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Much much better 
26th-Sep-2007 02:55 pm
Me: brain MRI
Just wanted to let folks know I’m doing much, much better today. I think the sciatica is gone and all the (considerable) aches I have left are muscular side-effects of that. I felt groggy and crummy all day yesterday and am pretty sure I had a fever and slept about 18 out of 24 hours, but that unpleasantness (except for the sleeping; sleeping was very pleasant!) seems to be behind me too. And plumtreeblossom’s coming over to remind me other humans exist tonight, and cathijosephine’s going to meet us for The Best Pastrami Sandwiches East of the International Date Line and West of Kiribati, and I'm alert and functional and awake enough to be working usefully from home today, so life is pretty good.

By the way, “You need to see a doctor immediately” is not a very helpful comment unless it’s accompanied by contact information for a doctor I can get to who is free or whom my insurance will reimburse me for even without them being my PCP or me having a referral, or instructions on how to get an immediate appointment from my highly overbooked doctor or nurse practitioner or the other doctors in his group without pointing a gun at the receptionists. I love my doctor and he’s responsible for my sleep apnea and hormonal problems being diagnosed and treated, but he’s very hard to schedule with and the place he works is kind of disorganized and claims not to have emergency appointments (I’ve tried in the past). And this was clearly (in retrospect) not an ER thing (although maybe if I’d gone to the ER they would have given me some nice muscle relaxants and analgesics that would have made Monday less unpleasant). I do appreciate everybody’s care and concern, though!
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26th-Sep-2007 08:34 pm (UTC)
It's just that "You need to see a doctor immediately" seems like such a straightforward comment to somebody who has insurance and a regular doctor, that hearing "that's not a helpful comment" was a bit disconcerting. I don't know you very well, but you certainly seem like someone who deserves to have your doctor pay attention to you when you're in extreme pain.

What she said! If your doc can't see you for emergencies, it's their responsibility to refer you to someone who can. "Sorry, we don't do emergencies" is neither helpful nor professional!

And in a pinch, didn't you use to own a house with a doctor? Maybe he could recommend a good doc in a box or something.
27th-Sep-2007 03:55 am (UTC)
Sorry, I didn’t mean to be dissing the people saying that; I do appreciate your concern. (And everybody else’s concern, saying the exact same thing. :-)
27th-Sep-2007 11:56 am (UTC)
No, but seriously, you need to find a way to get seen for non-ER-level emergencies before the next one crops up.

As a therapist, part of my responsibility is to either be available to my clients during an emergency or have a procedure in place that directs them to an alternate way of getting their emergencies taken care of. I can't imagine that I have a greater ethical responsibility for care during an emergency than a physician does!

So maybe you could press your doc for what s/he wants you to do during an emergency or find a more accessible doc that your insurance covers or find a free-standing clinic that you can afford or something.

'Cause the zillion people who love you do NOT want you to have an emergency next month and find that you simply can't get medical care. If you won't do it because it's important for your health, do it because otherwise we'll beat you up. :-)
28th-Sep-2007 03:20 am (UTC)
Seconded, thirded, etc.!

(Although, as others have said, there are urgent-care clinics to serve as backups -- I've visited a few during insurance lapses myself.)
26th-Sep-2007 07:25 pm (UTC)
Best pastrami sandwhiches??? I must know!

ps. selfishness aside, I am glad you feel better.
26th-Sep-2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
Hurray that you are feeling better! Sorry to hear that you were feeling crappy. :-(
26th-Sep-2007 08:22 pm (UTC)
yay for much, much better :)
26th-Sep-2007 08:39 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you are feeling better.

I wish you had had some muscle relaxants. They helped my back *immensely*

26th-Sep-2007 08:47 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you are feeling better.

Here are two other options to explore if you have any more semi-emergency situations: 1) urgent care and 2) calling your health plan.

An urgent care practice is somewhere in between your Dr and the ER. I've used them for things like ear aches, where I obviously didn't need to go to the ER but I wasn't going to be able to wait for my Dr's office to get me an appt. They were able to prescribe all of the necessary drugs to fix the infection.

Your health care plan might also have a nurse practioner line. The NPs are pretty good sorting out what level of care you need. They might also be able to find you an urgent care practice.
26th-Sep-2007 10:17 pm (UTC)
Ooh, thank you; this is very useful! I think my health plan does have an NP line!
26th-Sep-2007 10:32 pm (UTC)
I'm glad that I can be helpful! I think most health plans have an NP line, but most people don't even know they exist. When I was a NU student, it was very helpful, since the clinic kept such weird hours. It was the easiest way to sort out whether I needed to go to the clinic or the ER or what.
27th-Sep-2007 11:59 am (UTC)
An urgent care practice is what I meant by "a doc in a box." There are free-standing clinics that take walk-in patients for life's minor emergencies (the ones that need to be seen TODAY but that aren't ER-level). Because they tend to be self-contained and easily accessible, somebody christened them "doc in a box," and this phrase tends to be used frequently in the media.
26th-Sep-2007 09:14 pm (UTC)
Hugs and love, sweetie. I'll see you soon!
26th-Sep-2007 10:28 pm (UTC)
so glad to hear you're feeling better!
27th-Sep-2007 02:39 am (UTC)
Yay, recovery!
27th-Sep-2007 01:43 pm (UTC)
You need to see a doctor, immediately!
27th-Sep-2007 08:26 pm (UTC)
And this was clearly (in retrospect) not an ER thing....

Hang on. Yes, urgent care would have been the best option. However, since you didn't know that it existed...how, exactly, is it not an ER issue when you are saying "I am almost completely disabled, essentially unable to walk, and in excruciating pain"? Especially when you don't know what's causing it and whether it's likely to get worse and/or permanently cripple you if not seen to promptly?

You were saying this was a joint problem, not a muscle problem; what if it had been a fracture in your hip, and walking on it / moving it was widening the fracture?
30th-Sep-2007 01:09 pm (UTC) - Joint efforts
Very glad to hear you're feeling better, but
concerned about what might have caused it.
Canes/crutches are a help, but maintaining
mobility is worth working toward, especially
for one such as you.
Your physician bit reminds me of when I came to
town: None of the doctors were taking new patients,
but all thoughtfully told me to "come back if you're
dying." Not a lot of help.
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