Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Clinic Saga continued

(this is a continuation of a previous post)

The woman who is sitting next to me continues to wait for her name to be called. She's huffing and puffing and checking her watch. She approaches the receptionist saying, "I just need to see the doctor for a moment. I have to go pick up my kids by 6pm or the day care charges me extra." I'm thinking that she's in a much worse situation than me, so I'm not too upset when they call her in before me.... even though I know my appointment was higher in the queue.

I can hear the conversation going on behind the desk. The woman is saying that her bottom lip is totally numb, and the nurse is telling her that she is having a terrible allergic reaction and should have gone to the ER.

Finally they call my name and I'm a taken into an exam room where the nurse takes my vitals.

It's only about 5 minutes before the doctor comes in.

DR: Tell me what has been going on.

SBE: Well I've been wheezing and coughing an awful lot. It seems like it's been going on for weeks.

DR: (listens to my chest with her stethoscope) Yes, you are wheezing, you have bronchitis. Do you have any family history of bronchitis or asthma?

SBE: No, but do you think it could be caused by allergies? Because it seems like it only happens when I'm at home. Do you think it could be my cats? (I've been doing my own internet research. We poor folk often have to self diagnose if we can't afford to go to the doctor)

DR: Yes, it could be your cats. You should get rid of them.

OBVIOUSLY this woman does not have any pets and if she does, I feel sorry for the poor little creatures. If anyone knows me they know how INSANE-in-love I am with my cats and they would never even THINK of suggesting this. It is equivalent to someone saying a mother should put her children up for adoption. At this point I'm ready to burst into tears. I didn't want to cry in front of everyone so I managed to keep some sort of composure until I got home.

She writes three Rx's - amoxicillin, and two different inhalers. And as she's doing so, she's asking me if I will come back to this clinic after I get my insurance (I had briefly mentioned getting new job, etc). It makes sense that when people who have good insurance go to a clinic like this, it helps their patients who don't have insurance. I understand that. But do I really want to screw around with this sort of thing???? This is my health and my body we are talking about here. Not to mention the emotional stress of visiting the clinic.

I feel for those people, I really do. I feel like I have been one of them. It hasn't been as hard for me because I don't have kids to deal with, and Steve and I know that if we ever have any kind of real huge problem, our parents are stable enough to back us up. A lot of people don't have that kind of insurance. They have nothing.

But I feel like I deserve the right to go to a doctor's office that is clean and private, where medical professionals aren't too stressed to be compassionate. The doc says she wants to see me again in one week. "Okay," I say. I hope I never set foot in the clinic again, unless it's to donate money to them (if I were THAT well off....)

As I'm writing my check for the doctor's fee the paramedics are there picking up the swollen lip lady. "What else was on the pizza?" they're asking her as they wheel her out on a stretcher.

Now I have my inhalers that will hopefully get me by until I can see my new Dr.... who will hopefully refer me to an allergist, and never suggest giving my children up for adoption. I already feel much better after one day. It's a whole different world when you can finally breathe.

1 comment:

Katy said...

If you need a doctor, I have a really great one, but she might be too far out of your way to use, though its not too difficult to get there, and the parking (if you decide to drive) is only $2. Let me know.