Monday, January 26th, 2015

ALWAYS SAY YOU HAVE A FEVER!

OK. I can’t help myself.  I’m going to add to the rant about health care.
Ever since I decided to put my health first, I’ve been sick.
Go figure.
Without giving the whole darn story, let’s just say in the past three months, I’ve had a heart catheterization, a CTA, an MRI, and a full blown (what else would it be?)lung test.  These were prudent. I had chest tightness whenever I started y new get healthy exercise routine. Each ruled out important stuff like lung cancer and heart pumping ability.  The actual hands on care was excellent.  The communication of results and action to take was like a bad game of children’s 
“telephone gossip”  Every single person wanting to do a good job and feeling blocked by time or staffing or ridiculous rules and hard to use computer programs that had tough to fill out screens. 

So mid-December I get sick.
Now at the end of January, I have been truly treated and am getting well. More than six weeks of non-functional illness.
Once again, people wanting to do good work.
I saw 7 different care givers–doctors or nurse practitioners.  Never the same one twice.  I am being treated for acute bronchitis, ear infection and conjunctivitis.  

Here’s what I learned:
–In the GP world I used, everyone was on some kind of part time schedule or worked in several sites.  Very hard to see “my” doctor on short notice. No one person saw me twice.

–Each person’s orientation to treatment was very different, alternative or more traditional, anti-biotic adverse or not, listener or talker.

–The obsessive check lists often blocked thinking and integration of symptoms.
For instance, my lungs  sounded clear and so many things were ruled out UNTIL
protocol was followed more closely. When I was asked (finally) to breath into a spirometer, my lungs were highly compromised.
  
–My mood and talk influenced caretakers more than it should have. I hate to admit to being sick and usually try to tell the doctor how well I am or tough or stubborn.  So I would laugh about my many visits and “ailments”.  I would very progressively say I was hesitant to take an anti-biotic.  I told them the results of my big tests that were good.  With caretaker number six, I said, “Look I’m dying. I can’t go on like this. I have a big celebration coming up. It’s been like this since mid-December!!”  I’m on an anti-biotic and Prednisone. (That explains the rant!)  I feel good, people.

–I knew I was very sick before Christmas.  I called in to see if I should come in and If I were too contagious for my family guests.  Wrong questions!!!  My bad.
The nurse practitioner looked only at the question.  I had had to take an anti-biotic for a toe infection so she thought that would also protect my being contagious. She asked if I wheezed. I said, “no”.  Later my son said I sounded like a cat purring.  My self reporting was wrong. I needed to be seen and I should have asked to be seen not if I needed to be seen. 

–It’s hard to be an advocate for yourself when you are sick.

–Listen to  friends and family when they say they are worried about you.
That’s what got me off the dime to try one more time to get at least up to the standard of “not sick”  to try again  for real health.

PS–Always say you have a fever


  





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