Monday, March 25, 2013
I've been in and out of doctors' offices for the last two weeks with a mystery illness.
(Now, while that doesn't excuse the fact that I haven't blogged in three months, I'm hoping you'll be so sick with worry over my opening sentence that you'll forgive me. Please? Pretty please?)
(Also? This is a long post. But it's filled with humor, intrigue, me going batshit crazy and a poop chart. Plus I have to make up for three months of not writing.)
Let me start the story by saying I went on a business trip to Arkansas. Yes, this sounds like the beginning of a very bad joke.
'What's in Arkansas?' you might ask.
Well, farm land, for starters. Oh, and this small company called Walmart.
'What's Arkansas like?' you might ask.
It's like a cult. A cult that's worth a gazillion dollars.
We have a small office there (like every other company/brand/vendor who wants to do any sort of work with Walmart) so I spent a few days planning promotions for 2014. Brainstorming is fun, so it wasn't a bad trip. Except for the fact that I was sick.
And by sick, I mean I had sharp shooting pains in my upper abdomen just under my rib cage that would wake me up in the morning, and flare up the minute I put any type of food or beverage in my mouth.
Good times. Especially when you're away from home.
I toughed it out, going to the office during the day and holing up with in my glorious hotel room at the Comfort Suites (try and control your jealousy), existing on peanut butter crackers and ginger ale, then treating myself to soup from Panera for dinner (all of which caused me to have pain, but I felt I should put something in my stomach, and when you're alone at a hotel in an unfamiliar place, you go with what you know...or what's directly across the street).
I went to a walk-in clinic, and the nice doctor told me she didn't know what it was and told me to take Prilosec. Then I came home and went to the doctor who ALSO didn't know what it was, but took blood work. I missed a day or two of work. I lost two pounds (not complaining here). Next up: abdominal ultrasound. Which was – wait for it – totally normal! So then they refer me to a gastroenterologist. And this is where it gets fun.
(This was a very long pre-amble for me to get to the part where I talk about how incompetent the doctors' offices with which I've been dealing are. Thanks for hanging in.)
The series of events went like this:
Wednesday: receive call from primary doctor, asking me to call the gastro office and make an appointment. Told my chart, bloodwork, ultrasound, etc would be faxed over ASAP.
Wednesday (five minutes later): I make said appointment for the next day.
Thursday: Gastro appointment. This is when the doctor and I played 20 questions about my poop. Interesting way to spend an afternoon. Every time I tried to steer her back towards my abdominal pain, she found another fascinating questions. Ooh...then we looked at the poop chart. If you've never had to pick out your poop from a picture chart you should totally try it. It's like identifying a criminal in a police line up, except it's poop, and it's not all that fun.
Thursday: Did I mention that my chart from my primary doctor never arrived? So the Gastro Dr had nothing to look at? And their offices were now closed and there was no way to get the charts today. Waste. Of. Time.
Friday (10am): Being the good patient that I am, I leave a message at the Gastro office asking if they've gotten my charts, and if they needed my help in obtaining them.
Friday (1pm): Receive call from Gastro office (yay!). Woman said she's calling because my primary doctor asked that I come in (WTF?).
ME: "I was there YESTERDAY. I already came in!"
HER: "Oh, okay. Sorry."
ME: "Don't you see that in my chart?"
HER: "Do you live on Meadow Road?"
ME: "Not in two years."
HER: "Oh, I see. Looks like you have TWO charts here. Let me merge them. And look at that! Your files DID come over from your other doctor yesterday - they must've gotten put in the wrong chart."
ME: "Can you please make sure the doctor sees my other chart???"
HER: "Will do."
Friday (4pm): Receive a call from Gastro office (um, yay?) from the assistant with whom I left the message in the morning.
HER: "Unfortunately, we didn't receive your charts from your doctor. Would you mind helping us out and calling them?"
(you have GOT to be freaking kidding me!)
ME: "Seriously? I got a call from Michelle at your office, telling me I have two charts and that the test results ARE here, WERE here yesterday. Can you please connect with her???"
HER: "Two charts? Have you been her before?"
HER: "Maybe it was under a different date of birth?"
(oh yes, that's it. the last time I came I gave you a different date of birth, just for ha-has)
ME: "Can you please be sure my doctor sees the chart so she can review the tests and call me back with next steps?"
And...no call back after that.
If I was that bad at my job, I would be fired. And I can't waste any more time out of work at doctors' offices. It's ridiculous!
I am DONE with the doctors. And since they've ruled everything out, I'll diagnose myself: crazy stomach.
(I'm feeling a little bit better, btw. Just thinking about going through the poop chart with the doctor suddenly makes me feel better.)
Happy Spring, Happy 2013, Happy Back to Blogging!
Posted by kk at 9:44 AM