Friday, September 18, 2009

The Doctor Won't See You Now

I woke up this morning with a heavy heart. I had been putting it off for weeks, but it was finally the day to see my doctor for a long-overdue physical exam.

For all of my frustration with my mother about her excuses why she doesn't see a doctor and her anger at the suggestion that she might have to take medicine and her cavalier attitude about the medications she's been prescribed, the dirty truth is that I am far worse than she is. I just don't let anybody know that I think all the things that she actually says.

I've been putting off lab tests for months now because I know that they are going to be bad. But I finally bit the bullet and had the tests done a couple of weeks ago. Kaiser e-mails you the results and they were, as I knew they would be, bad.

The doctor's office had been calling me periodically for weeks. Despite the fact that I stay at home most of the time, somehow I was never here when they called (and if I was here, if I saw it was the doctor's office calling, I let it go to voice mail). Then somehow I never got around to returning the call. (That's actually easy to do because the call-back number you get is for the appointment office, not for the doctor's office.)

But finally I just couldn't put it off any more. I had postponed because of my mother's health (when actually it was only that I was going to the doctor with her ONE day...but that bought me a month). I postponed because of the trip to Europe, which actually gave me TWO months, since I didn't tell the doctor that I was only going to be gone for two weeks. And then there were those calls I never returned.

See, the thing is that I never outgrew my childish fear of disapproval. The very worst thing I can envision is not physical pain, it's fearing someone will be upset with me. It's bad enough when it's because of something that I can't do anything about, but when it's because of my own actions, that's even worse.

My mother always gets glowing doctor reports and has a witty reparte with her health care providers. Mine are always pointing out things that I had done wrong or things that I should be doing...that I know I should be doing.

Heck, I stopped going to the dentist for more than twenty years because I knew I wasn't flossing and I couldn't bear to hear my dentist tell me I should floss. He didn't even have to yell at me; all he had to do was look over his glasses with me, look exasperated, and point out that I should be flossing and would lose my teeth if I didn't.

(Fortunately, Cindy came into my life and cured me of dental fear--and I even floss now.)

But after I had the blood tests done, I finally went to the web site and made an appointment. The week before the appointment, I went back to the web site and changed it to a couple of weeks later. This has been going on, now, for several appointments.

Finally, finally, I had to face the music.

I got up this morning, took my shower, got the puppies fed, and, resisting the urge to reschedule the appointment yet again, I girded my loins, took a deep breath and drove to the doctor's office. The appointment was for 10:20 and I arrived at 10:20 on the dot. I hadn't had any breakfast because, you know, a bowl of cereal would add so much weight and I wanted to be as light as possible. (bwahahahaha)

"You're quite a bit early," the receptionist said. "Your appointment isn't until 11:20."

I told her that was OK because I'd brought a book with me. I had also planned on getting a mammogram today too, so I could do that to kill time (no appointment needed for a mammogram).

Then the receptionist checked her computer again. "Actually," she said, "you're very early. Your appointment is not until tomorrow!"

I don't have a clue where I got the idea that it was today at 10:20. But it's not until tomorrow.

I did stop and get a mammogram (oh, how I long for the day when they decide that men need to have penograms yearly!!!). And then I stopped at a nearby restaurant to have a breakfast that I really shouldn't have had--but it gave me an opportunity to sit and read another couple of chapters of Dan Brown's book (I will have finished it by the time I post this entry).

And now I have to do the damn thing all over again. Go through the tortures of the damned about what the doctor will say, and get to the office on time. And I still don't know why I had the idea the appointment was for today because it very clearly says, on my desk calendar that it's for tomorrow at 11:20.

Gee...d'ya think that I can claim that all the "bad" things about my health are because I'm losing it mentally?


Indigo said...

Bascially you were 25 hours early? LOL! If it makes you feel any better, my dr has set up some lab tests that involves drawing blood. I've passed out a couple times when I've had blood drawn so I'm avoiding the lab like the plague. It's been about 5 weeks now. I'm wondering how long it'll be before they call me to see why I haven't been there yet.


P.S. I loooooooooove to floss my teeth! I carry floss with me wherever I go. :)

Ed said...

I'm thinking I should start encouraging you to put on that swimsuit you used in Europe, renew your membership at Physical Edge...and start coming to the therapy pool with us. Easy on the knees...and we have a good workout. So when the doctor tells you today that you should be exercising...