Friday, August 21, 2009

Thoughts after a colonoscopy.....

I'll spare you the pictures.

Anyhoo, I've spent way more time in doctor's offices this month than I ever have.

Earlier this month, after having what I initially thought was a cracked tooth, I visited my dentist who diagnosed it as "pulpitis" (or something). He said that the discomfort I was having would dissipate. When it didn't, and I had to call in sick for a trip over a weekend, I then ended up in an urgent care office.

Here's what I learned about urgent care: They don't do anything. The doctor I saw was a Chinese guy who was very nice, but just said the obvious: I had an inflammation along the jawline. He gave me a shot of something and a prescription for penicillin.

With little else to do on Sunday except moan while I was in my recliner, I spent some time on the intertubes searching for stuff on what was bothering me. My self diagnosis: An inflamed sub-mandibular salivary gland.

Since nothing the urgent care guy had given me was giving me any relief, by Monday morning, I was in my family practioner's office. There I saw the nurse practioner and she agreed with my diagnosis. She prescribed a steroid and a holistic therapy (believe it or not: lemon juice) which immediately began to have their effect.

Problem solved.

Then came my colonoscopy. Actually, that's not right. Then came a head cold immediately prior to my colonoscopy. For those who've never had a colonoscopy, it is a two day process. There is a "prep day", then the procedure itself on the following day. The "prep day", naturally, consists of eating nothing but clear liquids and nuclear laxatives. And given the head cold that I was dealing with, I was feeling like crap while I was crapping my guts out.

The procedure itself is a snap. The anesthetic they use is wonderful. It acts immediately and leaves one with absolutely no memory of anything. I remember nothing between rolling onto my left side in the procedure room and the nurse offering me some apple juice in the recovery room.

And then today, I had another trip to the family practioner to deal with this head cold. The other PA gave me a nasal decongestant and suggested I keep up with the Mucinex.

But what I'm really writing about tonight are the personalities involved.

It has been my theory for some time now that those in the medical field find their specialties based on their personality types. Let me explain.....

I have two neighbors who are doctors. They're both nice enough, but very different. The one is kind of odd, though. He's kind of a fitness buff, which isn't all that strange, but he wears a "Bruce Jenner" haircut. He and his wife are also very Christian, which again isn't odd or objectionable, but they've raised their kids without cable TV or the internet (or at least that was the case when their kids were in high school). As a result, their kids are a little odd too (although, I guess anyone could make this claim about anyone's kids). Anyway, this guy is a pathologist, which as I understand it, means that he looks at biopsies and lab specimens and decides just exactly it is that is a concern. I don't think he has much personal contact with his patients, which fits with his personality.

The other neighbor is a much more friendly guy, and we're therefore a bit closer with them. Their kids are spread like ours are, boy-girl-girl, but a couple years younger. I used to be the patient of one of his partners, but because I've always viewed him as more of a friend than a doctor, and frankly, at times I've been suspicious of his common sense, I've never been one of his patients. Anyway, like I said, he's a nice guy, and it fits that he is a family practioner.

Although I can't say I know them personally, my family practioner, and his nurse practioners are pretty much the same...maybe not the smartest in the medical fields, but smart enough, and nice, open people.

My colo-rectal guy, on the other hand, is well-respected, but has almost no bedside manner. When I was wheeled into his procedure room the other day, he was at his desk dictating notes on his previous procedure into a little recorder device. He turned and nodded with a little wave to acknowledge my arrival, but other than that, I had no contact with him. He did explain what he found in my colonoscopy to WifeofAzlib, but even that was quick and cursory. He's technically proficient, but personality-wise, he's a loser. It fits that he has little to do with his patients.

So that's it...that's my theory. Maybe not original thought, but something anyway. Doctors end up in fields that fit their personalities as much as their skills.

1 comment:

Adrienne said...

Good insights on the personalities! I recently took a vacation to a tropical island (my friend was getting married there and it kind of turned into a big family trip). One of the ladies in our group brought a ziplock bag of benadryl and other first-aid items to the beach in her beach bag. I would have never thought to do that. Well, about 30 minutes later my friend and I both got stung by jellyfish in the ocean. The lady immediately whipped out a mini bottle vinegar and cotton balls from her bag and swabbed it on the sting - she said vinegar neutralizes the venom, and she brought it just in case of jellyfish. She was so nurturing and maternal. I just loved her. I found out later she was a retired nurse! So her personality really fit with her former job. I never in a million years would have thought to bring that stuff to a beach.