Living Well with a Bad Diagnosis - Lung Disease

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Two Doctors Updates

I love my new primary doctor's office staff. I met with the PA to go over my medications and medical issues. She was lovely and was not overwhelmed by all my different doctors. About seven or eight years ago, I had a wild rose bush I loved near the driveway. The only problem was that weeds would grow near the roots. One day, I was weeding when I got some of the thorns in my finger. They were tiny and I pulled them out. Or, I thought I pulled them all out. Shortly, a raised lump of inflamed tissue was near the nail of my third finger on my left hand. All these years later, it has moved down my finger past the first knuckle.

Immediately after it appeared, my old primary doctor told me there was nothing there. Clearly, there is still something there. My new primary doctor's PA has ordered an X-ray to see what is causing the lump. Once we prove that something needs to be removed, she will refer me to a hand specialist, as I am a musician.  Nice.

I killed a couple of hours before driving to the appointment in the city with the surgeon regarding my GERD - acid reflux. I arrived early, of course, but became frustrated. It is a very busy practice. Lots of surgeons. Lots of patients. A small waiting room. I stood near the sign to wait while someone was being checked-in. I then approached the woman alone at the desk, she took my name then told me to have a seat and she would call me to check-in. Okay. I watched as several other arrived, names were taken then others arrive and checked-in. All this was done while she wandered in and out of an office, talked on the phone, talked to a returning desk mate, talked to the doctors, talked to the staff. It was so not efficient.

As the time of my appointment came and went, I finally approached her to asked, "Does the doctor know I am here even though I have not been checked-in?" She replied that she is managing the flow and the doctors don't worry about it.

Okay, then.

What they don't know is that Michael and I are on that board regarding the clinics and are always asked if we have had good or bad experiences since the last meeting. From a patients point of view, it caused a lot of anxiety, which one does not need before seeing a doctor. Fortunately, I was sitting next to two fantastic women and we were able to laugh about it. They, too, were told to arrive early to fill out paperwork and were dismissed when they asked for the paperwork. It was about 10-minutes later when the front desk person came around the desk to give it to them. Just very poorly organized and not at all comfortable emotionally for the patients.

So, I finally made it to the little room 45-minutes after my appointment time and waited a very brief time for the doctor. I LOVED him. I reminded him that we had met in 2008 then updated him on the current situation regarding the sudden onset of acid reflux and the possibility that the hernia from that surgery may somehow play a part with the problem. He agreed with me. He actually thinks that maybe the hernia is right at the site of the Nissen. He ordered a barium swallow test to follow it down to see if there are leaks along the way and a test that puts a sensor up my nose then down to my stomach where a computer attached to my waist will monitor the acid levels through the night. The next morning, the tube is removed and the computer information is downloaded. I have done both of these tests twice before. They are not fun but they will provide the information we need. One test, I have make the appointment while the other will take about a week before they phone me to make the appointment.

I told him that I was concerned about any surgery because of my poor lungs. He replied that it may not require major surgery but, if possible, it could be done endoscopically - down my throat. That would also be less invasive and an easier recovery.

When I arrived home right around dinnertime, Michael had it just out of the oven for me. He was so proud of himself!

Today, I am going food shopping in town then to my rehab class where I will walk on the treadmill for the first time since my fractured knee. Before the class, I am going to have the X-ray taken of my finger.

No comments: