Minnesota Musing: Preventive Care Vs. Taking Your Chances Care
Health Needs of People in a Household
I have been around now for 55 years. I have two kids who grew up and got married and have their own lives. Grandchildren. I have a husband who lives in the same house as myself and we do not share the same doctor. No. He has a skin doctor and I do not.
His health needs are very different from mine.
Isn't it strange, that two people who live in the same house, eat almost the same food, do almost the same things, would have such different needs when it comes to doctors?
Types of Doctors I have Seen
I think that my mother took me to a clinic when I was small. We moved away from that town, but when we finally returned to that town, the same doctor that she had taken me to was still working at the clinic.
He worked in Pediatrics, but, he was the only doctor that I had ever had at the clinic. So, he was nominated to be my doctor.
You don't always see the same type of doctor when you go to the Clinic. Many times, you go in for what is ailing you at the time, and the doctor is not your regular doctor.
Anyways, he was my doctor until I was in my seventh month of pregnancy with my first child. Then, he went on vacation to some warm place, like Mexico, and unfortunately, died of an asthmatic attack while on vacation. Apparently, as the story goes, he went out without an inhaler and needed it. It's so tragic. But, death happens to doctors as well. He was in a strange place. He didn't have access to his regular doctor.
If he had a regular doctor. Which, is a ponderous thought. How does a doctor pick a Regular Doctor for himself? And, how often does he go to that doctor? And, how awful that his regular doctor didn't see that he shouldn't be travelling and let him go to a strange place without being prepared.
Just saying. It's not the regular doctors fault, exactly, but as a doctor himself, he wasn't prepared to stay alive. It's just a strange thought.
What Happens When Scenarios
You are stressed, your blood pressure tests high, and they put you on a blood pressure med, and then, you are not stressed. What happens to your body with the new drug?
You've been sick. You haven't been hungry in four days and have not eaten. What number shows up on your blood test? If the doctor is not aware of your four day fast, and prescribes meds to deal with something, and you start to eat and your number goes up, how long before the drug, plus your body, start giving you symptoms of something else awful?
What happens when you eat half a jar of peanuts, and when you poop 21 hours later, your urine smells like sulphur and good thing you chewed those peanuts, because they almost look like they did when you put them in your mouth. What has happened? Has it raised some level in your blood? Does it raise questions at the doctor's office.
Finding a Regular Doctor
How does a person go about finding a regular doctor? When you go to multiple environments, your husband to a specialty doctor for his skin, one of your children to hearing specialists for their ears, one of your children for cuts and broken parts, you get to see peope who do not stay at the hospital that they work at on that day. They go from clinic to hospital to specialty clinic.
For example, one doctor who I beieve did the surgery on my eye in a hospital, now works in a Walmart vision center. So, if that is the case, what is the purpose of a regular doctor?
If you establish a regular doctor, and they quit and go to a different hospital, what have you gained by it? If your regular doctor is older and retires, now you've got a new situation. Or, even worse, you're in your seventh month of pregnancy, and your boss tells you that the clinic is closed on Tuesday for a funeral, and you find out that your doctor is the one that died. Then, you go to your Wednesday appointment and they give you a different doctor. Who delivers your baby, and then, by the next baby, has moved to a different state. And, then, your next baby is delivered by your regular doctor.
Really. What do you think? Who is my regular doctor?
Sickness Versus Health
If I am not sick, I won't be going to the doctor. If I am sick, unless I schedule an appointment for a specific part of my body, they won't look at anything else because they haven't had a chance to bill me for it, so they won't even talk about it.
I was sick the middle of the week and my appointment was on Friday. I had not eaten since noon on Tuesday, and I had to fast on Thursday for 10 hours. Water was okay.
Well. Apparently, I was drinking too much water, but actually, that was okay. My sodium was a little low, but diarrhea will move the sickness out of your body, taking a little sodium with it. It shows up on their testing.
