Sunday, July 13, 2014

I'm running out of doctor's appointments

I got my latest appointment list from the hospital. I was shocked to realize that I only have eight scheduled appointments. Total. That's amazing. I haven't had less than ten scheduled appointments (which is the most shown on the appointment list) in years.

On one level this makes me very happy. I am sick of being sick and going to the doctor. I spend way too much time there. I have been making a concerted effort to cut back on unnecessary doctor appointments. I have opted out of some doctors simply because I don't think they do me much good. I cancelled my appointment with my radiation oncologist because I have no idea why I am still seeing her.

On the other hand, with the constant doctor appointments comes a sense of a safety net - nothing that bad can be found at a doctor appointment if someone else has seen you just a couple of months before. This can be seen with cancer patients facing the end of active treatment when their oncologist says 'all done, see you in six months' and all the continual follow up ends. This is when the most cancer patients fall apart - their safety net has ended.

When I hit the end of active treatment, I got a therapist who I still see monthly and my health continued its downward spiral so I saw doctors constantly. Finally seven years after my diagnosis, six years after active treatment, my health is stabilizing (or so it seems today) and I stop seeing doctors as often.

Now I am down to a PCP annually, rheumatologist every three months, pain doctor every four months or so, endocrinologist annually, oncologist annually - maybe not any more after the next appointment, dermatologist annually, therapist monthly, and meds therapist twice a year I hope. That works out to 11 appointments a year plus 14 for my mental health. I can live with 25 total appointments. Plus dentist twice a year and periodontist twice a year. So 29 appointments. Plus a mammogram is 30 appointments. Which is really 12 medical, 14 mental and 4 dental. If I split it up, it sounds better. Or I need back injections. Damn I guess I don't have only a few appointments.

Unless of course something happens.

I will push that looming thought out of my brain because I need to 'grow up' (is that a good term?) and get past the 'being sick' stage of my life for now. I need a being healthy stage of my life for now so I can do the things I enjoy and not go to the damn doctor. That would make me much happier.

1 comment:

Chris C said...

Keep up the inner strength :)