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Random Queries > People like me are responsible for problems in the health care field/When do you make the decision to go to the doctor?

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (last edited Jun 28, 2011 04:12PM) (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Ok, let me tell you a story.

For the last week and a half I haven't been able to hear out of my right ear. I get this high-pitch whine and everything's all stuffed up, with a sore throat sometimes, too. This happened before maybe four or five years ago. Anyway, talking with people when you only have one functioning ear is a pain in the ass...you get that half-underwater sound, and you have to ask people to repeat things, you have to work so hard hearing that listening is difficult, etc. So I get that anti-wax shit from Walgreens and pour about four gallons in my ear, twice a day, for ten days. Nothing improves. So I think maybe I have a virus or something and I break down in frustration this afternoon and go to the walk-in clinic. Now, I had been to the walk-in clinic this spring and, unfortunately, get the same nurse. The nurse is great, no problem there, but I feel like a total hypocondriac (sp?) wuss. She probably didn't even remember me but I apologized anyway. So...eventually the doctor enters. He's maybe 30 and looks suspiciously like Lex Luther from Smallville. He looks in my ears and says, "you've just got a ton of wax in there." I tell him I tried to get the wax out and he says maybe a little more and it would have worked. I ask him if I could have prevented this and he says no but that I should probably use that anti-wax shit about once a month.

(Is this grossing you out, by the way? I hope you're not reading this at dinner. I want you to know that I love you all, and I know this is probably making me sound horribly unattractive, but I don't care, I'm not trying to hit on anyone, anyway, a situation that is somewhat freeing. Also, you've seen my bloody toes, and this can't be much worse.)

So...the cute nurse returns and uses what I can only describe as a nuclear-powered seltzer bottle to clean out both ears. I have to hold a little cup under my ear, and let me tell you, what came out of my ears was GROSS. It looked like sewer water. Now I can hear, though. Hearing again after not hearing for a week is weird. In a good way.

What's my point? I took approximately a half-hour of two medical professionals' time because I have gross ears. And I feel guilty, like I'm one of the people who overuses medical care for wuss-like symptoms.

So...when do you decide to go to the doctor? Have you ever gone to the doctor and later questioned whether or not you should have gone? Have you ever not gone to the doctor and later thought you should have?


message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 28, 2011 04:20PM) (new)

I think it's real cute you should worry about us not finding you attractive RA.

::wanders off singing, "you’re so vain..."::

I haven't been sick enough to go to the doctors in several years. The only visits I do make are the mandatory ones the government insist on reminding us we need to have bi-annually. I like to avoid those as well.


message 3: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Heh. I guess I'm worried about sounding gross, Gail. What happens if you skip mandatory appointments?


message 4: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 28, 2011 04:27PM) (new)

Apart from reminders from the doctors & the government. Not a lot would happen.

"I bet you think this song is about you. You're so vain"


message 5: by Michael (new)

Michael RandomAnthony wrote: "So...when do you decide to go to the doctor? Have you ever gone to the doctor and later questioned whether or not you should have gone?"

Generally right around the first sniffle because I'm one of those hypochondriacal wusses you worry about being and yes, because I question everything. I would never delay in seeing a doctor with a sudden hearing loss and I'd never treat it with OTC stuff. I also would have gone to an ENT specialist instead of a clinic.


message 6: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 28, 2011 05:00PM) (new)

I have had the wax removed from my ear once. Once you let it build up to the point you can't hear, a trip to the doctors is necessary. The drops you put in only soften the wax, it doesn't remove it. You still need the doctors to flush it out. You saved yourself a second trip by sofening it for them before you arrived.


message 7: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24154 comments Mod
I'm one of those people who thinks healthcare is overused by many in this country, but I don't think your case is an instance of that. You were having trouble hearing. You need to be able to hear. Half an hour is not very long to be seen by two people, and given that one was a nurse her rate was lower than the doctor's rate. And the solution wasn't some ridiculous, overpriced, high-tech solution. It was low tech, and (I'm hoping) not very expensive. They didn't make you get an MRI to view the wax in your ears. So: you were not over-consuming healthcare.

My brother had the exact same procedure done and he said when he emerged, he could hear people's corduroy pants rustling a block away. It was pretty hilarious.

Can I ask what clinic you went to? I'm always interested in what kind of healthcare providers people go to, public/private, etc. Did it have a brandname, was it part of a chain?


message 8: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17322 comments Mod
Im going to be the one to say it: EW.EW EW EW.


message 9: by Suefly (new)

Suefly | 620 comments Sally wrote: "Im going to be the one to say it: EW.EW EW EW."

Hahaha!

Its not that easy for me to see a doc ( I currently have Tri-Care, which is the military's insurance) so I don't usually head to the base for the sniffles, as by the time I'd get in, it would be too late. I od on OTC meds. However, since my mother died, which was 2 months ago, I am not constantly thinking about my future health, so I'm now terrified of doctors.


message 10: by RandomAnthony (last edited Jun 28, 2011 05:25PM) (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Sally wrote: "Im going to be the one to say it: EW.EW EW EW."

You're lucky I didn't have my camera with me:)

Sure, it was the Aurora Health Care group, LG. A walk-in clinic.

I want to comment on two other things:

1. I'm still fascinated by Australia's mandatory doctor visits. Would I be remiss in saying that would not fly in the United States? Some people would assume government interference, the phrase "nanny state" would be bandied about, etc.

