Saturday, October 20, 2012

Batty Doctor Appointment

Have you ever had one of those doctor visits? I’m not talking about an appointment where your doctor was horrible and had no clue about Migraines, I’m trying to talk about an appointment like my last doctor’s visit where I can’t blame my doctor for putting all over my chart “patient is confused”. Ugh.

There was way too much going on this summer both at home and work where I became very overwhelmed, didn’t get much sleep and had to take on many more responsibilities than I was ready to tackle. Of course as these Migraine triggers and exasperating factors were building, my first Botox treatment was wearing off.

I had things under enough control that I was able to decrease one of my other preventatives a little since I could no longer tolerate the cognitive side effects I was experiencing. My doctor appointment for my next Botox treatment was postponed and I thought I could manage everything until my next visit, but I would need to try to hold tight as best I could with everything going on at home and work.

Waiting for appointment day ended up being like a kid waiting for Christmas to come where it seemed like it would never get here. Appointment eve is when all of the fun really began!

First of all, I normally have the paperwork ready for my doctor the weekend before my visit. It didn’t work out that way this time. I even had a lot going on the night before my appointment and couldn’t even complete it then.

It was already dark outside and my doggie needed to go out. After letting her back in, I noticed there was something flying and dodging around the house. Can you believe there was a bat inside?!?!

Luckily, my son was around. He grabbed the fishing net from the garage; he used to play lacrosse. After a few gentle tries, he was finally able to catch the bat in the net. To further keep from hurting the delicate bat, he tenderly cradled the bat (this is a lacrosse term where you like rock the net back and forth to keep the ball inside of the net; he did this ever so gingerly) until he got out on the deck and was able to set the bat free. I’m so glad he was home and that he can be so agile!

After this ordeal, I was too tired to put the rest of my paperwork together and opted to finish in the morning. As I was getting ready to leave, I realized my tires needed more air. This was just one more thing in a line of items that needed to be completed last minute before leaving for my appointment.

My drive is usually like clockwork; I can count on it taking two hours to get there. This trip was no exception to how my summer was going where it took much longer to get there than it ever had. By the time I pulled into my parking spot, I was tired and fell asleep.

My luck was still on my side! I quickly realized that my headlights were still on. I’m sure you guessed it, my car battery was dead. Not only did it make funny electrical noises when I turned on the key, but it somehow managed to keep making these same noises after I turned the key off and even after I pulled the key out of the keyhole. I didn’t have any wiggle time left and had to leave to go to my doctor’s office. Can I say ugh again?

I was also a little more apprehensive with this visit because due to the appointment postponement, my FMLA had expired the day before, yes, the day before this new appointment date. I would have been all set with my original date and my FMLA. Luckily, my company has a grace period where I can still get my medical recertification form in after the expiration date, but I really don’t like operating things that closely.

The nurse’s portion of my visit was unremarkable, but every time I have gone, I seem to get a different nurse with a different routine. I am still trying to get used to that.

I will reluctantly admit that I barely remember the doctor’s portion of my visit. I basically wanted my shots and to get out of there which is totally against my character. I do remember him asking me to do something that just seemed totally absurd to me and quite frankly, it still does.

I can still see his face by my reaction and can only imagine what my face must have looked like. He even repeated himself which only reinstated the ridiculous statement to me which I still don’t understand even being in a much clearer state of mind.

Given where I was back then, I didn’t question him, but he did change his course of action after he repeated himself and I’m positive that his notes say, once again, “patient is confused”. We will have a talk about this during my next visit. He has written that statement before when I increased my medication too quickly, but I wasn’t confused this time, just tired and I couldn’t ask the question I needed to clarify his request. He’ll get a few questions next time.

This is a big reason why if you can have someone go with you to an appointment, to be an advocate for you, you should have someone else with you. Yes, I had things written down and my paperwork with me, but I wanted to get in and out of there. Again, this is totally not like me, but if I had someone with me to advocate for me, they would not have let me take this easy way out and they would have known me well enough to know why I had the dumbfounded (not confused) look on my face when the doctor gave me his silly directions.

I gave myself a pass on this last appointment, but I can assure you that during my next appointment, my doctor’s notes will not say “patient is confused”. I started writing notes and revising my plan of action right after my last visit and keep typing little notes and comments as the date comes closer. I will be ready and even if his horribly bright office lights start to confuse me, I will have a plan B for that too. I have a top notch doctor who can’t help me unless I give him the information he needs. Enough.

What was your strangest appointment like?  I'm sure there are a lot of stories out there; even leading up to your appointment. 

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