Doctors Run

After reading Impatient Patient I was ready with a comment that went on and on, until I thought better and decided my comment would make a better blog.  So after a rest, I decided to  share my story.

I really do feel fortunate to live in a country, and at a time, where good medical care is available, as I wrote in So Spoiled. While I am grateful for my excellent doctors, I am testy lately.

Hubby works in a hospital, and talked to everyone about the doctor’s and learned everything he could about our caregiver options.  I volunteer in the hospital, and when they hear who I have chosen for my for my PCP, Primary Care Physician, they seem to relax in the knowledge that I am getting good care.  And yet….

All medical people know that medicine can’t fix everything.  Medicine is an art, a practice.  Refined and increased with each case building upon the last case is how medical knowledge grows.

Knowing this, I can still relate to the Impatient Patient.  When I am sick, I want an appointment now.  I do not want to wait till the next day, because I’ve already been dithering about the decision to see a doctor for five days.  Another day, logically, will make no difference, but I am really sick, and I want relief, if not a cure.  All the OTC, over the counter, stuff I usually take isn’t working.  I need help, and I want it now.

That is not how the world works.  Doctors have to schedule in advance.  Preventive medicine seems to take precedence over the average illness.  I had one doctor who had two appointment times during the day.  The patient could pick one, either 9 a.m. or Noon.  You would wait, and the doctor would stay as long as it took to see everyone.  The Doctor was excellent, with a very good reputation and in high demand.  This was not enough for me to stay his patient.  I was not happy with preventive medicine patients and those with illness that might be contagious sitting side by side for hours.

My current doctor is more the norm.  He staggers scheduling of patients throughout the day.  A wait of 20 minutes or more is very unusual.  But let’s get back to me, who has been sick for 5 days, and if I have to wait till Monday, 7 days.  I am lucky if I can get an appointment on the next business day.  After being miserable for so long, I debate if it would be an abuse of urgent care to go there.  I usually, but not always, wait for the next available appointment.  Usually, this is the correct choice, and my doctor has something in the little black bag to help me.

Recently I’ve had several trips to the doctor.  There are no tricks in his little black bag.  Technically, I have had four different diagnosis.  I’ve been on three courses of antibiotics, two  courses of steroids, and had to wait a minimum of two to three weeks between appointments, plus be rescheduled when the doctor had to go out-of-town for some reason.

After my first course of antibiotics and steroids, I knew I was feeling no better, and went back to the doctor.  My lungs were clear and I was getting better, he said.  Just over two weeks later I was in his office again, the cough won’t quit and my entire chest is in pain.  Meanwhile, my cough is taking a toll on my entire body.  I was coping with the physical repercussions of this continuing cough, and my complaints received compliments on my handling of them.  Those complaints are for another time after we have dealt with the cough.

Previous allergy testing was negative, for anything.  Should I try that again?  The Ear Nose and Throat specialist found there was congestion, but no infection, and a polyp, scheduled for removal.  My x-rays were negative.  When delay threatened my testing by respiratory, I burst into tears.

I have no idea why, but my cough is easing.  Am I getting better?  My life has been seriously modified by this prolonged annoying cough.  I am not yet well enough to resume water aerobics and swimming, I cautiously have resumed some of my other activity.  Last week a couple of nurses I know from volunteering said I was starting to look better.

If I were a doctor and saw it was me walking into their office with a cough, I would run.

So Spoiled

Its another Wonderful Wednesday and time to be grateful for how darned spoiled I am.

It is a beautiful summer day, and listening to NPR this morning, I heard stories of the struggles of Syrian refugees.  Here I am in the land of plenty, and taking full advantage.  I live in a home where I feel completely safe.  I feel no need to be armed.  I feel no fear to walk down the street, not even at night in most neighborhoods, in most anywhere in the country.   I can say whatever I want and express any opinion no matter how many others disagree with me, I don’t even have to be particularly nice about it.  Being nice helps if you want people to stay and listen, because where I live we can just walk away and stop listening.   These rights extend to social media, where I have blocked several sites from even appearing on my home page.

Another way I am spoiled is with good medical care.  Despite ongoing political wrangling over medical care, and the rare  published statistic on how Americans may not have the best health care in the word, I have grown accustomed to having a pill to cure most any ill readily available.  When a pill can’t provide a cure, a fairly safe surgical procedure usually will.  I get down right testy when a solution to any health problem is delayed.  I am old enough to remember how polio sent fear into my parents, and measles mumps and rubella were taken very seriously.  I remember the vaccination party where my friends and I were the first to get our sugar cubes as soon as they became available.  So I have a little annoying cough.  There is a vaccination for those scary diseases, and there is a pill, ointment, or wash for most things that people just had to suffer with in the past.

I am also spoiled with a multitude of pets.  Well, currently four pets.  My newest pet (notice how possessive I am) is Shadow who keeps me company while I write, watch TV, or sleep.  Each animal has their place.  Penny, the elderly lady of the house, sits at my side while I read or watch TV, with Shadow in her place either on my lap or on the back of the sofa near my head.  Brutus Buckeye’s place is Hubby’s lap.  Blue, our other cat, walks alone, except for requiring daily petting, and someone to open the door for him.

Yes, I really am spoiled.  I just expect that this is how life should be.  True I did plan and work for what I wanted, and I protect what I have.   It is difficult to believe not everyone is as lucky.

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