Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Doctor's Visit

I made an appointment and went to see my doctor today. He told me that tonsil stones and occasional tonsilitis wasn't enough to require a tonsilectomy. Then he looked at my tonsils. He said they were very bad and that he wouldn't be surprised if I needed surgery soon. He said it wasn't a fun surgery for a 26 year old (I'm almost 28 - does that mean that since it's no fun for a 26 year old, it might actually be considered fun for me? Or maybe it's less fun for a 28 year old? At what point does it get downright nasty?). He was also concerned by the fast onset of my symptoms as I've had crypts and tonsiliths for a couple years, but only in the past month have my tonsils been raging mad and making me sick constantly. 

So, I have a prescription for antibiotics. I also have a prescription for a belly button rashy thing I've had for a couple years that I believe a dermatologist misdiagnosed. I have such weird maladies. Justin tells me that all the time. No major injuries or ailments. Just weird, rare, random maladies. 

I have gone to this doctor for...well, for over 28 years. He delivered me. I love this doctor. I am worried about what I'll do when he retires. He's smart as a whip, friendly and personal, and there's just an air of integrity in his office. Not the presumptuous yuppy specialist air. Like some doctor's offices have slate floors and 20 foot high ceilings, marble counter tops, plasma TVs, fire places, etc. This doctor's office hasn't been redecorated since the late 60s or early 70s and I find comfort in it. The colors are outdated, but nothing is worn. Integrity. Nothing is flashy. I like seeing the rows of paper files behind the reception area. I love that the exam tables are made out of dark wood paneling and olive green upholstery yet look pristine. If it ain't broke...

And he's a family doctor. Like I said, he delivered me. He saw me through all my baby stuff, childhood stuff, teenage stuff, adult stuff, female stuff...you get it. I heard a baby cry in the office today and I asked if he sees babies. Of course. He's a family doctor. He sees the entire family. I might switch and start bringing Joci here. I feel so comfortable with this office. I feel the quality behind the reliable - though untrendy - furnishings. I came from the days of a family doctor. Why now do we insist on a specialist for even basic stuff? Why do I go to an ob-gyn and a pediatrician? Maybe I'll ditch the kitchy pediatrician's office with the fancy wall murals and overdone play room and take Joci to our family doctor. He's seriously the sharpest doctor I've ever met - and he's about a third of the price. It saves on my copay and it saves the company I work for which has self-funded insurance. 

I forget that I should shop around for medical care. While we are still a capitalist society in this respect, I do have that luxury. When I was undergoing fertility stuff, I went to the nicest place in town. It was FAN-CY. And expensive. I didn't realize that until I had personality issues with my doctor and switched to a different doctor that reminded me of my family doctor. Older. Kind. Patient. Not too busy. Quality furnishings but an older office that could never be mistaken as posh or trendy. And I liked him so much more personally. And his charge was about a third less. And that made a huge difference to us because insurance doesn't pay for our fertility treatments.

So I'm thinking about switching Joci over. 

What do you do with doctors? Do you go to a specialist for everything? Do you ever get irritated by fancy, nicely decorated offices and think that you're paying for all those unnecessary extras? Do you feel comforted by a place that's more updated and posh? Would you be turned off by the dark paneled, olive green exam table? Do you do cost-comparison shopping with your healthcare? 


Groff Family said...

Those are all a lot of good points that you made. I admit that I am one who likes some newer and nicer decor. In my mind, whether it is accurate or not, it translates to a newer doctor who is fresher with knowledge. Of course I always balance that carefully with them not being too new, or you risk not having the experience.

I have never shopped around by price because it's all the same to me if my insurance covers them. I typically ask neighbors who they like to see and why they like their doctors. There's a lot to consider and everyone's opinions are different. I usually choose a doc. based on whether they are available at inconvenient times... like when your child has an ear infection and it's Thanksgiving.

Some people choose a doc. based on what the wait time is for that doc. Cam's pediatrician in
Reno was so fast that we never had to wait in the waiting room for him. The drawback was that he was all business and in and out very fast. Not very personal.

I do like to see specialists because the human body is so complex. A doctor could spend years study each organ in the body and that's why there's a doctor for every inch of your body. After my experience with fertility issues and Camden's burns, I am very certain that specialists are the right way to go. That's just me though.

Lara said...

I definitely see the point in specialists for specialized problems. But for routine physicals and the sniffles? I dunno. And as far as price shopping for doctors go, Melaleuca really emphasizes it because we are self-funded and our premiums are affected by it. So if all employees are more price conscious, then our premiums won't change, etc. Also, the 20% copay would be affected. Not much, but a little. My copay at Joci's current pediatrician is $20 and at Dr. Cifrese it is $12. Not a ton, but it would add up over time.

Anonymous said...

Comfort is very important and since you have trust in this doc, I say go to him until he retires. He will refer you to a specialist as needed - same goes for Joci. Good family docs are worth their weight in gold and usually when you need them they will be available and not a month long weight period. I'm sorry to hear about your tonsils, though. Your health, however, will probably improve a bunch after surgery. It will be tougher on you than if you were a child, but if you need help please feel free to call on us and we'll see what we can do.

Love Connie/Grandma Z

Meagan Spaulding said...

I've been having the same problem. Except that I haven't found a family doctor that I love yet. But I do find it hard to shop around. Once I try and doctor and fill out all the paper work and all that jazz it's kind of hard to start over and know that you have to go through that stuff all over again. But I'm definitely not loving my current family doctor and I don't like having a pediatrician, OBGYN, Family, and Allergist.... sigh.

Meagan Spaulding said...

Oh, I hear that the older you are the more brutal getting your tonsils out is. You'll need lots of jello and ice cream. My father in law had his out 2 years ago... ouch.


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