I finally broke down and went to the doctor. My aversion to seeking medical advice is surprising to some – I AM a nurse…so it would seem that going to the doctor would be a regular occurrence. The whole “practice what you preach” phenomenon…but…I rarely get ill. When I do get ill, I just want a dark room and solitude – neither of which are available in a medical office. When I finally go, it usually means that my quality of life has been impacted in some way (i.e. I can’t lift the ice tea pitcher as in my earlier post!).
My back has made sleeping impossible for the past three weeks. I have tried a variety of sleep aides, a heating pad, pillows and at one point, massive amounts of wine – which only produced a headache to accompany my back pain. After four nights of sleeping in two hour stints…I’d had it. It was time. Give me drugs.
I have seen the doctor exactly two times over the past two years. The first time was due to my increasing work load and my ability to self-monitor my depression. I was diagnosed with major depression about ten years ago and have been on and off anti-depressants for the same length of time. I could feel that my emotions were getting the best of me so I called the MD office to request a consult to increase my anti-depressants for a bit. I am unsure what was actually construed to the doctor but by her response, it must have been something like..”She’s about to jump….get her in quick!!!” I was given an appointment the same day which should have given me a clue that they may have had the wrong picture. When I walked into the office, I was quickly ushered into a patient room after about…three seconds. Apparently, they didn’t want a depressed woman waiting very long. The doctor rushed in, apologizing for making me wait…again…for the three seconds. She seemed a bit flustered when she couldn’t find the number for therapy and literally yelled down the hallway – “I need the therapist number…quickly”. I tried explaining that I was feeling a bit overwhelmed…not suicidal…which seemed to give her some relief – although the remaining time of the visit was a bit awkward. She continued to assess me while I tried my best to look mentally healthy enough to leave but depressed enough to get my medication. I left thinking…I really need to move this over to a Psychiatrist.
My last visit was due to my back. I actually forgot that this was the main reason for my visit since I came out with a Pelvic, Colonoscopy, Mammogram and labs…and a lecture about coming in more often if I don’t want to be accosted in every way possible all at once. I longed for my depressive period – she had mentioned the colonoscopy but had followed with “but let’s not think about that now…” as if knowing that having a camera inserted into my rear would definitely make my depression worse. I did follow through with all of my delinquent tests…and can certify..I’m overwhelmingly healthy. Except for my back. And my occasional need for a mood stabilizer.
So on to this visit. She reminded me that this was my second visit for my back and asked how I injured it. She didn’t bat an eye when I told her “By blowing my nose”. “Yep..that happens…” REALLY? I don’t know whether to feel better or worse! I guess I’ll up my Vitamin C and try to keep my nasal passages clear. This was followed with a formidable lecture on how this was “Just a tickle compared to what it could be” and if I don’t start talking it seriously, I would one day “be begging her to cut into my back to stop the pain…” Wow! I’m glad the depression is off the table and she’s not afraid to mince words anymore! So…no more boot camp for a while and a script for 6 weeks of physical therapy. This was followed with another lecture regarding coming in when the pain starts and not avoiding the doctors office. After thinking through the past year, however, I just want to say….This is why I don’t come here often! In the end, I do have to say, however, that I do love my doc. She’s actually been one of my favorites – which if she knew me well enough, she would be able to tell. My last doctors only saw me when I was pregnant…or truly depressed…or unable to lift my tea pitcher. Again…it’s all about quality of life.