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Welcome “Normal” Medical Issues

This entry is part 10 of 19 in the series What CFers Do

It almost seems like a waste of time for a CFer to have a primary care doctor through their HMO. He asks me more questions about how I’m doing than anything helpful, but I do get good general care from him.

I just rarely ever have any “general care” issues. Any time I step foot into my primary care office, I feel like I’m on foreign turf. The office staff doesn’t remember me, they ask me to sign in and if my insurance has changed since it’s been more than 2-4 weeks since my last visit. They are surprised that I am annoyed that they don’t know what NSAIDs are when I list my allergies and that I can spell cefepime for them.

Still, I like my primary care doctor. He tries to know CF and does a great job handling everything else. We have great recollections of him extracting the longest ingrown hair out of my neck back when I was about 21. I had a mass on my neck that wouldn’t go away and I couldn’t squeeze anything out. He wanted to put me on antibiotics, but I said that it had been there for over a month and I wanted it gone. “Cut me open if you have to,” I said. He came back 10 minutes later after letting another patient leave and came in with lidocaine and a scalpel and started in. The culprit: a 7″ whisker that had wrapped around and around and had no intention of coming out because a cyst had developed around it from the infection. He LOVES recalling that day with me during my annual visits.

I’ve only been to him for two other semi serious issues, but it’s those things that make me feel a little more normal. I’ve got an ingrown hair. I’ve got a wart on my toe that won’t go away with over the counter treatment. Those are the things doctors are supposed to deal with, not the crap us CFers bring into the office. I get my pain relievers, Xanax, and extra samples of inhalers from him when I go, and that’s all I use him for, other than referrals that my HMO requires.

Comments

  1. Unknowncystic says:

    My CF clinic recommends everyone have a regular doc, if possible. I had one for a year and he moved. I was bummed and have been too busy to get another. But when you get older, as you will, the one you have will come in very handy. Good post. It will be interesting to see the evolution of your needs with that doc, like when you're 70 and your prostrate starts acting up. 🙂

  2. Well, I've got photos of him burning off a wart off my toe, but I don't have photos of what he had to do to my butt one time. The worst part about that was that it was too late to numb it once he realized he had to in order to finish the job properly. Alas, it's not the best conversation for mixed company – Beautiful didn't even like knowing I was getting it done.

  3. Unknowncystic says:

    My CF clinic recommends everyone have a regular doc, if possible. I had one for a year and he moved. I was bummed and have been too busy to get another. But when you get older, as you will, the one you have will come in very handy. Good post. It will be interesting to see the evolution of your needs with that doc, like when you're 70 and your prostrate starts acting up. 🙂

  4. Well, I've got photos of him burning off a wart off my toe, but I don't have photos of what he had to do to my butt one time. The worst part about that was that it was too late to numb it once he realized he had to in order to finish the job properly. Alas, it's not the best conversation for mixed company – Beautiful didn't even like knowing I was getting it done.

  5. Robert Iseley says:

    My insurance company finally stopped making me get “referrals” after I would take so long to get them and countless times explaining that my cf isn’t going away. Threw in there that seeing a “Primary Care” was a waste of their money since they can’t do anything for me, won the fight.

    • Good job! I still see my primary care b/c at least 1 issue per year pops up, like in-grown hairs, hemorrhoids (yay for Dulcolax), and now I’ve got strange limb numbness that my CF docs said to go see him for a nerve test referral. Other than that, I generally get referrals for 100 visits per year so I only need to get 1 referral per year per specialist, which I don’t sweat, but I definitely see how that could be a big issue for some insurances.