My first appointment to interview rheumatologists is this afternoon and it's got me all flustered. The nerves might be from the cup of coffee I just drank in about two gulps, but whatever. It's a big deal.
Originally I scheduled the appointment so my husband could go along with me. All was going well until a last minute meeting prevented him from taking his usual Friday off, so now I'm flyin' solo. There's the first cause of stress.
You might think I need to buck up and show some independence, but I'm a firm believer in having a supporter come along with you to doctor appointments. There are too many benefits :
1. Someone will be there to remember questions you might forget to ask.
2. Someone will be there after the appointment to remember things the doctor said that you might have forgotten about after the whirlwind of a meeting you just had.
3. It's always nice to have someone there just to support you. Even if he says nothing, having my husband sitting next to me in the doctor's office is always comforting.
(Though side-note: Doc Wiz once told me that whenever he sees someone's spouse come along to the appointment, he's almost always expecting to be reprimanded by the spouse.
"Why is my husband in pain?!"
"Why haven't you cured my wife's arthritis?!"
Except when Mitch and I showed up. Then he would just talk to Mitch about skiing and I would sit there wondering when we'd get around to talking about me . . . .)
Having said that little tangent, the second stress inducer is simply meeting a new doctor when my current rheumatologist is so great.
It might be more exciting if I was coming out of a situation where I was looking forward to finding someone new. A really bad previous doctor makes it a little easier to find someone who is at lease a little better.
But in my situation, I didn't want to change doctors. I had such a good relationship with my doctor that now I have this ridiculously high expectation that might never be reached again.
. . . sigh . . .
Another thing I'm stressed about . . . having to give a play-by-play of the last twelve years of arthritis care.
So tell me about your situation.
Well, I was diagnosed, then on this medicine, then on this medicine, then I did this, and this, and yadda yadda yadda.
This appointment could go on forever.
Sure I have files I could hand over to him. I could just sit there and watch him read them. Or he could take them and throw them in a pile of other people's files and never get around to it.
How the doctor responds to my history lesson is a big deal here.
If he is interested and listens intently while I pour my soul . . . I mean . . . tell him about my medical history, then he scores points.
If he tries to rush me through with the Cliffsnotes version, then he loses points.
In the end, in my mind it's a test. He's gotta impress me. He's gotta win me over in order to take care of me.
But man, I'm not ready to interview anyone today.
I'd rather stay at home, snuggled with my kitties, possibly trying out a new recipe for dark chocolate almond butter truffles.
But no. I have to go to the doctor's.
Wish me luck.