Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Feeling Old

My grades are in, and I'm celebrating with a round of doctor's appointments. Sigh.

Ever since the migraine from the Black Lagoon, which after all was over a month ago, I've had annoying headaches. So today I hied myself to my friendly Primary Care Provider, who called in a script for antibiotics. He agrees with my assessment that it may be a sinus infection.

Meanwhile, my right knee has gotten really crunchy again, and stairs are once again a challenge, so tomorrow I'm returning to my friendly Orthopod for another cortisone shot. I was complaining about this to my PCP -- between my back, my knee, and various other creaky bits, the pain-somewhere-every-day thing makes me feel more like I'm eighty than like I'm fifty -- but he wasn't very interested. Without taking his eyes off his PDA, he said that I just have to keep up my exercise, or I'll feel even worse.


Also, I seem to have gained back the few pounds I'd lost, which is more than a little discouraging. I told the PCP about that, too, but he just grunted (still looking at the PDA). I'm sure he hears such complaints all the time; still, I've started to hate having to see him for anything, since the contact feels so impersonal. I'm not sure any other primary-care folks in town are any better, though. It seems to be the nature of the territory.

The Orthopod is more personable, or was the last time I saw him, anyway. My chiropractor's infinitely more personable; she spends no longer with me per appointment than my PCP does (an average of ten minutes), but I feel like she sees me as a whole person, not just a presenting symptom. Of course, she sees me every week, which makes a difference. She also makes much more eye contact, with makes a huge difference.

Elsewhere in health news, my current CPAP mask has started to ooze blue silicone goo, so I got online to order another and discovered that my favorite mask's being discontinued. Horrors! So I ordered three. The website where I buy them now requires a prescription even for a mask. What in the world? Is there a big black market in CPAP masks? Are people using them to snort illicit substances? I can't imagine why access to these things needs to be controlled.

But it does, evidently. Conveniently, the website offers to contact your doctor for the script, so I entered my pulmonologist's name . . . and up popped her group-practice name, address and phone number. These folks are good!

With any luck, my knee will feel markedly better tomorrow, and my head will feel markedly better within the next ten days, and my back will remain at the not-happy-but-not-screaming level. Then maybe I'll start to feel a few decades younger.

My current decrepitude is so frustrating at least partly because I feel like I do so much right. I don't smoke; I drink hardly anything (an inch of wine every two weeks, at most); I take my vitamins, wear my seatbelt, eat pretty darn well, and exercise religiously. But, like the good doc said, I guess there's no way to know how much worse I'd feel otherwise.

Tomorrow we're getting our new awning, which will make sitting outside much easier than it is now. Sunshine will help.


  1. Anonymous4:56 AM

    First, I sympathise with your pains and discouragement about your body. :-(

    Second, although there certainly could be worse PCPs out there, there also must be better ones! I've never had such rudeness (and yes, it is rude,) and I can't imagine that west coast doctors have inherently better people skills. I encourage listening to your emotions about this doctor.


  2. Anonymous5:48 AM

    Creaking right along with you, sister. For the poundage, try the No S Diet -- Eat satisfying meals, but just one plateful and no Snacks, no Sugary foods (you can have sugar as an ingredient in non-sweets), no Seconds except for Sometimes on Special days. Works slowly, but it works.

  3. Sunshine is better for you than doctors.

  4. Anonymous7:21 AM

    Tell your PCP that he needs to LOOK at you and listen to you during the appointments. I said that recently to my doc and it did work. It was a bit awkward for a few seconds but then OK.
    I am starting to hate electronic medical records as the docs are so busy typing or reading they forget to look at us, the patient. Often too, their back is turned to us. I think they need scribes but the cost of that is probably prohibitive.


  5. Anonymous1:44 PM

    Dear Susan,

    Congratulations on turning in your grades! As you "celebrate" by catching up with all your doctors about all your aches and pains, I hope you and Gary will also have a chance to celebrate in some way that feels more like fun.

    Hope the awning goes up easily and you get to sit under it soon,



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