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10 December 2008

doctor's diagnosis: sinusitis

I was nervous to go to the doctor today. I called around to a few clinics and urgent care centers yesterday afternoon to see what places could take me soonest and at what price. Despite reading a couple lackluster reviews for the health center closest to me, I booked an appointment anyway. Were I needing to see someone about Migraine, perhaps I would have been a bit more cautious. But since I was going in to get some antibiotics for a seemingly routine sinus infection, I figured it wouldn't hurt to see a family doctor and hope for the best. The initial appointment is only $50 (over $110 cheaper than my second option, and 4 miles closer to my house!); after that, you pay on a sliding scale based on income information you provide to the clerk. The maximum payment for a doctor's visit is $50, however. Awesome.

It's been over two years since I had a good, old-fashioned, regular (read: non-neurologist, non-ER) doctor's appointment and I was pretty nervous. I prepare myself for a meeting with someone who might not be a good listener, who might not be warm and caring. Despite his being warm and kind, my former neurologist was not the best listener--his NPs were atrocious, but that's a whole other story.

This feels silly, to be basking in the glow of a great doctor's appointment. Who does this? Someone who has been treated as if she were just another routine appointment to check off the list during a very long, very typical day? I'm not sure. Someone who's used to people trying to play her (contractors for home improvements, car repair folks, insurance companies)? Maybe. In any case, I was really happy with almost every aspect of my time spent at the place.

First off, I must give props (ew--I've never said that before and hope never to again; I'll keep it in to remind myself of that solemn oath) to the receptionist I spoke with yesterday afternoon when making the appointment. She heard how stuffed up I was and was really warm and very helpful: "Oh, honey, you don't sound good! Let me see if I can squeeze you in tomorrow morning. And I'll call you if something opens up this afternoon!"

Despite my better intentions, I drove to the center instead of walking. Hey, it was raining and I felt sick and the .9 mile drive probably didn't kill the environment all that much. By the time I left, the rain was POURING down and I was grateful to have a car. I walked in to a room half-full of families of various races. Seemed most people had colds or the flu--it is a rainy December, after all. The guy at the desk was really friendly, even when I walked up to the window after an hour to ask when I would be seen. Yeah, that was the frustrating part--my ten o'clock appointment ended up being at 11:05. Alas. Luckily I didn't have anything better to do than sit and read.

Oh, oh! The WAITING ROOM! I'd brought my red-tinted shady glasses to protect my little eyeballs and brain from the inevitable fluorescent lights, and guess what? The waiting room was softly lit with low-wattage incandescent bulbs. Oh, what a relief, especially when the wait was a bit long! Even my highly revered neurologist, a headache specialist, has glaring fluorescents in the waiting room. (I really don't mean to rag on him and his staff so much--apparently I have some pent-up bitterness!)

I got weighed and was a bit disappointed--turns out the post-Zonegran weight I successfully gained has, for the most part, dropped off again. Still technically underweight by a couple pounds, but I don't look creepy-skinny or anything. Not at all. I waited in the exam room for a while between nurse and doctor visits, but I passed the time by reading an outdated People--I hadn't realized just how bad the writing and stories and fluff had gotten! Not my style. The doctor walked in and I immediately felt a sense of relief--she was young, smiling, and genuinely apologetic about the supposedly atypical wait. She seemed knowledgeable about Migraine disease, patiently listened to my whole story of the cold-turned-sinus-trouble, and made some OTC drug recommendations as she prescribed an antibiotic. I mentioned something else troublesome to her and she was really comforting and helpful on that front, too--more on that later. For now I'm freaking myself out a bit over a symptom that could very well be nothing, so I'll just wait it out 'til I forget about it again.

All in all, I was really pleased--can you tell? What a sense of relief! How great to have a ten- or fifteen-minute appointment with a doctor who listens, who's friendly, and who didn't act like I was crazy when I mentioned weird symptoms I was concerned about. Three cheers for new doctor! I have a checkup next week. If I'm still this infatuated, maybe she will become my regular family doctor! Yippee.

Very sleepy and very sinusy and very drugged up.

No significant migraine pain for eight days, kids. EIGHT DAYS! True I have this sinusitis frustration, but it sure does beat a migraine episode!

4 comments:

Emily said...

8 days - wowie! that is awesome.

i think this is the thing; we get SO used to being ignored or feeling like we're not believed. it's ridiculous. i find it insanely ... insane that our symptoms are somehow 'less than' because they're invisible. :/

i am glad it was a good appointment! that's always such a relief. :)

Christy said...

Congratulations on finding a public space with no fluorescents. (And a nice doctor, too!) Amazing.

themigrainegirl said...

Well, the fluorescents were present in the exam rooms, but the majority of my visit was in the waiting room and THAT'S the place where things were quiet and comfortable. Lovely.

themigrainegirl said...

And Emily: I think you're right! Even when I talk to some friends about Migraine, I am extremely self-conscious, believing that I sound like a crazy person. ("Oh, I can't exercise TOO much--overexertion triggers migraine. Oh, I can't sit in your house without sunglasses on, sorry--those lightbulbs are dangerous." Etc., etc.)

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