Grateful for Doctors (but tired of seeing them)

Years ago I selected an excellent family physician. I’d take the kids for their well-child checkups, but seldom for anything else. My husband would have his routine physical every five years, and I’d have mine every-other-year. Sickness was rare, and we just didn’t need to see a doctor very often. Most illnesses are self-limiting and don’t require a doctor’s visit.

Life is different now, and it’s hard on my family. I am very glad for all those years that we spent establishing a relationship with our doctor. So many people tell of going from one doctor to the next, searching for years before finally getting a diagnosis. That must be excruciating. When I first went to my doctor about the pains I was experiencing, lab tests were done. I had a referral to a rheumatologist within two weeks.

That was in September ’07. Between testing, physical therapy, and seeing doctors, by the end of December I’d had fourteen medical appointments – more than twice as many as the entire family usually had in an entire year — packed into a few months. Last year I had another fourteen appointments. No wonder my kids look at the calendar and sigh, “Not another doctor’s appointment!”

It is only one week into February, and I’ve already had four appointments this year – with two more scheduled next month, and one in May. I am so incredibly tired of being sent for new tests every time I mention a new symptom! Of course it’s good that doctors are listening and making sure they don’t miss anything, but between tests and follow-up, this is getting exhausting. It’s enough to make a person “forget” to mention anything new to the doctor.

Tomorrow I should hear my biopsy results. I hope it’s negative. I think I could deal with being told that I have a tumor, but I don’t think I’m up to seeing any more doctors for a while. I refuse to average two appointments per month this year. In fact, I think I’m declaring April a doctor-free zone. No new appointments!