Then and now: on acuteness and chronicity.

I used to wait until I was sick enough to go to the doctor. Now I wait till I’m well enough to go to the doctor.

I used to not mind a long wait, so long as I had plenty of time myself to air all my concerns and hash out all possible solutions. Now, I want to get in and out as quick as I can, in order to be well enough to drive home.

I can’t take just any available appointment. I need to schedule within the 3-hour window when I’m at my most alert and best. Sometimes I need to cancel. Rescheduling within a reasonable timeframe is difficult, and it delays my income cheque by a week or two or more.

I used to find doctors’ bills pretty much irrelevant; it was just once a year. Now, a 25 dollar gap fee plus sixty or seventy dollars of medication every month must be accounted for in the budget. If it’s coming out of leisure budget, it displaces, for example, purchase of a book or two, a Chinese takeaway treat, and a couple of movie tickets each and every month. (In reality, it’s more complex of course – a combination of cutting back on groceries, changing leisure budget, and various other things.)

If I’m seeing a new doctor, I have to wonder whether the doctor will believe me.

Things are different, now.



Categories: Life

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5 replies

  1. Oh, how clearly I hear that.
    Even though I’m unable to work due to my disability, my spouse earns “reasonable” money. Therefore, I have no health-care card. Which means I pay a huge amount for my medication. And doctors appointments. Which means our one-wage-supporting-two-people also supports a huge wad of cash going to the very disability that means we are on one wage.
    But no health care card for me!
    Not to mention the difficulties receiving adequate care for a condition that many doctors are woefully unprepared to deal with. And the list of referrals to other people they think may be able to deal with you (which actually means they want to make it anyone’s problem but theirs).
    I love medical care when you’re not in a position to complain by taking your business elsewhere!
    madeinmelbournes last blog post..A new timewaster

  2. Yes.
    Anytime I go anywhere, it must be planned for. In detail.
    Health care isn’t a matter of “Oh no — I had to wait four days for my yearly checkup!” It’s a matter of “Oh no — I’m almost out of medication and my insurance is delaying a refill via any tactic they can think of.” “Oh no — I’m having stomach and back pain so awful I can’t sit upright, and every doctor I go to is detached and dismissive, and I still have no idea what’s wrong.” “Oh no — I moved across the country and now I have to find new doctors, and I don’t know if they’ll believe my condition is a legitimate one, much less believe my self-reported symptoms, or whether they will be knowledgeable about my condition(s), or whether they will care enough to follow through in seeking effective treatment. I am probably going to end up waiting a good six months or a year before finding a reasonable doctor, having consulted probably a dozen or three along the way.”
    All of which have applied to me or do apply to me now.
    I hear you on “sick enough” vs. “well enough.” It’s the same calculus for me. Same with school and work, too.
    amandaws last blog post..What was that again?

  3. I don’t know what you’re going through but it sure sounds tough. My thoughts are with you and you’ve opened my eyes up.

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