How accurate is your descriptive ability?
Recently, had a doctor’s appointment, which was made many months ago. I didn’t have a medical need at the time but I agreed since I hadn’t seen her in a very, very long time. I don’t do regular check-ups, usually only going when there is something wrong and I usually wait too long before calling often suffering much more than I need to. I have never taken all the preventative shots much to the vexation of my doctor, but I did take a shingles shot several years ago after seeing people suffer with severe symptoms. The doctor has given up on trying to talk me into them.
Now COVID was a horse of a different colour and I got the vaccine as soon as it became available for me and will take the booster when it’s my turn. I guess the threat of brutal pain, raw sores, ventilators and death seem to inspire me more than the doctor’s coaxing.
I developed an eye infection a few weeks back. I self-diagnosed an allergic reaction to cleaning eaves troughs, raking and packing totes of wet, slightly rotted and likely moldy leaves. I began Mayo Clinic recommendations – extreme hygiene constantly, warm compresses many times a day, ibuprofen for discomfort, which I limited to morning and night for a couple days and Polysporin drops, Joan brought me.
Knowing I was likely contagious I stayed inside and cancelled all my activities including a garden visit at Mae’s, yard work and porch visit with my sister and, most heartbreaking, the Moose Meat Tillsonburg News reunion and time capsule reveal.
Before my appointment I let the doctor know of my eye issue. This courtesy was met with immediate cancellation of my appointment. I was told it was to protect other patients and staff at the medical centre. My appointment was replaced with a time and date for a telephone consultation a week later.
I was stunned because now I actually had a reason to go and this appointment had been booked so long ago. Much can be done over the phone but she needed to see my eye, I complained. No amount of whining, pleading or dramatics would alter their decision.
We tend to either downplay or over dramatize our medical complaints. Some of us are the “oh, it’s nothing” kind of patient while others ask “what if it’s a tropical disease that might infect my brain?” kind of person.
With COVID many people have been forced to use telephone calls with their doctors to get help for ailments. I had to wonder what impact on people’s health these phone consultations might have had over the past couple years. What if someone had a serious illness but was not able to give an accurate portrayal of their symptoms. It could be life-threatening. We need to resume hands on doctor visits.