I give them credit. They said that most of my levels were normal. I still have to work on my nutritional needs, but that changes on a daily basis, so, yeah, I'll work on it.
Let me tell you how my day went at the doctor. I had been home sick that week. My sinuses were plugged on Tuesday, and they were draining on Friday. I had an awful cough that was the end result of whatever I had on Tuesday.
After checking in, which amounted to giving my paperwork to the receptionist, I sat down to wait for my appointment. I had fasted over night and was sipping on water. Water was okay for my fast. Of course, since I had been sick all week, I hadn't eaten anything since Tuesday noon.
So, I was ushered in and my blood pressure was taken. 102/80. Apparently okay. Then, they took a few vials of blood. Then, I had to go into a bathroom and pee into a small cup. I managed to get a little bit into the cup.
Then, after a few questions about my height and weight, I was hooked up to electrodes and they checked my heart. I switched doctors at that point and was asked a few questions about my bowel movements. Told that I should be checked for diabetes. Then, I was escorted to the basement, where I had to walk on a treadmill and have my blood pressure checked. I also had to do situps, pushups and some mobility tests.
Then, that complete, I was ushered back upstairs, where I was detained at the door until they determined that my testing was done. Then, I was bid goodbye and I was on my way to my next appointment. My mammogram had to be done in a separate building. So, I killed time by doing a little shopping.
Then, I went to my mammogram appointment and headed home.
I received a phone call from the mammogram staff that day, which confirmed that my mammogram was normal, and see you next time.
By the next week, I was curious to know how my blood tests, urine tests and of course my treadmill tests had turned out. A woman from the clinic called and I called her back. It took several times to connect. Phone tag.
She had the results of my mammogram. I already knew that. Then, I asked her about my levels of my testing. Apparently everything was normal, so they weren't going to proceed with anything. Another see you next year thing. Okay. Well, I wished to see my levels, and asked for the normal booklet they usually print out. I received it a few days later.
Yes. Everything was okay and normal. But, the reason why I was so interested, was because the previous couple years had high levels of cholesterol, and weight and I was interested in seeing how well I had reduced those numbers.
Apparently I had been successful in all accounts.
When the doctor asked me if I had any issues with my health, heart, cancer, or on any medications, I had to say no. No, I'm not on any medications. No I don't take anything.
No, I'm boring.
I mean. I know people who take pills and pills and pills. I don't. I can imagine that if I went to the clinic and asked to see a doctor, I would have nothing to discuss.
Knock on wood, I have nothing to discuss at this moment, but isn't that when your health goes to heck in a hand basket.
How Long You Last and What You Die Of
As I stated in the first sentence. I'm 55. I'm thankful that I'm healthy, but apparently, these numbers can change in a heartbeat and you must be diligent.
I come from a long line of long lived people. People who lived their lives, ignoring the doctors, since they were mostly like me. People who didn't get sick. Did not need to see the doctor for mysterious pains, unusual lumps, or any other concerns.
My father, lived to be 88 in 2012, hadn't been to a doctor since 1959. My mother, had multiple health issues and had cancer when I was born. Well. She had a lump. They decided it was cancer and dealt with it. She didn't go to the doctor for many, many years. 25 years in fact. Then, she had some issues and went in. They didn't find her cancer right away. It took a few visits. Then, they found it. She lasted about five months, and then she died. She was 61.
Two people, in the same household with totally different health needs.
Oh, one of my grandmas lived to be 92. Her mother lived to be 92. One had gone senile, one just died. Another grandma died of cancer 78. Her husband, grandpa, lived to be 88, died of a DVT.
My husband has to be in contact with his doctors and have his levels checked every few months. He has medications delivered to the house and is self injecting. He has to take baby aspirin and takes pills to control his cholesterol.
Me. I don't take anything. Maybe an occasional ibuprofen, but otherwise, nothing.
I'm glad I'm boring.