I'm not sure exactly how many doctors I've seen in the past two years, but it's well into the double digits. Number of appointments that ended in tears? Well more than half.
Yesterday's appointment was actually okay, but it was a first-time appointment with a new specialist and involved a pretty intense 4 hour test.
And I have come to loathe first-time appointments with even okay doctors. I am tired of explaining all of this, tired of telling people who I used to be, who I am now, and hoping I've explained it in a way that lends urgency to the litany of symptoms and life-changes while at the same time gives the true impression that I'm dealing with it pretty well on the whole.
In short: "I'm okay, but not well, and need to be an involved partner in finding a good way forward. How do we make that happen."
Yesterday there were some significant roadblocks I wasn't expecting.. the worst of which was some craziness with the medial records system.
The deal is, if I see a doctor in one of the two big local networks, they see a partial list of some of the other doctors I've seen over the past two years. But it's a small sub-section. My current Neurologist? Not on it.
I'd forgotten this and it completely threw me, and I'd completely forgotten to bring the full volume-set of my medical records.
On top of that, though, is that the system apparently went nuts and told her (among other things) that my PCP was still the terrible doctor I haven't seen in two years, along with whatever ridiculous notes he posted, instead of my current, referring PCP who is awesome and has taken the time to get to know me and know my goals.
So it did not begin well. And then the usual 'explaining of symptoms'.. and then the 4 hour test.
So it was all okay in the end, but just another experience I would rather not have -- energy that I wish I could have spent doing something (almost anything) else.
The truth is that after two years, I am tired of doctors and their offices. Even the good ones, and even the good appointments.
The good thing is that I know this and can plan accordingly. No matter how the appointment goes, I need some good incentives to look forward to, and thankfully I was well prepared when I finally got home!
A Few Of My Favorite Appointment-Day Rewards:
Udis' Chocolate Chip Muffins
My Favorite Peet's Coffee
Netflix (Specifically: The Finder)
A Card from My Dad
A Phone Call From My Mom
A Phone Call From a Friend
....and by the end of the day, it's all good. I almost feel ready to go another round with the Insurance company.