So, I promised an update on my hands after my visit to the specialist today. Firstly, I don’t know anything more yet. They just ran more tests today. However, I cannot say that my experience was overly positive or that my expectations were really met.
Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
I get the the doctor’s office 15 minutes before my appointment, as I’m a new patient. I had completed all of the paperwork they mailed to me, but figured they’d need to do things like check my insurance, process my co-payment, etc. That did, in fact, take the better part of 15 minutes. So once the receptionist is done with all of that so says to me “Dr. X will see you, well, when she gets here”.
WTF? I have an 8:45 appointment. Scheduled. And the doctor isn’t even in the building yet? Ok, whatever. Maybe she’s caught in traffic or something? Of course, the way that the receptionist made the comment made it seem like this was a regular thing. Granted, shame on the receptionist for even making such a comment to a patient. But I’m a bit disappointed with the doctor from the moment I hear the comment. It’s probably unfair, but it’s how I felt.
I finally get called back for the appointment, about 25 minutes after my scheduled time. At which point the doctor rushes in, doesn’t even look at me, and says “so how have you been since the last time we saw each other?”. Um…I’ve never seen you before. She didn’t even take the time before my appointment to review the information forwarded to her (including blood work), or to note that I was a new patient.
Once she fumbled over her mistake we started talking a little bit about my pain. She asks me about it, taps a few places on my hand/wrist. Looks at my file. All in all, I probably saw her for less than ten minutes. I was a bit, well, disappointed. But, she ordered some additional blood work and wanted X-Rays done. So that is at least something a little more.
I guess I wasn’t sure what to expect. And perhaps my expectations are too high. My doctor in Atlanta always started your visits in her personal office. Where she sat down with you while you were fully clothed and comfortable, and talked with you for 15-20 minutes before your exam. Then you were directed to your exam room, and she came in and looked over every issue that you addressed in your original visit, and did your exam. After that, she again saw you in her office for about 5 minutes, where she would discuss any blood work she wanted to run, tell you why and what it’s for and what to expect.
Of course, she was also rated as one of the top doctors in the country.
I guess I just expect that level of attention and care from anyone when I’m talking about my body. I expect to be more than a number or a name on someone’s chart. I expect my doctor to actually care what is wrong with me, and walk me through what is being done. I want to feel like I’m important to them. I guess that is more the exception than the rule, and I’m spoiled.
Perhaps my later visits will improve and be better. I’m trying to remain optimistic about it.
The doctor ordered some more blood work. I wasn’t expecting blood work and I’d not had anything to eat or drink before my appointment. I have tiny veins to begin with, making blood work a challenge. I always make sure to drink at least two bottles of water before I have blood taken to make it less painful, and easier for the vampires to get what they want. I did not do that this time.
I sat down and let the lab tech know that they will need to draw from my hand. Mercifully, she listened to me, and didn’t have a “I’m so good I bet I can get a vein in your arm” attitude. Because I don’t know about you, but I hate being a pin cushion solely for someone’s ego. So we sit down and she picks a spot close to my wrist on my right hand. And in goes the needle, and she misses. She tries again. And it really, really hurts. I’ve never had it hurt that bad before – and all I can think is “fuck that is going to leave a HUGE bruise”.
There is a guy sitting across the tiny room getting an IV of something watching the whole thing.
The phlebotomist asks me if I’ve had any water, I tell her “no”. She decides to try my other hand. I look away as she gets ready to insert the needle. As she advises me that she’s in and the blood is flowing freely, I start to feel a bit woosy. She asks me if I feel dizzy – which only makes me feel more dizzy. Now, I’ve never passed out from having blood drawn. But I start to sweat, and see brown spots before my eyes. Dammit.
I ask for a glass of water. Keeping my eyes firmly shut and my head down. I feel like such a weenie. They bring me one, and as I try to drink I almost pass out. The vampire indicates that she’s going to take the needle out – I panic, I don’t want to get stuck again for more blood. She indicates that she’s got enough for what she needs, and they bring me a can of apple juice and make me drink it all down.
The man across the room is still staring at me.
I am immensely embarrassed. But they make me continue to sit there until my juice is gone and then a little more to make sure I’m not going to stand up and pass out. They joke about how they have a “no passing out” policy. They insist on walking me out – likely to make sure I don’t face plant between the lab and the front desk. I’m mostly ashamed that I’ve caused such a fuss. I’ve never had this happen to me before, and I’ve had lots of blood drawn. I don’t know if it’s the room, or the multiple stabbings, or that I hadn’t had breakfast.
There is some difficulty in scheduling my next appointment because I’m literally travelling for work the entire last half of August, and the doctor is out at the two week mark. It’s either wait a month to see me, or work something else in. They decide to work something in for August 15th. Maybe I’ll end up seeing the other doctor in the practice. Maybe I’ll like him better.
They then scoot me off to X-Ray.
I’m advised there is a 30-40 minute wait for x-rays, and I sit down and read. X-ray is fairly painless. They take X-rays of my hands and my feet. Apparently you can learn a lot about different injuries from someone’s feet. I did not know this, and I’m a bit fascinated. I hope that the doctor will show me the x-rays. I’ve always found them intriguing. Ever since I broke my arm when I was a kid and had plates and pins put in it. My favorite part about seeing the orthopedic surgeon was him putting the x-ray up on the light and pointing out how my arm was healing.
Anyhow, I digress. They took x-rays.
If both the bloodwork and the x-rays are inconclusive, they will move to doing nerve testing. I’m not entirely sure what that involves. Several people on twitter said they are going to run electric shocks through me for a half hour or so. This does not sound particularly pleasant. But if it gets me closer to a resolution, bring it on.
I did not receive any advice for the pain. Granted I was so in shock with everything else, I also forgot to ask what I should do about it in the interim. So it would seem that it’s going to be the status quo for the next 12 days, until I go back for the results, and potentially more testing. Hopefully by that time, I’ll be a little less shocked and know a little more about what to expect.
At least we are on the path to finding out what’s wrong? Silver linings and all that?