A couple of days ago, my husband and I had appointments with someone we hoped would be our new doctor, since our previous doctor had to suddenly move out of province.
The very morning of the appointment, my husband had to cancel out.
Ah, the irony; being too ill to see the doctor…
Unfortunately, it was the sort of thing that made a 40 minute drive, and no bathroom access, out of the question.
So with that last minute change, I decided I would take my mother’s car out for a run, and one of my daughters was able to join me.
My appointment went well. I have high hopes for this doctor. There were the usual questions one would expect with a first visit, and no medical records to reference; when was the last time I had a pap smear, mammogram, flu shots, etc.. The first difference was, his questions were followed up with something along the lines of “and are you comfortable with getting that done?” After several of these questions, he paused to explain that he was basically going through the list of things he needs to know, but it’s completely up to me about any of these, and if I don’t want to get any particular test or shot or whatever, it’s up to me, full stop.
Among the questions, he would ask things like “are you happy?” Except that before he asked the question, he paused typing on his keyboard, turned to me, putting his FULL attention and focus on ME, before asking.
Near the beginning of the appointment, when he was asking along the lines of “why are we here”, I explained that our doctor had moved away and we need a new doctor. I then added that this was supposed to be a joint appointment with my husband, but he wasn’t feeling well and had to cancel. I then briefly and quickly listed some of the health issues he is dealing with before asking if he would be willing to take my husband on as a new patient as well. He said yes, then immediately back tracked to, “you said he was feeling ill… what is wrong? Is he okay?” I told him it was basically just intestinal difficulties, and he left it at that. When I mentioned I would need to rebook my husband, he said to book for a full physical, since this would be his time to get to know my husband (we’ll have to go through the paperwork to get our files transferred, and that will take a while), and then we moved on. However, throughout the meeting, as we talked about me, he also included my husband. When he brought up booking a full physical for myself, he added that I can book mine as the same time I book my husband’s (by this time, he knew we did not live nearby). When he did a standard blood work requisition for me, he was also able to make one up for my husband.
What I really appreciated was what didn’t happen. The first time I saw my previous doctor, he immediately wanted to put me on statins. I refused, but every time I saw him, he brought it up, and when I tried to explain my research behind why I was refusing, he brushed it off, assuming my source (he assumed there was only 1) was unreliable (even after I mentioned one of my sources included John Hopkins). He kept referring to some large study that proved everyone after a certain age should be on statins, but I have yet to find anything about this large, apparently well known, study. Anywhere. The closest I’ve been able to find is actually the one that is the basis of why people shouldn’t be on statins. As good as this doctor was, and as great his “bedside manner”, it made me dread seeing him, and delay making appointments.
I don’t think I’ll be having that problem with this doctor! It never came up. At all. Nothing. Zip. Zero. All he wanted to know is what prescriptions I was on, and what I was taking for my arthritis.
I can actually foresee my husband’s prescriptions being reassessed, and maybe even having some of them taken off. Such as the statins he was recently put on.
So that all went very well, and I look forward to coming back later in the month, for when we have our full physicals booked.
That done, my daughter and I turned out minds to what to do next. Namely, breakfast. 😀 Because we were already more than half way to the city, we decided to go there, then do some running around. One of the things we wanted to do was check out a new grocery store that opened not long ago. We had been driving past it for some months, and the girls were really looking forward to checking it out. We didn’t even know is was a full grocery store; based on the signage, we thought it was basically a fishmonger. We now know it is a Filipino grocery store. We checked it out and were quite impressed. It’s very much like a Chinese grocery store we used to visit whenever we could, before our move. Which means it’s got products we haven’t been able to find anywhere else, including the international version of another grocery store we now include on our monthly shopping trips. On top of the groceries, however, were island after island with heaps of ice, loaded with fresh caught, completely intact, fish.
It’s the girls that love their seafood, but if we ever get fish here, we’ll have to make sure we are prepared to scale and gut them ourselves! I don’t think we have good tools for that right now.
After visiting there, we also were able to stop next door to a new Bulk Barn. It had been located across the street, before. This new location is quite a bit bigger, and we enjoyed checking it out. Before our move, I would make meals in a jar, and want to do it again. Being able to stock up on the ingredients in bulk is a huge help with that, so I’ll definitely be coming back with a list! It was my daughter that spotted a display of…
Meals in a jar; just add the protein! So basically, they were selling versions of what I wanted to make. 😀
After a couple more stops, we headed home. I have to say, I’m glad I took my mom’s car. I’ve only taken it on relatively short runs, and it really needed that couple of hours on the highway. My daughter even noted she could feel a difference in how it was running, between on the way out, and on the way back. I’m going to have to make a point of using the car more often.
Meanwhile, this morning, having done the prerequisite fasting, my husband and I went into town for our tests. He had tests from the heart clinic, too – including the EKG, and mine included a chest X-ray. I’d mentioned my chronic cough to the doctor, so he added that on, too! The good thing is, we can still go to the closer lab to get these done. We’ve gone often enough, the lab techs know us, and if we’re both getting work done, we usually end up getting blood taken at the same time. They only have 2 chairs for that, facing each other. There always ended up being a lot of banter! 😀
While there, I mentioned that my blood work was the “get to know you” stuff, now that we have a new doctor. I asked if she knew what was going on at the clinic there, now that the two doctors are gone. So far, nothing. One tech said she heard they might be getting new doctors in the spring. Maybe. They, however, are now also both without doctors! Working right in the hospital, with the clinic in the same building, it had been pretty convenient for them. A bit too convenient. The tech working on me said she should probably find a doctor elsewhere, because then she would have to actually book appointments and plan the visits. With the clinic just down the hall, it was too easy to walk over on short notice to get her prescriptions updated, and never actually see the doctor for a regular appointment.
I did stop by the clinic afterwards, to ask about getting our files transferred. The paperwork for that has to be done at the new clinic (I should have known, having done that with my mother, but she was given conflicting information, so I wasn’t sure). After clearing that up, the woman at the counter, who well remembers us, asked me where I’d found a new doctor, and how that went. She was happy to hear that we’d found one, and mentioned quite a few of their patients had moved to the clinic we’re now at.
What a juggling act the whole thing has been.
So now, we have our regular doctor a 40 minute drive away, but we can still go to the usual lab for basic tests we need, only 15-20 minutes away, and then there are my husband’s heart clinic appointments in the city, which takes about 1 1/2 hours to get to, with some of the specialty tests being done in another, smaller, city about 45 minutes away.
It’s a pain, but the alternative is to be living in the city, and that has its own headaches. I prefer having to drive further away a few times a month, over having the constant noise and bustle of the city around us, all day, every day.
I think the trade off is still worth it.