Friday, December 19, 2008

Vindicated

Doctors never believe me when I tell them I'm sick. It's probably one of the reasons I never go to the doctor anymore. It's terribly frustrating to describe my various symptoms in gross detail, not just once when I call and make the appointment, but again upon arrival at the doctor's office, then again when I'm called by the nurse who takes my blood pressure, and AGAIN when the doctor FINALLY comes into the exam room. After all the explanations and repetition and pointing to various afflicted areas, to have the doctor say, "Well, you seem totally fine. It must be a cold virus, there's nothing I can do, go back to work and call me in a week" - well, that freaking pisses me off.

Never mind that I know my own body, doctor, don't listen to me. Please, don't take my medical history into consideration, it's really not necessary. When I tell you that this head cold will, beyond the shadow of a doubt, become walking pneumonia next week? I'm sure that's all in my head, pay no mind. It's not like I've ever been sick before, no, not I.

The lack of willingness to listen to their patients paired with an increase in the number of so-called professional who FUCKING GOOGLE stuff they should know? That doesn't exactly promote my confidence in the medical profession, you know what I mean?

Yesterday, after stumbling around like a drunken fool all day at work, I finally decided that enough was enough. I was going to the Minute Clinic at my local pharmacy. I've never been before, but several co-workers have, so I knew my health insurance would be accepted. Plus, it's right down the road, not even a mile from work, and no appointment was necessary.

I headed over there, physically restraining my urge to point the car towards home and give another, "eh, I'm probably fine" to make myself feel better about it. Instead, I thought of all the people I see at work everyday - people who really want to have a Merry Christmas next week, and don't plan on catching whatever hell bug I've been spreading around the break room. So I went, against my better judgement, to the Minute Clinic.

I walked into the pharmacy, located the sign for the clinic, and headed that way. There was a notice that read, "Minute Clinic Patients: Sign in on the computer". Already, I took that as a good sign. One less instance of human interaction I'd have to endure in my cranky, dizzy state. I entered my name and addresses, verified that I was indeed over 18 or accompanied by an adult, and then I took a seat.

On the wall was a list of services they offer (flu shot, strep test, wellness tests, etc) and their respective prices. I don't think I'd ever seen a list of prices for medical treatments before, and certainly not in ADVANCE of the treatment. The prices listed were for those who do not have insurance, as they don't take co-payments into account. But still, I knew before I even got in there that my consultation was going to cost $59 before insurance. Amazing.

The door in front of me featured a sliding plaque that reminded me of porta-potty "occupied" signs, and it read "With Patient". I waited, and after several minutes, the patient emerged, followed by a smiling nurse who introduced herself as Nancy. Nancy waved me into her office, which was basically a glorified closet, and I took a seat. She asked for a few more medical details, I gave her my list of symptoms, and she did a quick exam.

"Sinus infection, you poor thing," she said. She typed up an Rx for antibiotics and emailed it over to the pharmacy desk next door. I asked if she could also prescribe diflucan (ladies, am I right?) to accompany the antibiotic, and she sent that right over to the pharmacy as well. She recommended cough drops with zinc, saline nasal spray, and Sudafed. Then she reviewed the Rx instructions, asked if I had any questions, and ran my credit card through her computer for my insurance co-pay.

I was ushered out of the closet (that's what she said) and sent on my way with a sympathetic smile and a, "Hope you're feeling much better soon, dear."

Seriously? That's all? I just...walk over to the pharmacy counter and pay for my prescriptions?

Yeah, that was all. I was in and out of there in less than 30 minutes with my Rx's and headed home. Best of all? This lady actually admitted that I was sick! Thank you lady! I know I'm sick, thank you for believing me!

I HIGHLY recommend the Minute Clinics to you people. I don't know if they are all over the country or not, but if you have one in your area, or something like it, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT! I may never go to a doctor's office again for the rest of my life.