you want, but it doesn’t change the fact that he is. All million and billionaires are part of the problem. I love how Democrats want to tell you that you should give more money to the poor while they own three houses and a private jet.

          • Melissa Manak

            cathrope is very privileged..

            some day a horrible thing will hit their family health wise and s/he will learn from this… sometimes people are so blinded wearing rose colored glasses until a disaster hits them..

          • Cathrope

            Isn’t miss gendering someone a federal crime punishable by death? I’m a guy. And no I’m not privileged, nor have I ever been privileged. I just don’t want the government look at me like I’m some person who can’t take care of them self. If you want the government to take CARE of you from birth to grave, and not do anything, but sit on your butt all day, move to Europe, and leave the U.S to the Adults.

          • Melissa Manak

            I don’t sit on my butt all day but I do believe that healthcare is a right not a privilege.

          • Cathrope

            Healthcare is not a right, I’ve read the bill of rights and nowhere does it say that Healthcare is a right. If Healthcare is a right, then every form of gun control out there is a blatant attack on the Second Amendment and should be gotten rid of.

          • Alicia

            *Life*, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are all right there in the Bill of Rights. And the whole single payer system causing prices to skyrocket is bullshit. I’m an American living in Germany with American health insurance. I have to see German doctors and pay out of pocket before making an insurance claim, and you know what? I have yet, in three years, made a claim. You know why? Seeing my primary doctor is only €60. That’s it. My other doctor I see every few months is €52 a visit. A 100 day supply of one of my medications is €14. *And this is all without having anything to do with the German single payer insurance because I’m not eligible.* Wait times are typical to those in the US. In the US, my cheapest med was $10 for only 30 days worth. My co-pay alone was $30, meaning my insurance paid more out for a simple visit. Single payer forces all healthcare costs to go down because any for profit medical company is forced to take what they’re given. And paying into it isn’t just to cover other people (what a stupid thing to say), it’s to cover yourself and your loved ones just like paying any taxes for any public service is. If you don’t think your health is important, then fine, let yourself rot, but that doesn’t mean everyone is that dumb to not care about living.

          • Cathrope

            If the United States health system is so bad, why do foreign leaders go to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN?

          • Boots

            the health SYSTEM is bad, the health CARE is good.

            how do you people not understand that healthcare benefits EVERYONE? that a single payer system is far better – cutting out middlemen can only be a good thing!

            i’m in australia and we are stunned at the idea that your healthcare is tied to your job, that your boss can choose whether you are covered for medical items/procedures that should only be discussed between you and your doctor, that you feel it’s normal to go bankrupt from medical bills, that you can’t see the benefit in having a healthy population.

            what’s up with that???

          • Laren Dowling

            No, single payer is horrible. I’ve dealt with it, and I will never do so again.
            And no, my boss cannot decide what procedures I can and cannot be covered for. He does not have any access to my records. The company offers a couple different insurance options, and I get to pick among them for which insurance program I want. But other than that, my boss has nothing to do with my healthcare.
            I’m also free to buy different healthcare, if I wish, and my company will contribute a certain amount toward my insurance premium.
            Or, I can choose to not bother with healthcare (although, now there’s a government fine for that, which is ridiculous) and just pay out-of-pocket for any care I need, which is usually much, much cheaper.
            My sister is deaf in one ear thanks to single payer healthcare (due to a simple sinus infection that wasn’t responding to the antibiotics they gave her. But it took 3 weeks to get in to see the doctor with each round, plus the 2 weeks she spent on the drug, so 5 weeks total each round. And they insisted on trying the same drug multiple times before they’d even let her try something else, because that’s the the government regulations require. 6 months later, she’s deaf in one ear and her sinuses were cemented shut, and she would have had to wait nearly a year for the surgery to get them fixed. Instead, my parents sent her back to the states, and she had the surgery within the week.)
            Then there’s my brother, who would be crippled if he’d stayed in Britain. His knee locked up – turned out that his meniscus was flayed open – and he was going to have to wait at least 3 months to see a specialist who could order an MRI, then wait another 6 months on a waiting list to get that test done, and then wait another 3-6 months to even see a surgeon, let alone the wait for the surgery itself.
            Instead, my folks flew him back to the states, where he had an appointment the next day, and MRI the day after that, and surgery on Friday. His surgeon? The same one who operated on Tiger Woods’s knee, and he waived his fee because my brother was going to West Point the following fall. He also got many of the others involved to waive their fees, so the surgery was surprisingly cheap. Said brother graduated from the Military Academy, and is now serving honorably, which would not have been possible had he stayed with the British healthcare system. There is no two ways about it, every doctor he’s seen agrees. If he’d waited more than a few weeks to get that surgery, he’d have never walked again.
            So please, keep your government-sponsored crap out of my country. I’ll take my freedom of choice any day.

