I knew a woman who had TMJ, severe back pain and fibromyalgia. She also suffered from secondary infertility. I felt pity on her. She asked me once to accompany her on an appointment at University of San Francisco. It was about a thirty minute drive, a toll bridge and parking is a huge mess, but we went and waited. When we finally saw the doctor, she took off her shoes and pulled off her socks. She showed the doctor her ankles. One was slightly more swollen than the other. She was in no pain, not even that nameless feeling you get when things just aren’t right. Nothing.
The podiatrist did notice that she had a corn and that she had the choice of whether she wanted to remove it or to hang tight. Of course she signed up for the surgery – her hand almost quivering with excitement. She thought her intuition and God drew her to that place and that it was just wonderful that she had her convictions verified.
I could not believe she went to that effort to fix something that wasn’t broken. The amount of time and money we spent to get there was astounding.
Her hobby was going to the doctor.
I am afraid I have become like her.
Today is Friday. I started the day at the physical therapist, where Megan, Ph.D and I worked on my knee. The knee bothers me more than hurts me. There are a few other things she is working on – including my balance caused by those tumors in my foot and strength in the hips. Thank you, Dr. Megan.
Monday is the day I see my psychiatrist. She adjusts my psychiatric medication and helps with my regime – she loves yoga and likes meditation. If you have religious objections to them that you would like to see addressed, please comment and I can tell you why I think that is cool for me, or any other Christian, to practice them.
Tuesday is Weight Watchers. No doctors there. But I quit eating milk and my face has cleared up. Wonder if all along a milk allergy caused the mess that was my skin. I saw a dermatologist and he gave me two tubes of goo for my face.
Wednesday we visited the marriage counselor, LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) with a Ph.D in Psychology. She is very small and I recognized her because her office is in the same building as my beloved Dr. G (He moved to San Diego.)
Thursday I went to my talk-therapy therapist. The psychologist is arrestingly smart. She earned her Ph.D from University of North Dakota. I talked about my foot problems and how the doctor (A podiatry degree is separate from a MD – but still a doctor.) told me there was nothing he could do. I reluctantly agreed to get a second opinion. But are there enough days in a week to accommodate another doctor?
It’s not a hobby. It’s just what my life is right now, I keep telling myself. It’s not forever, but maybe it’s not. When I was young the family doctor didn’t know my brother had a sister. He managed to get every single childhood illness that is not vaccinated against and some that were. I didn’t. I never broke a bone or needed anti-biotics. Now, I am quite sure he hasn’t been to the doctor for years, while I haven’t been to the doctor in hours. It’s not a contest and being free of bodily disease is not a moral issue. I do my best not to be sick: I wash my hands and brush my teeth and try not to be overweight. Even if I do those things I will always be sick – I will always a close, personal relationship with my pharmacist and the pharmacist techs. (Ah! The pharmacist is a doctor, too!)
Edited to add: I didn’t mention the teeth doctors: Dentist, endodontist and orthodontist.