So, I'm sick with yet another sinus and ear infection. Only instead of getting one every month, I'm only getting one every three months so that's a huge improvement. I don't even understand how something as small as a sinus infection can make you feel so terrible, but it does and I'm ready for my medicine to kick in. This brings us to today's topic of doctors and healthcare.
The summer after I moved back to Huntsville in 2003, I was struck with a bizarre virus which kept me in a fever and diagnosed haze for two weeks. I had to go to a doctor and so I went to the doctor my parents were using, Dr. S; and no, he never figured out what was wrong with me, but clearly I'm still alive. Dr. S. was a no-nonsense and no-frills kind of doctor. His waiting room and exam rooms were bland and boring. He was a small man who grew a large woolly beard in the winter and he wasn't one for small talk. He got to the point, wrote you a prescription, gave you samples if he had some and sent you on your way. The thing I loved most about Dr. S was that when you had a sinus infection, he would write you a prescription that included a refill so he wouldn't have to fool with you two months later when you were back with the same symptoms. Actually, I don't know why he gave a refill on his anti-biotics, but it helped our family out on several occasions.
A few years ago (maybe five, maybe eight, I lose track of time), Dr. S. decided to close his practice and move away to Tennessee (I think it was Tennessee). It was a sad day because once you get comfortable with someone, it's hard to go to someone else. I had no idea what doctor I would choose. I had occasionally been to a Dr. R/I/R (she was married and divorced a lot, but she was in Madison (too long of a drive) and not my favorite person in the world so I wasn't keen on going to her. My parents decided on Dr. M who was the same doctor for my grandparents and who I always have associated with my grandmother's dying days and eventually when I really needed a doctor, I ended up going to Dr. M as well because who else would I choose and how would I go about choosing them? It's not like you can interview doctors.
So, I've been going to Dr. M for a few years now and overall I would say he's a good doctor. He gets the job done and has never mistreated or misdiagnosed me. He is awfully hard to understand because he is from India; but, overall, he's a nice man. The problem I had with him was that since my grandfather went there and also my parents, he was always telling me who had been in to the office (maybe even the same day as me). Sometimes he would tell my family members that I had been in and they would call and ask what kind of sickness I had as if they had a crystal ball and knew I was sick when really it was just Dr. M. blabbing his mouth. Um, what about doctor/patient confidentiality Dr. M?
The last few times I've been sick, I've just gone to the local QuickCare Clinic at Propst. I've always had good luck there in that there has never been a long wait and I really like the nurse practitioner who shares my love of Birkenstocks. Plus, it's a lot easier to go there after work or on the weekend rather than take time off from work during the week to go see Dr. M. Also, Dr. M wants you to come in every three months to get your prescriptions refilled and that might be great if I was 80 years old, but I'm 37 and don;t feel the need to see you every three months for no reason at all. Ain't nobody got time for that!
A year or so ago, my parents left Dr. M for reasons we won't get into here on the blog and that just left me and my granddad going there. Still, Dr. M. was blabbing his mouth about my granddad's appointments and I'm sure telling my granddad about my appointments and it always got under my skin. The final straw was back last fall when I went in for a physical which was to my surprise not a physical at all, but just another "let me refill your prescription" appointment. When Dr. M. walked in, he asked me about something going on with my family that was completely untrue and to be honest made me want to jump up from the table and punch someone and no doubt caused my blood pressure to rise while he was taking my blood pressure. It probably goes without saying, I haven't been back. I've just been going to the QuickCare ever since.
As a result of all of this, I've been on a mission to find a decent doctor and have been told by various people how great Dr. So and So is only to find out Dr. So and So isn't taking new patients. On Thursday, I called I don't know how may doctors, none of whom were taking new patients and one who was - in April! My friend Meri told me about her doctor, Dr. W and he was the last one I called. His receptionist was also the nicest of the all receptionists I spoke with. Dr. W didn't have any appointments for new patients for a couple of weeks. The receptionist explained that I would be able to get in the same day if I was an established patient. So, I went ahead and made an appointment for late April (after my dentist appointment on the same day) to meet Dr. W and see what he's all about. Based on what Meri's told me about him, I think I'm going to like him and if I like him, then I'm going to refer my parents to him because they don't like the doctor they are using now either. With any luck, we will all like Dr. W. and he will become our new doctor and maybe, just maybe he won't tell our other family members our business.