Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks for the Z Pack and Codeine Infused Chaser

Thanksgiving Holiday. Five days planned to the hilt to include family, food and fun. And shopping. Except I find myself in the waiting room of my arch-nemesis family doctor. More on that little description later.

For the past few days I'd been feeling a little achy; a little warm. Oh, the many things we can write those symptoms off to: Lots of activity in the second grade classroom. Abnormally hot central Texas weather. A long to-do list. But last night, as I lay on the couch with the air conditioning on, watching a much too long version of the Dancing With the Stars finale (Come on people! The show was TWO hours for a 10 second announcement…), I realized this malaise might be a little more than tiredness.

Upon waking today, I was achy from my forehead to the bottom of my feet. Drat. This I have learned in the twenty-two years that I have spent in the incubator known as a classroom: any germ that can break my built-up immunity is particularly fierce.

So, here I wait, writing this on Word, because the doctor's office will not share their wireless code. Why am I so snarky about this place? (Besides the fact that I feel like a puddle of aches and fever…) Well, here is a little of my history with this office:

  • They buy all manner of expensive machines, and constantly find/manufacture reasons to use them. To pay for them, I assume. I know if I say my chest hurts or feels full, they will want to perform a lung x-ray on their in-house machine. That's a little extreme, in my mind. This is not the ER. I have also learned I can say "no" to this procedure.
  • When my then high-school aged daughter came in for a simple college physical, they kept her here for three hours running every test known to man. Or woman, as it were. Some of which should not have been done on an 18 year-old female with no prior experience to such procedures. I have since taught her the power of "no" in a doctor's office.
  • When my husband had the CT scan that revealed his brain tumor, we were sent through this office for the results. The way the doctor revealed the news was to face the wall and say, "You have a brain tumor. It is very bad. My nurse will set you up with a brain surgeon." He left immediately, and said nurse burst into tears. I'm not sure if it was because she was sorry for us or embarrassed to be working with a man with such poor "bedside" manners. Probably both.

Oh, I could continue because I have a 15-year war chest of these stories. I see in the local paper that this office has a continual turnover in doctors and nurses. I also see there are many, many investigations by the state boards brought on by patient complaints. I was not surprised at all when I called for an appointment to hear that the office now also has a Weight Loss Clinic included in its name.

Why, you ask, do I continue to come here? Because they can always fit me in. I figure patient complaints are between the state, the doctor and God. As a teacher who is around small children, speed in antibiotics is of the essence. I also only come in about once a year when new strains of germs pass my Super Teacher Firewall of Immunity. And I never think about seeking out a new doctor on my once-a-year visits until I am Really Sick.

So, here I sit. Awaiting the results of a swab stuck up my nostrils into my brain. And for extra fun the nurse twisted it. Kind of a lower lobotomy. I'll do anything if it produces the Rx for antibiotics that will kick these aches out of my body.

The results? Not flu, but a bad upper respiratory infection. Given two shots, two prescriptions and an inhaler, with a reminder to schedule a come-back visit in a week for another check. I decline on the double dip of insurance funded visits. I'll be back in the land of the classroom by that time. (I will have to give them props for no chest x-ray today. Maybe they sold the machine.)

Monday? I'm totally shopping for a new doctor's office. That sees patients same-day. Fingers crossed.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.


Dawn said...

So sorry to hear you're not well. I've sent you a private email.

Be blessed!

Sarah said...

Oh man! I hope the antibiotics are working their magic and you are having a tolerable Thanksgiving. I hope you do find a better doctor's office with same day appts. That's why I find myself at the "emergency clinic" so often instead of my actual family doctor. I don't trust those places, but you can't beat the convenience.

susan said...

get well soon. and when you do may I suggest (if you're looking for a gp) Dr. Florence Spitler in Georgetown. I have been going to her for a year (after my beloved doctor retired and his replacement could never remember my name) - I like her bedside manner, never have trouble getting an appointment, never feel rushed and they are very customer service oriented.
and happy thanksgiving. see you at Kohls at 3 am?

Anonymous said...

I hope you are feeling better girl!! I also hope you get to have some fun this holiday, that you so deserve to have some fun!!

Patty R.

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

After reading of your experience of the doctor revealing your husband's diagnosis, I also burst into tears. It brought back to me the time, just over two years ago, when my husband's doctor told us he had pancreatic cancer. Those days are branded into our brain cells, I guess, never to be forgotten. Blessings to you.