It’s a frightening time for some of us when it comes to health care.
And it has nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act, sometimes called Obamacare. Like many of you, I am changing doctors.
My doctor and I go back 33 years and he retired last month.
Over the years, he didn’t have to remind me that I needed to lose 10 pounds, exercise more, eat less meat, use less salt and eat more fruits and vegetables. There aren’t too many doctors that say “Call me at home” if you have a problem.
When you have the same physician for that many years there is a bond.
And free advice on the golf course.
“Doc, I hurt all over,” I told the doc after a round one Sunday.
“What do you mean, all over?” he asked.
I touched my right knee with my index finger and yelled, “Ow, that hurts.” Then I touched my left cheek and again yelled, “Ouch! That hurts, too.” Then I touched my right earlobe, “Ow, even THAT hurts.”
“You have a broken finger. Let me wrap it and call me in the morning,” the doctor said.
I see my doctor professionally about once every 13 to 14 months when he forces me to make an appointment.
I call it blackmail. He calls it “preventive medicine.”
At my last visit I complained of memory loss.
“I just hope it’s not Alzheimer’s,” I told him, hoping he could prescribe a magic pill. “I'm getting terribly forgetful; I lose track of where I'm going, or what I'm supposed to do when I get there. What should I do?”
“Pay me in advance?”
Seriously, when it comes to healthcare—and I know this from experience in my family—the doctor is everything. There is so much more to a patient/doctor visit than just a diagnosis. It’s about communicating
So Thursday morning I have a check up with a new physician.
Is there some anxiety? Of course!
I don’t have to worry about eating anything after midnight. I probably couldn’t keep it down.
I’ve seen my doctor so many times in 33 years, I knew the routine. I knew his nurse. I knew his partners just in case one of them had to fill in for emergencies. And raising two kids, it seemed there were always emergencies. And they knew me.
I have visited with specialists over those 33 years but I was either too sick or in too much pain to care.
(Aren’t today’s pain-killers wonderful? They do nothing for the pain but you feel so good you don’t care.)
Yep, tomorrow I will venture into the unknown to an unknown office with unknown staff and an unknown doctor.
I think I’ll live through it.
So will you, when YOU have to make a switch.