More passages, medical style

calendar with apt, gograph

Source: gograph

When doctor appointments are more numerous than happy hours, you are of a certain age.

In addition to the increased frequency, each body part gets assigned to a special doc. I have (or had) a hand doctor, a foot doctor, a skin doctor (and that’s not one who helps you look pretty either), a lady bits doc, a butt doc, a GI specialist, a breast doc (yes, he only does breasts and no implants either) and a general practitioner.

Sometimes I feel like a mannequin. Twist the bad part out and make it better. Too bad I can’t get a new part from a Sears catalog (do they still have those?).

After months of push back, I finally gave in and went to a new specialist.

I rescheduled my first appointment pushing it out three months. (Did I mention I hate going to doctors? I’m really healthy!)

Researching all possible outcomes, I decided that if I needed any treatment that cost money (and they ALL do), I wouldn’t start that until after the new year. No sense in meeting this year’s deductible in November. How dumb is that?

I’m a small person. I worry about getting the same dose of medicine as someone 100 to 150 pounds heavier. They have more fat to hide the lethal stuff. I’m partial to my liver. We are very close. A healthy liver is a happy liver. We look out for each other.

Besides all that, my numbers are fairly borderline. Or close to border. Maybe just a tad over the border (please do not tell Trump!). I was hoping to eke out another year before addressing any numbers at all.

With all this crap swirling in my brain, I trudged to the new doc. Did I mention she was of a different nationality? I worried about that too. A long time ago, I had a doctor who was from outside the country. I didn’t worry about his skills. I worried about understanding him. And more importantly, him understanding me. (Is “ouch” a universal word?)

No need to worry. Despite a very slight accent, her English was perfect and she was articulate. More articulate than me. Maybe. (I’m pretty articulate especially when I don’t want to do something!)

I was prepared not to be happy. I had already decided what I would say to my gynecologist (who was strongly encouraging this checkup).

What I wasn’t prepared for, was to be charmed by someone who took the time to help me understand; answer all my questions (including my drug question about that 200 pounder); and be prepared for whatever I decided to do whenever I decided to do it.

We are not going directly to drugs and we are not going to revisit remedies that didn’t work in the past. We are going to do some tests to rule out other possible factors first. I’m good with that (other than they will draw blood out of my skinny veins). I have to pee in a cup too. First thing in the morning. Sure hope I don’t miss.

I feel like there is process here and we are not going to short circuit it. I also like that in the end it’s my decision.

I long for the days when the only time I saw the doc was for my annual lady bits exam. Those were the good old days.

Source: Crabby Road, Hallmark Division of Shoebox

Source: Crabby Road, Hallmark Division of Shoebox

 

 

 

49 thoughts on “More passages, medical style

  1. I feel sorry for doctors these days. So many of us have our own ideas. We used to do exactly what they said. I’ve learned that they don’t have all the answers.

    Add to that list of doctors for the different body parts the alternative doctors. I also see a chiropractor and sometimes an acupuncturist. Massages are nice, and they’re supposed to be good for you. Life has become so complicated.

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    • One of the bad things about growing up is that you learn that the authority figures are just people. Not of all them are geniuses. In fact some are inept. You have to be your own advocate. I no longer follow doctor instructions if I’m not feeling good about it. I need more information. I also talk to people who have the same condition. I learn a lot from that because no matter how good the doc is they forget to tell you things, insignificant maybe until it happens at 3 a.m. and you don’t know if it’s typical or not. I worked with a woman whose mother was on Boniva. The doctor said she had to take first thing in the morning and couldn’t lie down. What she meant was that she needed to be vertical from her mouth to her stomach. What my friend thought she meant was that she had to stand on her feet for an hour. The poor woman was 85 and it wasn’t until my co-worker was telling me about it that I corrected her. She could sit! It’s in the details!

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  2. I go to the doctor once a year. That’s enough for me. This last time he gave me an antibiotic. I took it because he said I was sick…I felt fine. The meds nearly did me in. I have never been so sick! Only took one dose. Now I feel fine again. Doctor wants me to take something else.. I said no thank you.

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  3. When I first got married and was moving away from the gynecologist I’d had for several years, i asked him for a recommendation in my new city. “Just make sure that any doctor you go to can be elected president.” was his sly way of recommending that I only see ‘Merican docs. I was so offended, that I often opted for the doctor with the funniest sounding name. I’m currently being reated by a Lebanese gastroenterologist, a Czech endochrinologist and an Indian dermatologist/oncologist. They listen. They are well trained. I have ‘Merican docs who are great too, but it still burns me up that someone would think it ok to suggest that someone choose their doctors that way.

