Thursday, May 07, 2009
Okay, I lied: I do have something of substance to say, although it mostly takes the form of whining.
My health's been crotchety lately. Until a few days ago, the arthritis in my right knee was really acting up, so much so that I went to Urgent Care one day when the knee had buckled and then started crunching and clicking much more than usual. The UC doc didn't even do an x-ray: just slapped an Ace bandage on me and sent me home. "Yeah, it's just arthritis." As my sister points out, my symptoms could have been exacerbated by our recent rainy spell, which is now -- blessedly -- over. We always need rain here, but I still much prefer sunshine!
Meanwhile, my allergies have been going nuts, and Claritin just isn't cutting it. Gary has gently urged me to go see my doctor, and I should probably do that. I've been coughing a lot at night, and my chest's been a bit tight. My sister said, "You don't have asthma, do you?" which prompted me to do a search for adult-onset asthma. I still don't think I have it, but I certainly have a bunch of risk factors: female, check; menopausal, check; allergies, check; rhinitis, check.
I like my primary-care doc, but he's following the pattern I've seen with a lot of physicians: first they're great listeners and really take their time with diagnoses, but then they succumb to the fifteen-minute my-eyes-are-glazed-because-I-have-ten-more-patients-after-you-and-I'm-running-late office visit, the one where you're lucky if you can get a distracted "uh-huh" out of them. (And this is a guy who started his own practice to get away from all that.) I'm not blaming him -- it's very difficult to practice humane medicine in today's insurance environment -- but it's frustrating, and there's part of me that always takes the rushed-ness personally, even though I know full well that it has nothing to do with me. Plus, I feel like most of what he does is being a gatekeeper for specialists. Plus, I've seen him a few times in the last few months, and I always feel like if I go to my doctor too often, I'll get pigeonholed as "that neurotic depressive hypochondriac," which may already be happening with this doc and certainly happened with the last one. (Intellectually I know that depression's a risk factor for more purely "physical illnesses," and vice versa, but I've had a lot of years of feeling as if any physical symptoms are being chalked up to my depression diagnosis.) This doc is great about answering e-mail -- very admirable, given his hectic schedule -- but I feel like e-mailing him counts as pestering, too.
But if nothing else, I should go see him to get better allergy meds, right? Plus, I've been under real-world stress which could cause legitimate health flare-ups, right?
Meanwhile, today I see the Gum Doc to find out if I need grafts. Oh, joy. At least my dentist told me to see this guy, so I'm there on someone else's authority and can't be accused of malingering.
Also, last night I had another good cry about Dad. I'm not sure what triggered this one, but I guess it's not important. After all, it's been less than seven weeks since he died. And crying's healthy. Right?
On the plus side, I swam for an hour on Tuesday, so obviously my lung function can't be too impaired!