2. Bun's post #5 is interesting. Although I appreciate what Buns is saying, answering those questions is part of the medical profession, I'm still getting my head around how I could have addressed this without going to the doctor...maybe a website? A medical practioner that isn't a doctor, who could maybe do what Bun's describing? But would that open the door to lawsuits/malpractice concerns/whatever? My wife (via text) asked me if they said I should buy an earigator or whatever. Shit. I didn't even ask.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

The visits are free so it isn't a biggy. Mandatory is probably not accurate as there is no way for them to enforce the visits. You just then have to put up with the regular reminders letting you know you haven't made the visit. We learned our 'nanny state' for the best. ::stares hard at the US:: Then took it to an all new level.


message 12: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24154 comments Mod
If I had an ear problem I'd go to a doctor, I wouldn't just treat myself based on information from a website. I think you did the right thing. (Though I'd probably research it on a website first.)

And you did attempt to address it without going to the doctor. It didn't work....


message 13: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24154 comments Mod
I don't think I've ever been to a clinic.


message 14: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) I've had to go to a doc-in-a-box a few times in my life.


message 15: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) If there had been something more than wax buildup in your ears that jeopardized your hearing permanently you'd be kicking yourself for not having gone sooner.

My sister who is an RN in emergency, told me of a young mother who came in to ER with a severe ear infection. It had invaded the brain and all they could do was to try to make her comfortable until she died.

You are not a doctor to know when something is innocuous or deadly.


message 16: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24154 comments Mod
Gail «Cyborg» wrote: "The visits are free so it isn't a biggy."

::weeps::


message 17: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) I'm beginning to think we will never see that in this country (free visits, that is).


message 18: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24154 comments Mod
Some employees at certain companies get free clinic visits.

Intel’s move to establish a clinic on its campus is in step with a growing trend. Several Fortune 500 companies are also offering onsite medical facilities for their employees, including Toyota, Goldman Sachs, General Electric, Citibank, Disney and Kraft.

Payments will range from a minimal fee to no cost, depending on the services and the employee’s medical plan.


http://www.portlandtribune.com/news/p...


message 19: by Annie (new)

Annie (agrunwe) I never go to the doctor except for mandatory physicals (i.e, for college)

On one hand, it's a good thing I'm going to be a doctor so I'll always be around them.
On the other hand, I'll always think my patients are whiny hypochondriacs. but they're whiny hypochondriacs who will give me money.


message 20: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11629 comments The women in my life have always visited the "girl doctor" once each year. After a certain age they also get the boobie-squish done annually.

When I turn 50 I'll probably get the camera-up-the-butt procedure. Yea.

Other than that, we only go when symptoms persist beyond a few days, or when something is broken.


message 21: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) Call a spade a spade. I go for an annual physical and mammogram once a year. For the colonoscopy, I go every 10 years.


message 22: by Pat (new)

Pat (patb37) RA - It is not hard to damage an eardrum, so going to a doctor was the right thing to do.

Personally, I pretty much dropped out of the medical industrial complex and have not been to a doctor in over 10 years. Its not hard to do since I am basically healthy (I do have medical insurance).


message 23: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17322 comments Mod
RandomAnthony wrote: "You're lucky I didn't have my camera with me:)"

And the rest of TC is glad I'm not frantically reposting the pictures in every thread. Because I would.


message 24: by RandomAnthony (last edited Jun 29, 2011 06:07AM) (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Sally wrote: "RandomAnthony wrote: "You're lucky I didn't have my camera with me:)"

And the rest of TC is glad I'm not frantically reposting the pictures in every thread. Because I would."


Oh, Sallers, every now and then you make me so happy I want to pick you up and spin you around, maybe hold your hands and spin you around, so you go airborn, until you're so dizzy you barf.


message 25: by Michael (new)

Michael RandomAnthony wrote: "I'm still getting my head around how I could have addressed this without going to the doctor...maybe a website?"

I'm not sure the internet is the best place for anything medical. Maybe reliable sites like Mayo or NIH are alright for information/education, but for diagnosis or treatment options, I don't think so. You had a problem and you went to the doctor. That's what people are supposed to do.


message 26: by Michael (new)

Michael Janice wrote: "My sister who is an RN in emergency, told me of a young mother who came in to ER with a severe ear infection. It had invaded the brain and all they could do was to try to make her comfortable until she died."

I think about this type of stuff a lot.

I'm not totally crazy though worrying about stuff and maybe this is TMI, but you all seem like nice people and if you don't want to know this about me then stop reading now. About 15 years I was having some sinus problems. I had congestion and every time I blew my nose there was some blood. I figured it was a cold/allergies and when it didn't go away I went to the doctor. He said it was just a cold/allergies and he gave me antibiotics. It didn't go away. Then he gave me some type of steroid nasal spray. It still didn't go away. Finally he referred me to an ENT and it turned out I had a tumor in my sinus that had to be removed. Ever since then I've been a little more worried about 'what if' medical stuff.


message 27: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments About 15 years I was having some sinus problems. I had congestion and every time I blew my nose there was some blood.

If you were in a Victorian novel I would have diagnosed you with consumption. But I'm glad you're ok.


message 28: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) I think about this type of stuff a lot.

I try not to think about it too much or else I'd turn into a raving hypochondriac.

My rule of thumb is that if there's something going on medically that doesn't clear up in a reasonable period of time, it's prudent to go to the doctor. Michael, I'm glad you did go to the doctor and that your problem was resolved.


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