It's Aloha Friday and I'm back again.
Doctors and patients. Old Joke: Know why they're called patients? Because you need a lot of patience waiting to see your doctor. Other Old Joke: Old doctors never die, they just lose their patients.
How many doctors have you had in your lifetime so far? I've had a bunch. There was my family doctor when I was a kid. That was so long ago that he made housecalls. I vividly remember his nurse. She gave me a shot in the arm once, and bent the needle — didn't break it, just bent it to a right angle.
Once I was an adult there was the doctor that both my father and I saw. He's the doctor that, I believe, misdiagnosed my father. Missed seeing the cancer. I dropped him and was pleased when he retired soon after.
Later on I was assigned to a woman doctor in Martinez, CA. Every time I went to see her she told me I needed to lose weight, which I already knew. Being very polite, I never pointed out to her that she was as wide as she was tall. Or maybe I was afraid to comment, since the first time I saw her I was naked except for one of those marvelous hospital no-close-in-the-back gowns . . . and she told me to lay on my side, back to her, and pull my knees up to my chest. Then . . . well, you know what happens when they pull on those rubber gloves and get out that sticky jelly.
Gave up on that doctor but found another. Pretty good this time. He was somewhat sardonic but quite capable. We discussed stuff. He listened. He advised but didn’t fly off the handle if I didn't follow his advice. He retired and I had to ask Kaiser to give me a new doctor. Haven’t even seen him yet, but he at least responds to emails.
Then there are the specialists. I've outlasted two dermatologists. That does not include the very special specialist dermatologist who cut out the cancer on my upper lip . . . while sparing my mustache. I really appreciated her.
Ophthalmologists? I've had four. One who did not tell me to "come in right away if your vision changes at all". That lack of advice cost me about 60% of the vision in my left eye. At least she sent me to another ophthalmologist. One who knew how to use a laser to repair my detached retina. Then I've had one ophthalmologist who fixed both my cataracts, and another who fixed my second detached retina. I wonder how come none of them ever mentioned that cataract surgery increases your chances of having a detached retina?
Pharmacists? Well, there was the one who when I told her my wife was having a reaction to two prescribed medications downplayed it as "very rare". I then explained to her that "very rare" was not a synonym for "never". Oh, yes, I immediately stopped having my wife take those two meds, and my wife was fine within a day.
Neurologists? The first one who examined my wife immediately just jumped to Alzheimer's Disease as a diagnosis. She pooh-poohed my suggestions, dismissed it out of hand, that my wife had a special condition called Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus. Guess what? That doctor no longer works at our hospital, and the hospital won’t make any comment on her. Our new neurologist? Wonderful, if a little young; wears a bow tie. And now on his recommendation we're going to see a neuro-surgeon to put in a shunt and reduce fluid in my wife's brain. You can bet I'm compiling a list of questions for him.
There's doctors, and there's patients. And the best advice I can give those of you who are patients is — don't put your complete trust in your doctors. Patiently explore all your options. Check things out on the Internet. Ask others who have had similar experiences. Second and third opinions are worth every penny. Mahalo
I just finished Michael's first murder mystery, " The Bones of Kuhina Nui," that took place on the Big Island of Hawaii, I could not put the book down once I started reading. Check out Michael's website at; http://www.michaelherr.com/ You can purchase all 6 books for only $18.00 including postage and handling!
Some added comic relief....
A doctor gave a man six months to live.
The man couldn't pay his bill, so he gave him another six months.