Nope, not a Doctor Who post. Sorry Gallifreyans.
There was a time when I actively avoided doctors. I really did. I was afraid if I went to a doctor, they’d look at me and find something small that was wrong and then they’d take away something I enjoyed doing as a result. Or worse, it would be something big AND have that same end result. Never believed for a moment that I’d one day require EIGHT of them to maintain that pesky breathing habit I developed 32 years ago.
I’m not one to debate politics, but the people who complain about Obamacare must be, in my mind at least, A) hardier souls than I, with a breakfast of nails and rubber tires to be digested by cast iron stomachs or B) extremely well off, thus never NEEDING to worry about a doctor’s care.
I come from a middle class background. We didn’t have the luxury of being careless and fancy free with our health. If anything, I was the guy in high school who was actively calling ambulances for friends who were passing out at parties from alcohol poisoning (true story). My parents did their best to make sure we got to a doctor if we really needed it. We tried to walk it off when possible.
To this day, my mother is notorious for getting injured, then waving off assistance.
So when Jaime told me I had eight doctors now, I almost laughed. That couldn’t be true.
It turns out I have a primary care, a pulmanologist, a sleep specialist, a vascular doctor, a cardiologist, a physical therapist, an endocrinologist and a genetic counselor. That’s not even counting the surgeon who saved my life or the dietician I was going to prior to the surgery! If I had a security officer, I could be Jean-Luc Freaking Picard and go on away missions.
The reason I bring this up is I got the results from my “stress test”.
Apparently I have to go three times a week to the hospital that may or may not have wanted to send me home with ‘pneumonia’ that, in an awful tangent universe, resulted in my untimely departure from the world’s stage. I’ve been told rehab is fine there, though I have as much of an idea of what it entails as I did when I saw the ‘nuclear site’ on the door before going for the stress test.
Part of my punch-drunk reaction to this is do to this juggling act that I have to play with every medical update. I’m not sure if this is the case with anyone else who has dealt with aortic dissections, but it seems to cause conflict with different kinds of doctors. My primary care is trying to treat my weight and blood pressure with medications- too many, according to some. I go to a different doctor and the prescribe a different medication- something more effective and maybe less expensive? I go back to Doctor One, and they say this is wrong and prescribe something else. Doctor Two counters.
Now, I know my weight is a factor because I’m trying to maintain a steady heartbeat while also losing weight. Some of these meds can’t handle doing both. One medication is to help even out a deficiency in chemicals, but simultaneously causes water retention. It’s meant to kickstart my metabolism, which will help me lose weight…but there might be fluid buildup in the meantime.
Someone order a stress test?
I know that it’s a total first world problem to worry about having too many doctors. The only reason I bring it up at all is, again, to share the rehabilitation experience because I had a hard time finding similar accounts to use as a reference. I’m exceptionally grateful to have the ability to get the care I need, and as my boss at school said, thank God we have decent insurance as teachers.
Guess the world I saw before the operation went away when they put me under anesthesia. This is my world now. I’ll just have to learn to make it work.
And yes, before it is pointed out, I am fully aware of the irony of my doctor fear while I am 28 days from marrying Dr. Jaime. She’s a psychologist though, so all I really have to worry about with her is a Harley Quinn situation.
Oh God, I’m giving her ideas.
Until next time,