Friday, November 16, 2012

Taking the medical over

One of my nieces graduated from medical school last spring and is currently a resident doctor at one of the local teaching hospitals. A second niece is graduating from medical school next spring and is in the process of applying for residency positions expecting that the last year of med school will end favorably. My sister added a PhD in Nursing to her resume a while back which included being a RN and a NP. My mother was a nurse in her day. My older daughter is starting to look at colleges for her undergraduate studies and is expecting (at least today because it seems to change rapidly) to select a pre-med program with the expectation of becoming some sort of a doctor.

Not without knowledge in the medical field, I seem to be expert in seeing doctors and getting ambiguous answers. Or no answers. Or seemingly unlimited follow on appointments. Or misdirection. I gots skillage (to paraphrase the youth of our country).

Today I saw an ENT. I originally went to him a few weeks ago to diagnose the chronic coughing that has plagued me since June. After that initial visit, he sent me for CAT scans and to see three other doctors for tests. Today was supposed to be the test review meeting.

He said they found a whole bunch of things wrong with me (surprise - not!). For one issue he is recommending minor surgery on my sinuses. He wants to try diet and drugs for some others. After his spiel, I asked the simple question if any of these "findings" could be the cause of my cough. He said probably not. I asked could I have had these "issues" for my whole life. He said maybe.

He saw where I was heading on this and then played the doctor scare card. You know the story: it probably isn't anything serious but what if it is? My biggest issue was trying to determine if he was sincere or if he needed the bucks before ObamaCare really kicks in. Maybe he wants to retire soon. Maybe he wants to book this revenue before the so-called fiscal cliff raises his tax rate.

Whoa there RockStar, this isn't an economics blog so get back on topic. BTW your finance degree is grossly out of date. Sorry.

The doctor said to give this a try and see if it does cure my cough. One of the findings is that I'm allergic to almost everything. The allergist is recommending allergy shots that I don't have much faith in. So I'll try the diet. I'll try the drugs. I'll see when we can schedule this surgery and I'll continue to train. This must be the carpet bombing approach to medicine.

I wonder if they teach that approach in med school or not yet. If not, I'll invent it and it will be named after me. Of course, it will only work if my cough actually goes away. I believe the over/under on the quantity of more doctors to see is 5. I'm taking the over.

Maybe I should go to med school. Bet I would see fewer doctors that way.


Spandex King said...

Once they get you in the door they keep you coming back. I think the goal is to get you on a prescription for something and then they can do follow up and tests and more tests.

Ransick said...

That is more frustrating than five trips to the hardware store for a project for sure. Hope they figure it out soon.

Aka Alice said...

After my mom's stint with being treated (successfully at this point) with lung cancer five years ago, I came to the conclusion that doctors are, at best, guessing. They are making educated guesses perhaps, but they are still just guessing at what is causing the body to go awry and then making more guesses at how to treat it.

I guess my point is that you should trust yourself as a source of your own health as much as you trust them.

Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

I hope you are not allergic to beer!

Al's CL Reviews said...

I've always felt that once a doctor knows what's wrong, you will get good care. It is getting to that point that is the issue.

Good luck.