Monday, October 5, 2009

Life: It's Difficult When Your Doctor Moves Away




After this more personal note I will go back to "regular" programming about fabric and art - I promise! I have just been pondering life recently too much I guess!

I am  old enough to remember doctors that called back when a patient or their family called in with a question. I am old enough to remember when doctor's seemed to actually care about their patient's and when health management was more about health and less about management and dollars. I  am also old enough to remember when I never needed to go to a doctor so that having a "family" doctor was anathema to me. A "quick clinic" was always good enough for bronchitis or simple matters that required a 15 minute visit and a single script for antibiotics or cough medicine.

I have always had a difficult time liking doctors and I am certain that this aversion lies with my mother's doctor. Mother was an alcoholic - dt's, hallucinations, hospitalizations etc. Her doctor gave her ups, downs and in-betweens. I always had a difficult time with that but have come to accept that this was, after all, the era of three martini lunches and no restrictions on medications that today we would be shocked to ever see prescribed. I don't blame the doctor - it was the time & space and my mother's own refusal to acknowledge that she had a problem at all ... neither did my father or step-father for that matter.

I have been very hesitant to see doctor's and, when I do see them I generally think that they are only half listening to me and only giving me credit for having half a mind and no body  'smarts'  at all!  Over the years I have been been fairly lucky to have found several doctors who I felt very comfortable with and two of those were people that I could easily have been able to think of as friends had I known them outside of their practice. One of these wonderful doctors retired - finding that insurance companies were too tedious to deal with any longer. My next doctor was young and excellent and I was glad to have had him as my "family doctor"for several years. He moved on to bigger and greater things - and for him this made sense I  know. My latest doctor was the best. He was like Marcus Welby - he actually c-a-r-e-d about his patients, he made the call-backs himself (!), he followed up on things without lots of phone tag. He was young and up-to-date on the latest & greatest that the world of medicine had to offer. This doctor even gave me credit for knowing my own body and he l-i-s-t-e-n-e-d carefully. He was all business - but practiced business with a heart. Now, after only a couple of years he too has left the clinic that many of us go to. If it were a publicly known reason why he left I think many people would have campaigned to keep him here. Some of us have hoped that he will one day return.

So I have "lost" three doctors over 10 years. Now what? Where is my next "Marcus Welby MD"? Unfortunately, unless I travel far away I will need to chose another local doctor. Before he left "Marcus" told me who he thought would be my best local choice (and why) and he also recommended some "traveling distance' physicians in the event that I was not happy with anyone here. I am back to having my blood pressure rise & my heart beat faster every time I have to show up at a doctor's appointment. I hate it...I miss my "Marcus Welby"as I know many others here do. There are not many of them left in the world of medicine which has become a world of dollars rather than sense.




6 comments:

ANNA said...

Here in UK I remember the days when our 'family doctor' came to see us at home when we were ill so that my parents did not have to struggle to get sick kids to the surgery. Now I am lucky if it takes two weeks to get an 'emergency' appointment at the clinic and it's tough if you are too ill to travel!! Hope your next MD is more like Patrick Dempsey (Grey's Anatomy) !! Lush!

phonelady said...

Ah and yes lest we forget you live on an island as well . I hope you find your next marcus welby very soon . ever since last night I have been hearing alot of dr talk . last night was the network premier of three rivers and I watched intently knowing full well that we would probably never in my life time visit a great dr like these . Oh well back to reality now and you too my dear and hope you find your marcus soon .

phonelady said...

Ah and yes lest we forget you live on an island as well . I hope you find your next marcus welby very soon . ever since last night I have been hearing alot of dr talk . last night was the network premier of three rivers and I watched intently knowing full well that we would probably never in my life time visit a great dr like these . Oh well back to reality now and you too my dear and hope you find your marcus soon .

imquilternity said...

Oh Marie...I feel for you. I just had the same thing happen to me. My doctor went to "concierge care" where only his wealthy patients could now afford to see him. What a shame! I've been through 3 doctors since and I doubt if even a single one would recognize my face! Good luck in your search!

Sandy said...

Boy, can I relate to all of the above. Mom wasn't alcoholic but her parents were, and she made a hobby of dr. visits.

Alison Schwabe said...

When I asked our doc here at the clinic I'm affiliated with, what it meant to see his name listed as 'flying doctor' I learned it meant that he is sometimes rostered as a redio-controlled call-out medic, visits people at home - we haven't needed the service, touch wood, but its great to know it's there - this of course is not in the USA but in Montevideo, Uruguay. All major pharmacies have someone on the staff qualified to take your blood pressure reading right there and then. People are urged to check regularly. In the city there are one or two people always wandering around in white coats fith bp reading equipment, they'll take your bp right there. There's always one or two of them at major public events.... they are authorised, people know their faces, they're not kinky wierdos! Marvellous services, but you do get what you pay for/can afford - the state provided services are crowded and not always fantastic. In Australia we have a marvellous system, that americans have been brainwashed about as 'socialised medicine' - who cares if that's what you want to call it? We know we are guaranteed access to qualified care when we need it - might not be personal choice but it is there. We all pay for it, but many choose to pay additional private insurance premiums for more choice, to jump waiting periods, private rooms, etc. and thank goodness we don't have your mess where so many millions are denied basic care when they need it, and people can so easily move into total financial disaster because of illness.

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