Monday, January 5, 2015

Had to Go to Urgent Care Today

Well, yesterday, now.  I started writing this last night but didn't get finished.

Friday evening I started having symptoms of a UTI and last night I decided that if I still had symptoms when I got up this morning, I would to to urgent care.  I wouldn't be able to call my primary care physician's office until Monday morning and I was afraid it might be a day or two before he could get me in, and I didn't want to wait that long to get it treated, partly because I felt rotten and partly because I didn't want to give the infection that much time to progress into something worse like a kidney infection.

So today I went to urgent care.  I guess it's a good thing I did because apparently my urine was full of bacteria.  The doctor felt it was a really bad infection.  Which is kinda odd because while I was pretty sure I had one, I wasn't 100% positive.  I didn't feel like it was a really bad infection.  Just like I probably had one.  I hate that it is so hard for me to tell when I'm sick or how sick I am.  It seems like half the time I feel like I am at death's door and it turns out I have only a very minor illness and then the other half I feel just slightly under the weather and it turns out I am seriously ill, maybe even at death's door.

The trip to urgent care went pretty well.  I was anxious because I hate seeing doctors in general and especially doctors I don't know.  I had a great experience at the urgent care that is attached to the ER at my local hospital a few months ago but they are not open on weekends.  So I had to go to a different urgent care.

I got a friend to go with me, since it makes me so anxious.  Of course, Isaac went with me, too.

Isaac was mostly good.  He got a little restless after sitting in the waiting room for about an hour.  I ran him through some commands, sit, down, lap, paws up, had him pick up my gloves and my keys.  That gave him something to do.  Gave me something to do, too.  And, I think, entertained the other people sitting in the waiting room.

When we got back to the exam room, after waiting some more, the nurse came in.  He checked my vital signs, did the usual history, then asked me if I was visually impaired.  I assume because of Isaac.  I just said no, I wasn't.

Then the doctor came in.  Oh, before that I gave a urine sample.  So the first thing she said when she came in was that I most definitely did have a UTI.  But then she asked if Isaac was my service dog.  Um... yeah.  Whose else would he be?  I thought that was kind of a weird question.

And then she said, "What is wrong with you, that you have a service dog?"

Um... really?  Now, some people will think it is OK for her to ask that, since maybe my disability will have some impact on the diagnosis and treatment of my medication condition.  I don't think it does, in this instance.  She already had the results of my urinalysis, which showed I have a UTI.  There is no disability that I know of that would, say, cause a false positive there.  Are there disabilities that would affect the medications she could prescribe?  That's possible, but I'd already been asked about medication allergies and provided that information, as well as the fact that I cannot take NSAIDS due to my RNY gastric bypass (which is not a disability) and also provided a list of medications and over-the-counter vitamins and supplements I take.

So did she need to know what my disability is?  I don't really think so.  But even if she did, that was not the right way to ask.

I really just wanted to get out of there because we'd been there about two hours by then and I was tired and not feeling well and was not in the mood to educate the doctor.  So I just said, "PTSD and fibromyalgia."

And she said, "Oh you poor thing."

She said it like she was really sympathetic, like she was really sorry to hear that.  I don't think she meant to be condescending or insulting or anything like that.  But really?

Despite that, I actually liked the doctor.  I think she just didn't know a more respectful way to talk to me about my disability and my service dog.

A friend suggested I write a pamphlet for health care professionals about service dogs and how to best interact with patients that have service dogs, which I think is a great idea.  And another friend jumped in and said she'd love to help write that pamphlet, which I am thrilled about because while I think it is a great idea, at the moment I am tired and sick and lacking in energy to do it.  When it's done, though, I plan to make it available to anyone that wants it.  I'll post here about how to get a copy.

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