I basically spent Valentine’s Day in misery suffering from what I later found out was bronchitis.
At least, that’s what the doctor said it was. And I should accept that coming from a licensed medical professional. I realize that.
But it’s the way he arrived at this diagnosis that's got me scratching my head. In fact, I’m still scratching my head about several doctors’ visits I’ve had in the last year or two.
With each visit, lately I’m feeling more and more like I’m going through a drive-thru window at a fast food restaurant more than I am seeking medical attention, check ups or whatever.
First, let me clarify: This is in no way an attack on the medical community at all because Lord knows we need them. They work as hard as, if not harder, than many other professionals out here.
And really, maybe it’s my fault for watching too much “Grey’s Anatomy” or “ER” through the years, but I coulda sworn a standard doctor’s visit entailed some level of warmth, hospitality and at LEAST a question-and-answer period.
(For the sake of anonymity, I’m not going to name the place or anything like that.)
But my recent experience all started when I tried really hard to go to my primary doctor just to find out what the heck was going on with me.
Unfortunately, that office was completely booked with patients, probably suffering with the same thing I have or the flu or whatever other “heebie jeebie” out there, because God knows it’s all going around everywhere.
So I was put on a waiting list, but I didn’t want to take a chance on not getting to a doctor before the day’s end, so I went to another facility that handles this kinda stuff.
After waiting forever just to see the doctor, when I got in there he basically listened to my heartbeat, looked down my throat with the light thingy and promptly diagnosed me with bronchitis.
I was amazed. I coulda sworn I thought they would have had to take some blood, swab my tongue, take some DNA or something before arriving to a conclusion like that.
My eyes widened, reflecting my shock and he mistook it for alarm: “Don’t worry, it’s pretty common this time of year. I will have the nurse bring you the information for your prescription. Thank you and have a nice day,” he said.
This entire process took all of 5 minutes and I tried as hard as I could to ask as many questions as I could quickly think of in that brief time frame, but by the time he completed that sentence, his hand was on the knob and he was on his way out.
So I finally managed a “Wow, that was pretty quick!” And he smiled and said “Yes.” And that was that. He was outta there, while my mouth hung open with “But, but...”
And I’m still scratching my head trying to figure this whole thing out.
I know in these hard times of lay-offs, strenuous work hours, cutbacks and everything else that, just like journalism and many other industries, even healthcare has to struggle to keep afloat, but is this really what I should expect now when it comes to a doctor’s visit? Is this the norm or did I just pick the wrong time of day or place to go?
My medical peeps, will you help me out on this one?