Yesterday I went to the doctor.
So what? So what's the big deal about that? I'm not keen on going to the doctor; it's a male thing. You know: don't want to admit there is something wrong, or at least something that you can't fix yourself. It's a sign of weakness for cripes sake!
I like doctors. Some of my best friends are doctors. I work with doctors everyday. I even spend some of my vacation time with a doctor. Of course he's a OB/GYN doc so not much threat there.
But, all in all, in the scheme of things what's the big deal? I've been a healthy person all my life. I take no medication except 2 81 mg aspirin a day and that only because my dad died of a heart attack at age 58 so it's a prophylactic measure. I try to eat in a healthy manor most of the time. Drink a little wine with dinner. I quit smoking 14 years ago and I'm a life long exerciser; Ran a marathon on my 60th birthday and two subsequent years in a row ran 1/2 marathons. I had my appendix out when I was 14 and had pneumonia at age 55. Other than that, I'd say I'm a pretty healthy guy.
As I've gotten older and the requirements of my job require that a yearly physical be done, It 's been a pretty routine occurrence. My medical doctor, for personal reasons, closed his practice last year. And wouldn't you know it but this year in the late summer when I felt the need, I felt the NEED to consult a doctor, I had none available.
In August I was training for a 90 mile canoe race scheduled for the weekend after Labor day. Part of that race entails a fair amount of portage mileage; two of which exceed a mile. In addition to conditioning my upper body with frequent paddling sessions, I incorporate daily walking sessions; ranging from 3 to 5 miles. From the get go I was experiencing leg and hip discomfort out of proportion to the effort put forth. Remember, this isn't my first rodeo, I'm used to the aches and soreness commensurate with exercise. This was different and disconcerting. It would have been easy to say; your getting old rel, what'd you expect.
After much urging from my wife and a deepening concern myself, I decided to see a doctor. Well guess what, that's not as easy as it might seem. First, let me remind you again that I work with doctors everyday and I can separate the wheat from the shaft. That limits the pool of Dr.s I trust.
I call the office of two docs that I have implicit faith in only to be told that they are not taking any new patients, but one of their two nurse practitioners is, would I be willing to see her. Sure, no problem says I. "I'll call you" says she. This is the beginning of the second week of August.
"Hi rel, this is Angie at Dr._____'s office. Can you come in the 8th of November?"
My symptom profile was somewhat changed but still disconcerting if only for the fact that it was persisting. Being a medical professional left to my own devices, self diagnosis is a natural consequence of not early enough intervention.
OMG, what if it's this, Oh shit I've got this terminal affliction. Yup the symptoms fit; well sort of, well at least some do.
Now I'm really scared. So scared that I no longer need urging from my wife to seek immediate intervention.
The next day, a Monday, I call a friend and specialist and explain my situation. He insists I come to his office for an exam that afternoon after work.
"I have good news for you rel, your initial concerns are unfounded, you have a ________. And it doesn't require and intervention!"
November 8th: the NP examines me takes an extensive history, sends me to the hospital for xrays and tells me to return right after that's done. Back in the office she brings the xrays up on her office computer, (isn't modern technology great!) and we exam them together. "See the arthritis here, and here and here? And I think I see a compression fx here and one here that seems older; did you hurt your back recently?"
"No." Well I did slip and fall on the stairs last week but my discomfort started way before that."
"Let me run it by the boss, wait here, I'll be right back."
" He says this isn't a fx, however there is an old healed fx here., Which orthopod do you want to see? OK, and which GI guy do you want us to make an appointment for you with; You are due for your 5 year colonoscopy, and here's a sheet to keep track of your blood pressure daily. It's very high today and I want to see some trends. Does it usually run high?"
I saw the orthopod yesterday: "nothing serious rel, here a script for physical therapy. His office is next door and he's free so you can go over and see him now and set up an appointment."
"Hi rel, what's up?"
"Doc P. wants me to see you to get some physical therapy."
"Next Tues. OK?"
"Yup, see ya at 9."
Oh the colonoscopy? January; first opening!
As I get older, I'm pushing the envelope, and it's pushing back. :)
Labels: Dr. visit, pushing the envelope