Isn’t waiting for a specialist (doctor) appointment enough to frost your socks sometimes?
Preparation, tolerance, frustration and waiting are all involved in this entire process.
Firstly, the wait for the family doctor’s appointment and specialist’s referral, followed by a phone call from the specialist’s office, where you now have a scowl on your face due to the clerk informing you that the initial appointment won’t be for at least six months.
I’m uncertain about you, but when the secretary calls, a pen is rarely handy to write down information or directions on how to get to the appointment. Ending the conversation they say “we’ll be sending you some written instructions in the mail also.”
The written instructions arrive, however, they are terribly confusing. Illegible pages photocopied at least 100 times over, you will feel doubtful walking into the hospital with this crappy information, for fear of ending up in the laundry area. As for the road directions, best to utilize your own maps.
Now the wait for the specialist appointment, followed by the big day of the actual appointment…and then wait is on. Where you wait in the waiting room….and wait….and wait…and wait some more……
You recognize you are in a dilemma when, after driving two hours and upon arriving, the receptionist slides open her plexi-glass window, takes your name, shuffles through files twice mumbling, “Were you scheduled for an appointment today?”. “Yes, at 11:00 a.m.”, “Hmmm…How do you spell your last name again?” “OK, just have a seat and we’ll be right with you”. A commotion develops by the filing cabinets, receptionists are in a huddle, peer up at you, once, twice, when suddenly, “yes, you are booked for 11:00 a.m., but he is backed up a bit”.
‘Backed up’ in my familiarity translates to at least a minimum of 3 to 4 hours or more. I loathe these backed up doctors, patients stuck in the waiting rooms fearful to escape for even a snack or pee break in the event their name is called. If they call you and you aren’t there, I’m sure they will call another person in the interim.
After waiting numerous months to see a neurologist, I received that “call”, however, the wait would be several more months for the actual appointment concerning my infamous migraine anguish, yet assured by many, “Deb, this doctor is one of the best, he is known as ‘Captain Miracle‘ for migraine sufferers”. Expecting a miracle; my hopes would be quickly be dashed and prove a wasted appointment.
Avoiding the details about the exam; let’s just say it was awfully brief. Essentially this ‘wonder’ doctor felt around the base of my skull and neck asking me duplicate questions that teams of previous neurologists have queried, leafed through my chart, cleared his throat and ultimately came to same conclusion stating, “Yes, you suffer from bilateral migraines”. Geez, I drove 2 hours for this? Nothing solved, nothing gained.
As a migraineur for over 45 years, I’ve been through the series of necessary tests to rule out anything other than migraines (x-rays/spinal tap/MRI/scans), visited countless neurologists and in the end told, “THERE IS NO CURE”. Tylenol was the only pain reliever, and as a last resort – the ER.
I do take preventative medications and a prescription medication called Relpax (expensive) if I can catch a headache in time it’s effective.
**This is NOT intended to be a “specialist bashing” post; only my migraine account. I have visited several other specialists for other concerns and grateful for their expertise, to be able to get me well and on my way.
Just this past month, I’ve been experimenting with peppermint oil using a diffuser and also as a roll-on (back of my neck and on forehead). Good results so far.
Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy 2016 originally posted on my Deb-Living in Stigma blogging platform