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    • I don’t care what nationality they are as long as I can communicate with them. In our area there are a lot of Indian and Asian doctors who are well known for their skills. I know there are people who prefer male doctors too. I’ve had excellent docs in both sexes.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My primary doctor and I have constant battles and I try hard not to do what he says. I still wound up with multiple meds for “prevention” of this and that. Sigh. Note: Only you can make all those medical visits so funny! 🙂

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  5. I love the Maxine cartoon! Some happy drugs might help ease some of those appointments. 🙂 It’s very hard to take control of our own health and future, really. It’s a lot of work. I understand why so many people avoid confronting their health issues. It’s complicated making the rounds of all the specialists. My doctor retired a few months ago and I’m not with a new GP who has ordered all sorts of new lab work and tests. He just wants a new baseline for everything. I have felt anxious ever since, but I, too, realize I’ve reached the age where there will probably be more of this! I am not sure which doctor is going to address my need for an attitude adjustment, though. 🙂

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    • I hear you. Since I’ve had cancer many years ago, I freak out at all tests. I have gone to great lengths to make sure any routine testing doesn’t occur around holidays. It’s the time between the doc saying you should have them and getting the all clear results that makes me crazy.

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  6. You certainly made me feel less alone after seeing four different doctors this week, and in the midst of having to go through this, there was that Bombeck humor with the Trump remark. I too am bewildered at having to tend to so many different parts of me. I was so healthy, like a racehorse, my then doctor would annually say. Now I’d be glue.
    Great post told with grace, candor and humor.

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  7. It sounds like your latest specialist knows her stuff. When a doctor is willing to go through a process and not short circuit anything, that’s good science. I’m sure you’re in good hands.

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  8. My general practice doctor for years was from Ethiopia. I was at first unsure about seeing her for similar reasons as the ones you mention. Yet just as you discovered, her spoken English was far better than mine. Plus, she had a wicked sense of humor. We have to conquer our own fears and prejudices sometimes.

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  9. I’ve had a never ending list of doctor’s since I was twenty. Thirty years later, the list continues to grow. How is that possible? A doctor who spends more than seven minutes with you is a rare find these days. If I don’t like the doctor, I keep looking. I’ve had six dentists and five Gastro doctors in ten years.

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    • I probably need a new gastro guy although I like the PA. Ultimately she will give me the prescription I ask for (after I do the research). I like my new dentist of 2 years (old one retired) but he’s expensive. More expensive than the old one and he doesn’t give breaks. For example if I want to get multiple veneers each one is the same price despite the fact that he has less visits, less knockout drugs and it’s more efficient for him. My old guy was probably the last of a breed.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Reminds me that maybe I should get a physical since I turned 65 and I haven’t seen a doctor for a number of years. I see the dentist and eye doctor regularly. I skip the regular doctor “regularly.” I feel fine, take a couple of ibuprofen when something is sore and go about my business. I take my vitamins, drink water and at least walk the dogs every day that it’s possible. Fine, fine….I’ll call and make the damn appointment. My husband, the pathologist, says, “It’s all about prevention these days.”

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    • It is. My annual is just a chat and a script for routine blood test to spot anything. I have found that whenever I have had something I get referred off. I don’t get respiratory or sinus infections or routine things like that. I’m really healthy. When I get something, it’s nothing simple.

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  11. I didn’t realize how many doctors I had until you went and rattled all of yours off! I need to have blood drawn one of these mornings when I remember not to drink coffee, the form’s been sitting on my desk for at least a month. And I’m healthy, too. Just old. 🙂 Glad you connected with the specialist. My favorite doctor is my MD who takes the time to talk to me, listens to my questions and answers them all no matter how long it takes him.

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  12. I’m waiting for the day when you just send the bit of you that’s poorly to the robot doctor, after all, these days it’s all about computer chips and tick lists to confirm good health (yeah, right).
    I hate visiting the doc too, but sometimes we have to bite the bullet and get the problem sorted.

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    • So right. It’s hard to get me to the checkups when I feel healthy. Locally we have walk-in medical centers which are easier if you have something immediately critical like a bee sting or bronchitis. Making an appointment with my doctor means a wait for maybe a day or so.

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      • You’re lucky it’s just a day…. we find it can be as long as a fortnight. I remember the days when you arrived, took a seat, and worked your way round the waiting room. Doctors saw you as a patient, not a cash register.

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  13. I will now stop complaining about my four doctor’s visits a year. Even though they are a pain to schedule, take up so much time, get canceled at the drop of a hat– oh, wait. I wasn’t going to go that.

    Well, getting older sucks. It just beats the alternative. I’m glad you found a good doctor who didn’t treat you like you were a car on an assembly line.

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    • It’s tough on a fixed income (I love saying that phrase although I don’t much like it). I’m already paying for a wing at Starbucks home office, hvac upgrades at Amazon, upgrades at Home Depot (courtesy of my husband) and lord knows what else I’m supporting. I was to the chiropractor yesterday and he was complaining about having a child in private school and one in college. I did not suggest more frequent visits!

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