Saturday, January 27, 2007

So, last week played out something like this...

Monday: As per the usual routine, the radio came on at 5am playing the National Anthem. Sickness had descended on our house last week, and if the bone-crushing pressure I was feeling was any indication, I was next up in the rotation. If you've ever had any experience with sinus issues, you know the drill: head so full of congestion if feels as if your eyeballs are going to pop right out of their sockets, accompanied by such intense pressure in/on the sinus cavities you pray your head will just implode. I had the added enjoyment of a cough/wheeze routine if I tried to take a deep breath. There was no way I could endure eight hours at the Casa de Insurance. I left a message for my boss, left another for a co-worker that's working on a project with me, then crawled back into bed.

A few hours later I was up and on my way to the doctor. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate going to the doctor? It's an interruption. It's an inconvenience I don't need, especially when I know exactly what's wrong. I've lived in the 'Sinus Belt' all my life, and quickly learned how to recognize an oncoming sinus/upper respiratory infection. Oh, what I wouldn't give for a doctor's office that would happily comply if I called and said "Ten days worth of antibiotic, please, and throw in a kick-ass decongestant while you're at it. Thanks."

But no.

So in I went, to see the 'new' doctor that I just started seeing this past September. This would be the first time I'd seen him for something other than the routine diabetes appointments for bloodwork, etc. A gave the nurse a brief rundown of my history with sinusitis while she took my vitals. The doctor came in a few minutes later. He looked me over, in the ears, up the nose, down the throat, and asked all the pertinent questions. Then he said,

"Well, I don't see any sign of an infection. This looks like just your allergies flaring up."

"I'm sorry, what was that?" I didn't actually say this out loud, but I'm sure the look on my face was screaming it. I gave him a brief rundown of my history with sinusitis also, but he wasn't having it. He prescribed an inhaler (to get rid of the wheeze - I've never had an inhaler before - eek!) and a cough medicine w/antihistamine, and sent me on my way.

Tuesday: In to work I went, still feeling miserable but not wanting to waste precious vacation time so early in the year. The doctor said there was no infection, and if there's no infection then I'm not contagious. I made it through half the day before finally giving in and going home.

Wednesday: Holy neds. I think the congestion has doubled in volume, if that's even possible, and I can't hear anything out of my right ear. There's such an intense feeling of pressure that I'm afraid if I cough or blow my nose, my eardrum is going to rupture. Back into the doctor first thing. That's one thing I'll say for this doctor's office - they're easy to get in to see. He looks me over again. Nope, still no sign of infection, according to him. You're kidding me, right? He sends me home with a prescription for a decongestant.

Thursday: This time when the alarm goes off, BOTH ears are plugged up. That's an experience I've never had before, and quite honestly it scared me a little. Screw the doctor, I decided. When 8am rolled around, I headed off to the local urgent care. Register at the desk. Wait. Go back to the exam room. Run through the drill with the nurse. I need to digress here for just a moment. I had a flashback to my college days, and visits to the college health center, because if you were a female seeing the doctor at the college health center, be prepared for the question "Are you pregnant?" Every time, without fail. Sure enough, the urgent care nurse asked me that, too. I was taken aback for a second, and stumbled a little with my answer. Wait. In comes the doctor, and here we go again... but then he says the magic words...

"Looks like you've got quite the sinus and upper respiratory infection going on here."

Hallelujah! Antibiotics, take me away! I was feeling better by that evening. And it only took two $15 co-pays at the doctors office, one $30 co-pay at the urgent care, and $60 in prescriptions.


Teresa said...

Uhhhh... ruth... I think I'd be finding me another PCP... sounds like this on has his ears on permnament MUTE.

Ruth said...

Yes, I plan on starting that search again as soon as I'm completely over this!


MOU said...

I changed doctors last year, and I just got Mom to switch. Life is better. Do it. Do it. Do it.

Heather said...

Oh wow. Sorry you were miserable! Maybe there's a REASON they are so easy to get in to see? grin
And the naturopath in me says "Don't forget to eat some yogurt to replenish the good bacteria!" There is certainly a time and place for the anti-biotics. I'd say fear of rupture is the best reason! LOl
And thank you TONS for the encouragement you left me. I really needed it. My stalked is none other than the jerkoid and hislovely(?) bride..reading, poking fun and picking. Can you say "Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers"? Thank God I DIDN'T marry him!
Love you tons!

Twyla said...

Wow...sounds like you had quite the week. I honestly believe that we can self-diagnose ourselves better than any doctor can...well most of the time anyways. I would definitely be looking for a new doctor. Hope you're feeling better now that you have the anitbiotics.