          • Laren Dowling

            The Right to Life simply means you have the right to not be murdered by your government. Not anything more. Get a clue.

          • Cathrope

            Did the government tell you to breath today? Only the government can tell you when you have to take a breath, and I hope you ate what the government told you to eat for breakfast today, if not, you need to call the IRS up so you can pay the $250,000 fine, which will make it possible for me to see the doctor today.

          • Laren Dowling

            No, healthcare is not a right. You do not have a right to someone else’s work. That’s called “slavery,” and I’m pretty sure we abolished that a long time ago.

          • Sofiya

            Phil, I was reading this really interesting article the other day about how the problem in our country is not actually a political one but a psychological one. The point was that you can’t convince someone to care about others. This is why you and Cathrope will never agree. You can’t argue your way into making her empathize with people. Unfortunately, the article didn’t offer any solutions. 🙁

          • Before Obamacare, insurance agents told my dad to give up on trying to find insurance that would cover me. And that was BEFORE I was diagnosed with an incurable genetic disorder.

          • Jami

            Before Obamacare my parent’s & my deductible was $250. Now mine is $500 and their’s is $2,500. My mom was denied mammograms under Obamacare but forced to be covered for birth control. My insurance started denying me medication outright or trying to switch it to versions I’m allergic to.

            And 99% of my friends found it cheaper to pay the fine for being uninsured than to pay for Obamacare.

            For every story like you there’s 30 horror stories due to Obamacare. Just the praisers of it won’t listen to the truth.

            Course this doesn’t mean I like Trump. I wanted Dr. Ben Carson for president. If anyone could’ve fixed Obamacare, it would be a real doctor.

          • Let’s play ‘spot the liar.

            —Before Obamacare my parent’s & my deductible was $250. Now mine is
            $500 and their’s is $2,500. My mom was denied mammograms under Obamacare
            but forced to be covered for birth control. My insurance started
            denying me medication outright or trying to switch it to versions I’m
            allergic to—-

            Found them!

            Now let’s play ‘spot the clueless person’.

            — I wanted Dr. Ben Carson for president.—

            Found them!

          • Fyva Prold

            In which year your excellent health insurance turned to dog stuff? And in which way ACA made it so? Tell us more what it was and what it become.

          • Cathrope

            2015 or 2016 is when our health insurance was messed up. We use to be able to go to any doctor we wanted to, except the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. We only had one plan for about $25/week, it was under $30. Now, due to Obamacare we are forced to choose between two lousy options, option 1 let’s you see any doctor without a referral, but costs $50/week, while option two makes you go to the Tribal Medical Clinic (I work at a Native American Casino) to get a referral to see an actual doctor, and costs $19/week. And if you don’t get a referral under option 2, our insurance doesn’t have to pay anything.

    • Cyran

      I wasn’t raised by my biological parents and they took me to the doc when it was needed. 😐

  • Kylie

    I feel bad for the patients he’s had over the years. He probably thought most of them were “fine” too.

  • Bonnie Huffington

    Wow. You’d think a nurse would know better.

  • Nightshade1972

    I have a neurological condition called hydrocephalus. The common treatment for it is a medical device called a shunt, which is a drainage tube that typically goes from the brain into the abdomen (my current shunt drains into my heart). Shunts usually come in two pieces, which connect in the middle, so that if there’s a problem with only one half of the shunt, only that half is replaced.

