Friday, September 29, 2006

say ah

Got a new HMO, got a new doctor. For the past few years I've been a bit of a nomad medically. Hopping from dentist to dentist and doctor to doctor. And I have health insurance! We decided to get insurance that both of our jobs subscribed to. After spending (and I mean spending) alot of time with my new dentist and the other endodentist he referred me to, it was time to go see my medical doctor. My family had been with Kaiser for a long time and I remember growing up with one doctor most of my life. Then as an adult, just got shuffled from one department to another for one exam or another. Here for your primary, over here for your ob/gyn.

With this new HMO and doctor, I could get my basic primary care and ob/gyn needs done at once. Hard enough to go to the doctor, harder still to book another appointment for ob/gyn needs. Dr. L the one we picked for Primary Care is rather nice and personable, good traits for a primary care physician. She looks to be in her mid-30s or so, with her knee high leather boots, quite fashionable. OK so fashion shouldn't be a high reason for choosing your doctor, though the hubby wanted someone that had been in med school more around the 1990s than the 1980s or 1970s. His theory being that science and medicine changes alot and unless the doctor's are really doing their reading or are involved in research that they may not be as up to par as the more recent graduates.

My main concern in this checkup was to ask about any pre-natal things I should be doing, as our starting point for starting a family is coming around the corner. So she suggested that I start taking Pre-natal vitamins. I usually take a women's one-a-day, but apparently the pre-natal stuff has more folic acid, iron, and calcium. Coming with a family history of anemia, getting more iron probably isn't a bad thing for me in general.

In high school while trying to give blood my senior year, I found out I was anemic. My blood was so devoid of iron that it floated in their test for iron count. I think the nurse was so shocked she tried it again to make sure it wasn't broken or upside down or something. And to think up to that point I had been a 3 sport a year kind of gal. It's no wonder I didn't do so well in track or cross country! I wonder what I could have done with more oxygen running through my body.

The doctor also recommended a pre-natal blood test that tests for things like sexually transmitted diseases, diabetes, nutrition, hepititis. And in this day and age of HIV, she has to ask whether I think I would need to be HIV tested. Now there's a question that always makes you stop and think regardless of whether you know for sure what the answer is.

After writing up my blood test notice, giving me a website or two with their emails if I had any questions, she sent me off and said to see her in 1-2 years. And that when I'm pregnant, to call them up for an ob/gyn referral. At my age, where I exercise 3-4 times a week, have a low blood pressure, currently don't have any real complaints, and haven't hit the age where I need to take certain tests by default, that's what the doctor says, see me in one, more like two years. I'm sure it's more cost effective for doctors to see young healthy people every 2 years or so, I would rather go once every year simply because if I didn't, I'd just forget and keep forgetting til something actually breaks. I barely remember what I did last year. I don't really remember what I did two years ago and you want me to remember a 10 minute conversation with a doctor I just met?

She had asked me when my last tetanus shot was. And if I hadn't of cut myself (not in kali, in a kitchen accident) and still had the scar on my finger to prove it, I don't think I would have remembered that it was not more than 10 years ago.

I went a block up the street to got get my blood test. The phlebotomist (the person who takes your blood) was on the money and nailed a vein on the first try. I've heard horror stories where a bad one will turn you into a pin cushion. She took 3 separate vials of blood. I think it's cool how they can switch vials with their rubber stops without taking the needle out! Fortunately enough for me, see my own blood this way doesn't make me queasy. I got a bit loopy when they made the 3rd stitch in my finger, but that might have been from waiting in the emergency room for over an hour.

In a few weeks, I'll get my tests back. I think they need new names for these things. It's bad enough that people tend to have painful experiences linked to "tests", so who wants to do anything that remotely seems like, feels like, sounds like a "test". Despite being young and healthy, I do breathe a sigh of relief after reading the results/outcomes/summation of the total. It's bad enough that all the hospital dramas make people think that 1) something bad or awful happens to people when they enter the hospital and 2) your doctor will save you in 60 minutes minus commercials. Then again, a 20 minute chat that ends with "see me in 2 years" is awfully boring and doesn't make for good ratings. But that's ok, I prefer my drama to stay on the tv screen.

No comments: