Friday, October 23, 2015

Irony...

Let's do some comparisons, just for fun!

Scenario 1:

You're relatively healthy, but all of a sudden start developing some new symptoms that could be not so good. You call your doctor and explain what is going on to the nurse. She may alleviate your concerns right on the phone, or schedules you for a same day appointment to see the doctor. If you do have to go in for an appointment, you'll likely walk out with some answers from the doctor either in the form of medications or suggestions.

Seems relatively straightforward, right?

Let's play again...

Scenario 2:

This time, you've got a chronic illness. For the sake of this purely hypothetical example, let's go one step further and say that you have a rare disease that is poorly understood by many doctors. Since you deal with symptoms on a daily basis, you don't feel the need to go to the doctor except when a new and potentially concerning symptom appears.

So let's say that happens. You call your doctor and he agrees to see you. So far so good. But since your new symptom is unexpected for your "normal" and unusual even for a "typical" patient, your doctor decides that it's beyond his scope and you need to see a specialist. Okay, fair enough, but since specialists only see special cases, and you don't yet have an established specialist for this new issue, you're at the back of the scheduling queue. 

When you finally get to scheduling, you are informed that the earliest possible appointment is more than 6 weeks away...but that's okay because it's not like you really NEED to see this doctor anyway, right? It's not like you're having repeated episodes of anaphylaxis and are frequently on "epipen watch" in case things progress all of a sudden to some unknown trigger...or that all of a sudden you can't walk well and had an inconclusive brain MRI so your doctor wanted you to see a neurologist to make sure things are okay...or that you started having very low blood sugars that won't seem to come up DESPITE being on continuous tube feeds...good thing or it might be SLIGHTLY hazardous to your health that you can't see these specialists for over a month...

And let's not forget that in all likelihood, when you finally get in to see the specialist, they'll tell you they have no idea why you've developed these new symptoms, have never heard of your rare disease or seen a patient like you before...BUT that's okay because at least they know the name of ANOTHER specialist who MIGHT be able to help you...

Oh, but wait, since this next doctor is now an extra specialized specialist, the wait time to schedule with him is now 3-4 MONTHS...but that's okay because it's not like you NEED to see him either, right? You're just in this because you have nothing better to do...plus, it's not like symptoms keep progressing in the mean time either...good thing, too, or you might be frustrated by the long waits and lack of answers...

Just seems ironic to me that the healthier you are, the easier it is to get in to see doctors and get answers to health concerns. The more you actually NEED medical help, the less likely your are to actually get it WHEN you need it.

Good thing this is all completely hypothetical, and I've NEVER had to deal with ANYTHING like this...

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