    When I was a senior in HS, just before I turned 18, the bottom half of my shunt became detached from the top half, and collapsed into my abdomen. I woke up from the shunt surgery with random stabbing pains in my abdomen, which I’d never had before (I’d had a total of 14 prior shunt surgeries before then, this one was #15). My mother calmly informed me that, by the time I got into the OR, they “couldn’t find” the broken piece of shunt tubing, so they decided to quit looking for it! When I continued to have random stabbing pains in my abdomen, my mother offered to take me to an internist, “because your neurosurgeon’s nurse says she’s never heard of loose tubing causing any problems, and I don’t want to bother your neurosurgeon himself, he’s too busy and too important.”

    I lived with the random stabbing pains in my abdomen for the next 15 years, until I had a total hysterectomy just before I turned 32. I’d told my gyno about the extra piece of shunt tubing. When she saw it floating by in the surgical field, she plucked it out and continued with the hysterectomy. Other than the normal post-op pain after the hysterectomy, I haven’t had a single episode of random stabbing abdominal pain since then.

  • Bashi

    Your father’s stupidity has now seriously endangered your life, OP. You need to get a lawyer, and make sure charges are brought against him. He does NOT deserve his nursing license if he can’t even properly care for his own daughter.

  • Twilight And Nerdy

    This really, really boils my blood. I have never wanted to punch someone in the face so hard since my own dad.

  • Emtu

    I’m not sure if people like that or anti-vaxxers are worse.

    • Boots

      Why not both? 🙂

      There’s often quite a bit of overlap…

      • 4302

        Yup, can confirm.

  • Tänya Kirkle

    I am not OP, but my father is very similar: My dad, a nurse, refused to go the doctor when his fever spiked and took some fever reducers instead. At his wife’s urging, he went and found out that he had sepsis. Another! My dad, a nurse, has heart issues and has an internal defibrillator. He thinks he dies every time his heart goes into a shockable rhythm. That’s right defibrillators are NOT used for restarting stopped hearts, but instead used to put the heart back on a regular rhythm.

    • Kalu-chan

      My dad’s pretty bad about going to the doctor for himself unless my mom (who, funnily enough, is a nurse) tells him to, but when I had some weird insect bite (Idk why, but it got way bigger than normal), he pretty much dragged me there to make sure it wasn’t anything dangerous, since I’m just as bad as he is.
      I used to have annual check-ups though, simply because the summer camp I went to for a couple of years required one.

  • Jennifer Moroney

    Kids generally hate going to see doctors. If your child is literally begging you for a doctor appointment, maybe you ought to listen. >.< What a stupid man.

  • Noinipo

    Does your dad wait for the Check Engine light to come on before getting an oil change?

    • Amy Susan Fisher

      Very likely yes.

  • Bernie Hunter

    I think I would not want to talk to my father for a while after this.

    • Anne-Marie van der Veen

      And the first thing I’d say after that is “You will be hearing from my attorney.”

  • Aaron King

    I wonder how many stories there are tagged under “ignoring/innattentive” that are about your father

  • Lila

    Not a lawyer, but this could (should) have gotten OP’s father in serious trouble. Failure to provide adequate medical care falls under neglect, if not abuse.

  • heatherjasper

    I thought a nurse of all people would at least spring for an annual. Surely he’s seen people who “thought it was nothing” and let the “it” grow into a bigger issue.

    • Laren Dowling

      I have to wonder if the OP ever actually discussed the issue with him, or if she just insisted it was “a woman thing.” Because if she actually talked to him about her symptoms, he might have recognized that there was a problem. But a lot of dads tend to dismiss female complaints. Add being a nurse on top of that, and you have a recipe for disaster.

      • heatherjasper

        It sounded like he shut her down whenever she brought it up, so there wasn’t a way she could go beyond “it’s a woman issue”.

    • AR

      They are actually recommending people don’t go for annual check ups because the cost vs. what they find isn’t worth it. But if my kid came to me saying I have weird lumps, and somethings wrong with my female bits, we’d be going pronto!

  • Sammi Fuller

    This is why the medical system in the US bothers me. A 12 year old could take themselves to the doctor under the NHS

    • PimpKat

      I know right? But they don’t even have the right of privacy under US laws…

    • Medusa Jordan

      But parents still have so much power. I lay in bed with a chest infection at 17 with no treatment because I had been told that antibiotics were unacceptable.

      • Sammi Fuller

        Not in the UK. At 16 you can take yourself to the doctors and to the pharmacist if needed be. Your parents can’t overrule treatment unless under extreme circumstances.

        I’ve just seen your parents didn’t veto but indoctrinated you. Ouch. But no legal stance.

  • TheWonderRabbit

    Your dad must have been a terrible nurse if he doesn’t trust doctors.

  • Trubl

    My mom was kinda the same, from around 12 years old to when I actually got medicine for my thyroid two years ago. I randomly got fevers and I couldn’t do anything because I was so tired all the time. My mom said that I was lazy and faking it, dad told her to take me to a doctor but mom always said that it’s all between my ears.

    • what.

      Why didn’t your dad take you to the doctor?

      • Trubl

        Because his job took him out of the country weeks at a time, came home exhausted for a week and he slept most of that time because he drove a truck, but both me and my dad are at better places now, he’s retired and I’m eating thyroxine which is the hormone that the thyroid produces

  • Fenn

    Your father sounds like a terrible nurse. I was raised by a nurse (single mother) and had yearly checkups and taken to the doctor whenever I had a high enough fever.

  • Ares Zax

    This story is one of those “Yes and no” types. Yes, it’s true that for many people, yearly check-ups are actually NOT necessary and they’re simply a sneaky way for doctors to bill their patients (or their insurance companies) for more money. At the same time though, if you feel unwell, or notice any strange changes to your body (that “weird lump” is definitely something that shouldn’t be ignored), DO go see a doctor about it and get it checked out.

    • Phil Adler

      How else would you find things that may not exhibit obvious symptoms? I think yearly checkups are a good idea for anyone.

      • Medusa Jordan

        In the UK we do not have yearly check ups. I don’t think it affects our mortality rates because we can go to the doctor any time and the vast majority of people do.

        • Phil Adler

          Well I live in the US and I haven’t had an annual checkup in years. Never said they were required but they are a good idea for anyone in any part of the world.

  • qhsperson .

    Geez. Now I see I wasn’t the only one. My mother loved to play doctor with me as the patient, and most of my medical problems went untreated for years, generally until someone shamed my parents into action.

  • Joe Weatherford

    You would think a nurse would know better.

    Seriously though. Like everyone else here, I kinda wish I knew the dad’s reaction.
    “Remember when you said I didn’t need to see a doctor? Well, thanks to you, you’re not having grandkids!”

  • cylon_toast

    I don’t think I’d trust OP’s dad as a nurse. Good thing my mom is a better one that takes me to the doctor’s if I need to go. (But usually she can just fix it herself) My only problem is talking about medical problems in the first place. XD

  • Cerys Robinson

    Have you ever found yourself considering suing your father for criminal negligence?

  • Sal Wolffs

    For the first: “No but I’m bleeding and in pain.” For the second…

    “Hey dad, turns out you made me infertile and almost killed me. ” “How dare you accuse me of something like that” “You refused to let me go to the doctor with what turned out to be cancer. ”

    Or just sue him for all medical costs and lost income which could’ve been prevented if he hadn’t been so negligent.

  • Well, this just makes me sick.

    …no pun intended.

  • Jade Korber

    This is just awful. Having never met a family member due to a very similar cancer, this breaks my heart. Despite all that could have been prevented, I’m glad you’re still here OP. Dad needs a serious hit to the head.

  • Medusa Jordan

    I grew up with people a bit like this, but they were into natural healing. I had a chest infection when I was 17 and I had NO care at all. I lost 15lbs in 5 days and couldn’t talk for 2. I felt like death, but I was NOT going to get antibiotics!

    Of course I could have gone to the doctor by myself, but I had been indoctrinated by their no antibiotic stance.

  • BMK

    My dad was exactly like this with both us and pets. How did this work out?

    He forced my beloved cat to live with a limp for two years that he wrote off as arthritis because his brother has it, so clearly it’s the same issue. He only took him to the vet when my sister and I realized that his paw had swollen to more than twice its size and forced him to make an appointment. He died a few days later. It was melanoma, one of the more malignant cancers, and it likely spread throughout his entire body by then.

    He claims it wasn’t his fault. I still haven’t forgiven him for murdering my best friend.