brni (brni) wrote,

Adventures in Realm of Doctors

So, I've been feeling unwell this past week. A sort of persistent, nagging headache. Worse back & neck pain than usual. My wrists and knees ached. I blamed it on the weather. Weather fluctuations can really fuck with your joints as you get older, and I have to admit, heylook, I'm getting older.

We have this great stuff, herbal stuff from folks Linda knows called "Busted Joint Ointment." Yesterday I asked Linda if she'd put some on my neck and back. So we pull out her yoga mat and lie down, and as she's rubbing this stuff into my back, I kept flinching away from her.

"My skin's real sensitive," I said.

"It's really hot, too," she said.

Not really sure what my temp was; when Loki was sick last time, we used the thermometer on her, and now it's dedicated to her.

So, maybe I've got the flu. I take heavy doses of echinacea & some other mysterious plant-juice out of Linda's tiny bottles. Osha, I think. Some other stuff. I felt marginally better.

Then this little mosquito bite I'd gotten last weekend started bugging me. More painful than itchy. It's on the back of my thigh, where I can't see (because I'm old, and don't bend as well as I used to). But from what I can tell, the whole area is looking kinda angry - about the diameter of a nectarine. Maybe this wasn't a mosquito. Maybe it was a spider. Getting brown-recluse-bit would suck. But it would explain the rash and the flu-like symptoms. So Linda gets this activated charcoal drawing salve and smears it on the bite, and we stick a big bandaid over it.

A couple hours later Linda comes to refresh the salve, and before she even pulls the bandaid off, she says, "Oh, that's not good." The rash has increased to the size of a large/jumbo tomato. Perhaps I'll get superpowers. It's always good to look at the potential upside to things.

Before midnight rolled around, it had turned into the classic deer tick bite lyme disease bullseye rash. My hopes for superpowers are dashed.

This morning, I called the doctor to request antibiotics. Because when you get Lyme disease, you need antibiotics. So I say, "I need antibiotics, because I have Lyme Disease."

And they said, "You can't say that. You need a doctor to make a diagnosis."

So, 45 minutes later, I'm sitting in the dr office telling the not-my-regular-doctor guy that I have Lyme and need antibiotics. I tell him exactly why I think this. He ignores me. He looks over my charts and asks me if I'm still taking the meds they have me listed as taking. So, finally, he asks me what symptoms I'm experiencing. I tell him about the intermittent low-grade fever (and about the thermometer becoming the dog's property - because he's dubious that I can actually know that I have been feverish w/o an actual thermometer reading). I tell him about the stiff neck and aching joints.

"You don't have a rash, do you?" he asks.

Really? Isn't that the first thing I said when you walked in this room? Well, second thing, really, but still part of the first sentence that began with "I need doxycycline for Lyme disease," and ended with, "because I have a giant bullseye rash on my leg and lots of other typical Lyme symptoms."

So, he looks at the rash, asks me my symptoms again. He measures the rash. He writes some stuff into his computer.

"Well, I think you probably have Lyme disease," he reveals. As if it has ever been in doubt. "That's a classic bullseye rash there, and you have a lot of the typical symptoms. Of course, we're going to do a blood test, but we're going to get you started on an antibiotic called doxycycline. And you should start taking probiotics. Do you know what probiotics are?"

I was good. There were no deaths. Not even any maimings.

But really, I wasted over an hour of my life because nobody was willing to listen to the patient.

"You can't do a diagnosis over the phone," this guy said, at one point.

Really? Maybe he should actually pay attention to what's happening in his field.
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