Yesterday I met with one of my “Medical Team”.
I only call them that because there seem to be so many.
This one deals with my ears, nose and throat.
Nothing very helpful came out of it. Does it ever?
The reason my voice is sounding strange is because I have a polyp, most likely benign. Also I have been put back on the acid reflux medication a digestive health doctor prescribed over a decade ago.
What a fiasco “DH” was. 3 specialists, 3 divergent opinions. No help. Now back to square one.
Time to move on….
Spending time with specialists gives someone like me time to observe the life of the medical profession.
Boy, has it changed.
Back in the dark ages, when I was young, can you believe it, if you called the doctor, he actually came to your house!
Then that became impractical, no doubt, so you went to the “surgery” as they call it in England, the medical office.
At that point, I emigrated to the US where, to see the doctor you were usually expected to undress so he could take look at you. (There’s a concept!)
The doctor would have your chart, and he would talk to you about what was going on and give an opinion or a referral elsewhere if appropriate.
In 2000, I went off to the West Coast where I discovered things were different.
No need to get undressed. Doctor not needing to observe the body. It seemed strange, having blood pressure taken through clothing and having the doctor sneaking quick peaks through gaps in your garb.
But OK, practices vary. I’m adaptable.
My first PCP out there did not take seriously my thyroid issues and actually told me that I was gaining weight through eating too many cakes. He really did.
I fired him. So to speak. I just went elsewhere. I don’t eat cake at all. Ever.
So then I saw a doctor who was part of a medical conglomerate, the new thing, I guess. Medicine as big business. Not good for patients.
We had just enough time to get acquainted, my new PCP and I, and then they dumped a computer on him.
Not just him, of course. Part of the new thing.
Get rid of all those worthless office workers and have the doctor type everything into a computer!
How efficient. How economical. Yay for the shareholders. Tough for the doctor.
And that was when doctors stopped looking at their patients, simply because they did not have time.
Frankly, I don’t know how they didn’t all go mad.
The younger doctors grew up with computers, so learning their way around would have been easy enough, but they still have to satisfy all those little boxes.
Tippty-tap, tippty-tap. And when you leave, you got handed a printed copy of your visit. Kill another tree.
At the moment, obviously nothing is normal and maybe that is why my doctor yesterday was so hopelessly overburdened. He needed skates.
That man had so many patients “on the go” he literally said to me when he came back after a long interval “which one are you, why are we doing this?”
Inspires confidence. He was managing incredibly well, but I watched him tapping away at the computer and I asked myself “how can this be better for patients?”
The medical world seems such a confusion of brilliance and utter bullshit.
In my humble opinion as an observer.
I’ve done a lot of observing, over the years. The total cost of my medical bills must be into the multi-millions. Sometimes I have felt like the gift that keeps on giving, one more test, one more scan, this med, that med. Ms Smith just says “yes doctor”, so keep her going around the revolving door.
Seriously, getting an MRI used to be a big deal. Now they seem to order them as a matter of course.
Something is “amiss” with my immune system, which causes a lot of “issues”, but no-one has ever been able to diagnose it. Instead, in the end I was put on painkillers for 15 years, until that went out of fashion and then I was made to feel like a drug addict.
So now I am nearly done with oxycodone, technically. But it’s very unlikely I am done with the long-term after-effects. I had a cervical epidural which gave me a 30-hour killer headache and nothing in the way of relief. And so far, nothing else has been offered. It seems to be do-it-yourself.
Some patients, I read, buy oxy from people in cars in doctor’s parking lots, because their pain is unmanageable and their life not worth living.
No, I don’t plan to do that. I will go back to acupuncture, if I can get insurance to pay part of the cost. My pain is uncomfortable but manageable, as long as I don’t do anything.
Which is a bit screwy. But it’s not even that which upsets me. It’s the devastating psychological effect oxycodone withdrawal has on a person with known depression issues.
Today I am able to sit here and type like a halfway civilized human being. The creature who was here two days ago is someone I really did not enjoy meeting. It took me back to before I started therapy and took away any sensation of any sort of pleasure. In other words, there was nothing that helped at all.
I don’t wish to be that person or to feel the way she did but I am seriously worried that she may be back. They say it can happen for anything up to a year.
Such a really fun topic, but I think it is worth relating the experience for what someone else may get from it.
In the meantime, one of my cats gave me a black eye.
A rather rude awakening