Tuesday, September 15, 2009

dumb doctor!

The last few days, I've gotten up in the morning feeling a little tightness in my chest. Not congestion so much (no productive cough), but just a tight feeling like I do when I have bronchitis or asthma stuff going on. It's rained here off & on all day long for dayssssssss so I really figured that all the rain had stirred up some pollen/molds & it was aggrivating my lungs. It's happened before & it'll happen again. I used my Proventil inhaler a time or two just to open things up a bit and it worked. The tightness of the early morning hours passed & produced no other symptoms, so I put it all off to allergies & asthma.

Today I went to work feeling fine, other than that tightness in my chest. Around lunchtime I started getting a headache, but since I had my hair in a ponytail I figured that was why. By 1:00 when the parents picked up their kids, I was beginning to feel a little 'off'...just worn down & tired. But need I remind you? I teach preschoolers for a living. Of course I'd be tired at the end of the day! It wasn't til about 1:15 when I felt like I'd been hit by a freight train. All the sudden, my legs felt like they weighed 500 lbs. each! My back & shoulders & arms ached. And then there was the cough that had suddenly begun. Ugh.

We've had 2 confirmed cases of Type A flu at the school. It's going around all my kids' schools too, so of course that was my first thought. When I started feeling so bad I realized I needed to go home! When I got here about 1:45, I took my temp. Sure enough. 101.5! I swallowed a handful of Vitamin C & garlic along with my Ibuprofen, then I got on the phone. That's where the title of this post comes in.

I called my doctor's office to see how quickly I could get in. The lady who answered the phone took my name & put me on hold. She came back to tell me that due to the fact that I've been healthy & haven't needed to see my doctor for the past 4 1/2 years, I was no longer on her current patient list. To see my doctor, I'd have to be considered a new patient and she is not taking new patients right now.

I sat there, stunned for a minute & repeated to the lady "I have fever....I think I may have the flu...but I can't see the doctor?"

She confirmed this fact to me & when I asked what I should do she gave a real unconcerned sounding "Well, I don't know. Unless you come in to see the doctor once every 3 years, we remove you from the patient list."

You've got to be kidding me. I'm being punished for staying healthy & having a strong immune system? I don't see my family practice doc unless I'm sick. I see my ob/gyn every year & she does all the "girl stuff" plus blood work, BP check, etc, so I see no point in paying a 2nd doctor to do all those same tests over again. The last time I saw her was in 2005 when I had a UTI.

The lady offered me an appointment with another doctor in the office for tomorrow morning, so I took it. I called our insurance company to have my primary care doc switched to this other doctor only to find out that (grrrrrrrrr!) she wasn't in our network! I called the doctor's office back & cancelled the appointment & then I was back to the drawing board. I got on the insurance company's website & looked up primary care doctors. There was one here in our little town, 5 minutes from my house. This doc has been in this same office for about a hundred years so I knew he was an established doctor who isn't going anywhere. One phone call got me an appointment with him, so I called the insurance co back & had him named as my primary care doc.

And I'm glad I did. I have the flu!

Thankfully we caught this veryyyy early so I am not as miserable as I might be if I'd let it go a bit. I got a steroid shot today & was prescribed an antibiotic, an antiviral med (like Tamiflu--but it's a generic version) and Tussi-Pearls for my cough. Although I do feel bad, I don't feel miserable. Larry made me lay down & take a nap tonight & each time he's seen me standing up since, he's nudged me & said "shouldn't you be in bed?". He's a pretty good nurse when I'm sick. So grateful for him!


Amber said...

Poor Liz! That's awful! I'm praying for you to feel better soon. :( You're really lucky any doctor would see you. We've had a few cases of the swine flu around here and our doctor won't see any patient in the office with a fever over 100. If you're over 100, you have to go sit in the ER (and catch the flu if you don't already have it). I had to take Ally to the ER a few weeks ago b/c she had bronchitis and they wouldn't see her. They even isolated her in the ER to a separate little waiting room because of the high fever and they made her wear a mask while the dr. examined her until he ruled out swine flu.

The Lowry Place said...

I'm sorry your not feeling well, the flu sucks I've had it once before and I never really felt bad but I was extremely tired. So I'm happy you just have the Type A flu and not the swine I kept hearing from people who've tested positive for it have been really really sick. So hopefully in a few days you'll feel a bit more human. I'll be praying for you!