Friday, July 09, 2010
I’m sure you’ve figured out the letter was both computer generated and of no real concern to me. You see I’ve been his patient for 3 years and have only laid eyes on the man once. It was both our “new patient” and my “50th birthday” appointment.
At that appointment I showed up sicker than a proverbial dog-ear infections, broncytis, sinus infection-running a fever, whole nine yards-so to speak. I had made this appointment about 6 weeks prior to my arrival. He came in, handed me a bunch of prescriptions and asked if there was anything else he could do for me!
I said, “Wait a few minutes-this is my first appointment with you and I just turned 50-so this is also my physical. Let’s get to all of that.”
He looked at me dumbfounded. “What? No one told me this-I don’t want to do a physical now.”
I replied quite sickly, “well neither do I, but I’m off work this week and that’s why I made this meeting 6 weeks ago. So it’s not my fault no one told you and that it’s not your favorite thing to do. Not mine either. But, I made it and we’re both stuck, so let’s get to this.”
With heavy sighs and disgust, he asked me a few questions. When I informed him of my rheumatoid arthritis, the nerve condition in my foot and the various other chronic things, he in turn told me that “well, if that’s the case, you rheumatologist is the man and I’m not going to interfere with his wishes. I’ll set up the needed blood tests and set up the paperwork for your sigmoidoscopy.”
I pointed out that I was supposed to have the dreaded, but needed, colonoscopy. He informed me there was a 6 month wait list and only those with a background of problems got those slots. I informed him that I had a family history of colon problems and I myself had had some surgery and had the test during that lovely event.
He wouldn’t go for it. I was too sick at the time to do anymore conversing with him. So I took my prescriptions, got the blood tests and went home to do a live person’s version of “dying” until the antibiotics kicked in.
That was my first and last meeting with him.
Funny thing-after a friend’s mom found out she had colon cancer-my friend got worried and had one done, so did several of her siblings and my husband had his 4th done as well. All of them were reminding me I still hadn’t had the procedure done and that I was fast approaching birthday #53.
So I sent a very strongly worded e-mail to this doctor of mine (this was a mere week before the letter) not asking, but telling him I wanted the test. Of all things-his nurse set it up right away for later this month.
Guess it took his retirement at age 45 (how does an HMO doctor accomplish that?) to realize it was high time for him to become a caring part of the medical establishment.
Thankfully-my rheumatologist really is “the man” and he watches out for me on every level-he was one of those people who told me to literally get my “rear in gear and get the test done”.
I think I’ll send a computer generated “I’ll miss you too” note to this guy-do you think he’ll get the irony?
You just kind of wonder how our health care is going to change in the years to come. My bet? Less personalized care and much of that will come from someone other than a doctor.