Friday, March 31, 2006

I heart Dr. C

Of course I had my knitting with me when I went to the doctor yesterday. My appointment was at 10:30 and I didn't leave the office until noon. Plenty o' time for playing with yarn.

When he finally walked into the examination room, his face lit up as if I were a long-lost friend. Now I'm not a huge health-care consumer, so it surprises me even
when the nurses remember me from one visit to the next. He told me I looked really good, to which I replied that I'd cut my hair. And then he said the magic words:

"No, no! You look like you've lost some weight!" He glanced at my chart and confirmed that I had. And said, "You look so well!"

For someone visiting a physician's office, that statement was more than a little bit funny.

We talked for a bit, and it turns out that I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, of which there are four types:
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Alternating diarrhea and constipation
  • Abdominal pain
I would be the first type. In other words, I'm full of shit. [Some Both of you already knew that, though, didn't you?]

He gave me samples of Zelnorm, a newish prescription drug which is supposed to treat [but not cure – this is one of those "we can manage it but we can't cure it" conditions] IBS. You've probably seen commercials for this product on the evening news. The irony of my taking a heavily advertised prescription drug will not be lost on anyone who knows me well. I've been against prescription drug advertising for the past several years, and it doesn't take much to get me on my soapbox about it.

I'll spare you.

Finally, I didn't have to convince him to order the less-invasive test first, considering how difficult my first colonoscopy was – he suggested it. Doesn't make the prep much easier, but it's a whole lot less expensive and traumatic!

I can't say enough good things about finding a doctor who listens. I grew up in a world where doctors told you what to do and take and eat [remember those single-sheet 'diet' plans they used to hand out?] to make you better. Today they offer choices, and expect you to think about what plan is going to work for you and your lifestyle. Nothing either of my doctors recommends will hurt me, but they offer alternatives and I get to pick. I used to be uncomfortable with this method of practicing medicine, but I've learned that ultimately it's up to me to choose a treatment I know I'll be able to live with. Literally.

The 'procedure' will be done Monday morning … Sunday should be fun.

1 comment:

Jim Purdy said...

It's great to have a doctor who listens, but even a doctor who doesn't listen can still be helpful. My doctors get upset when I refuse to take prescription medications, but all I want the doctors to do is order lab tests and give me the raw lab results. With the lab results, I can use internet tools to look up more information, and I can then be an informed person taking responsibility for my own decisions. (It helps that I'm a volunteer in a hospital library, where I have access to the same information as the doctors.)