Sunday, March 28, 2010

dear doctor, do you want to be my friend?

I've decided that I need to make friends with a doctor or two.

I've been accused of being a hypochondriac, probably since first grade. My teacher yelled a lot, and I called home sick a lot. It helped that I would get to take a pillow and blanket and go to work with my mom, where I would get Gatorade. I may have been a hypochondriac then, but now I think I just may be guilty of being conscious of what is wrong and vocal about it. Luckily A is pretty tolerant.

It does seems that there is always something wrong with me. Never major issues, just little things. For example, about a week ago, I wore sandals for the first time this season. It was a super cute outfit, but a few hours into the day my right foot started to hurt, on the side of my big toe. It started coming back to me, that these sandals, although they are Naturalizers (a comfort brand) do give me blisters sometimes. Well, after running to catch the train to work, I checked out my toe, and not only did I have a blister, but a broken blister. It stung. It ended up hurting enough that I had to stop into Smith's and buy some flip flops to continue on my daily walk. So, the blister is still healing. I've been nursing it for what seems like forever now.

Then last week I cut my right index finger on a tin can, TWICE! Same finger on two different occasions!

So far, these things have not required a doctor. Just examples of some of my minor infirmities. But last night, something weird happened. My right index toe (is there even such a thing? but I think you know what I mean) started feeling weird. It is still feeling weird. Not really hurting, but swollen and tender. It is just weird, and looks weird. It is one of those things that will probably go away in a few days, and not worth paying a giant copay to be told to take ibuprofin for.

But still, it would be nice to know a doctor that I could just give a call when I have concerns like these, or worse than these. It would also be nice to have a doctor friend that could write prescriptions for me. Sometimes I know what I have, and yet when I call doctors I have seen before, they insist I come in, or insist that I go to instacare. Then, 20+ dollars later, they give me a diagnosis I had already given myself, and prescribe me the drugs that I already knew I needed. This frustrates me unbelievably. (I'm actually having one of these predicaments today, and just hoping I feel better tomorrow. Here's to hoping.)

So doctors, want to be my friend? I promise not to call you for every little bruise and scrape, just some of them.


Ana said...

I have been friends with doctors and never have felt good about asking them to do their job as part of our friendship. That's just awkward. I wouldn't want them to ask me to copy edit all their letters, you know?

Anyway, re the accident proneness, I have that too. I have noticed that sometimes it seems related to hormonal swings, bus mostly it comes from hurrying too much and trying to do too many things at once.

I have been working on a little deep breathing practice, just 6 seconds inhale and 6 seconds exhale, 20 breaths before I go to sleep at night. This was recommended by my M-W-F fitness class teacher at the YMCA. It helps me sleep better and I am hoping maybe it will help me be more generally calm and present in my life, so I won't get so many dumb owies.

alyddall said...

I vote with Anna - that it is bad form to ask the doctor to do his professional stuff for you for free unless he is your father or you have some cost-saving favor to offer in return. Doctors have a lot of overhead expenses in their businesses and our copays and not bad, relatively speaking. However, the co-pays are going up when the health insurance group plan renews in May. If there are things you feel you should see the doctor for but are waiting - it will cost you $10 more after May 1, just FYI.

What your post brought to mind, though, was the "Symptom Advisor" that you can access through the website with our insurance. It won't solve many of your problems, but it might help you feel better about some things or else give you the peace of mind about it being worth it to spend the money and see the doctor. You have to set up a login to use it. I like it for looking up kid symptoms where I have to make the decision about whether to go in without actually being able to feel the symptoms myself.

I was also looking on their website to see if they have a "Phone a nurse" option that I could tell you about. I didn't find it, at least yet, but one insurance plan we had in the past had that and I found it very helpful for the sort of things you describe. Call Select Health and ask if they do.

My pediatrician lets me email him about the kids for free. I do agree that it would be nice if my doctor let me do the same!

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