Weekend Question Thread: Health Care Edition

My father is a pharmacist. Growing up, we went to the doctor when we couldn’t figure out what was wrong, when we sincerely thought we might be dying, or when we were bleeding from something that needed stitches. Everything else was taken care of at home, usually pretty adequately.

And my feeling is, why bother the doctor if I am not sick? Like there are sick sick people in the world who need the doctor’s time. Why I am I taking his or hers up if all I need is rest and fluids and stuff? When I was in the ER last week, it was because I’d screwed my back up so badly I couldn’t MOVE. Everybody there for the sniffles made me homicidal.

Mr. A finds this mindset maddening. He gets regular checkups. He has good relationships with his PC and his dentist and has every ache and pain investigated just in case. He’s not a hypochondriac, but he’s thorough.

Where do you fall on that scale?

A.

10 thoughts on “Weekend Question Thread: Health Care Edition

  1. docphd says:

    Depends. If it involves a cut or blood, I’m like, “Tape that fucker up and let’s get back to work.” If it’s an ache or a pain that I don’t know how I got it, I’m like “Ice it up and shut up about it.” If I’m sick with a cold/fever/flu/green-shit-pouring-out-of-every-hole, I’m like, “Nyquill, Dayquill, Work-quill.” If my lower back gets a bit twitchy, I’m on speed dial to my chiropractor and I will drop every fucking thing to get there. After I had back pain so bad, I had to have my lovely wife help me pee, I’m not taking any goddamned chances.

  2. spocko says:

    Find more in “the take care of the problem before it becomes catastrophic” category.

    But I also have the good fortune of having a spouse who has a good health insurance plan. This is not always the case for people.

    One area that I do like to use his mental health care. However mental health care including talk therapy that goes with it he is treated as if it is an option.

    I want ask an insurance rep why the healthcare only paid 50% for mental health. “She said well if we paid 100% everybody would do it all the time.”

    Yes we can’t have that, people being mentally healthy! is much better for them to self-medicate or kill themselves from being depressed.

  3. Archy says:

    (I’d say about a 6.)
    Let’s say, not going to a doc for every little thing, but if it is more than I have seen before, then yes, I want a professional opinion. But I’m willing to cast the “professional” net a little wider than some.
    I imagine your history with you father, A, colors your knowledge of just how much a pharmacist knows and can actually do. From what I see standing back in the line (‘for patient privacy” you know), few people have a question for the pharmacist beyond “How much is it?” Sorry to say that many of the “older” folks — to speak of what I know — have a similar reaction to a nurse vs. doctor. There is definitely the historical female vs. male difference, and there is also a bizarre belief of “why should I speak to a lieutenant instead of the general?” (Thank goodness much of that is changing.)
    All that said, an emergency room visit has happened only when it was lots of blood or lots and lots of 2 a.m. pain.

  4. I avoid the doctor’s office – bunch of sick people sitting around, and if you weren’t that sick to begin with, I guarantee you’ll be sicker after the visit. I go once a year and have blood levels tested because I’m mainly a vegetarian and want to make sure not anemic, etc. I’m firmly convinced that admission into hospital would kill me, so I avoid. Lucky so far that nothing has happened that requires something that can’t be handled as outpatient. Now that I’m over 65, I refuse some tests that would be free because if I have what’s being tested for, I wouldn’t treat any way. I’m thinking seriously of doing a Maude without the Harold when I’m eighty should I live that long.

    My views, I’m sure, sound way out there to most, but it’s me. I’d be a Christian Scientist if it didn’t involve believing in God.

  5. fraudguy says:

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  6. I used to get annual check-ups (decades ago) and realized I was in better health than the Doc, so why waste his time? A combination o’ most o’ these – preventative for certain, most things can be easily remedied (which are few and typical like aches or cuts) and finally, as Jane mentions, stay away from enclosed spaces full o’ sick people (especially medical centre waiting rooms)! Only when absolutely necessary visit the sawbones.

  7. iceblue2 says:

    In the military, I was fairly healthy and when I got hurt (sprained ankles, stitches) or couldn’t go to work, I was required to go to sick call. Once I retired, I hardly went to the doc until the dreaded cancer. Even after that was all treated, I had to go for my yearly scan/visit and to follow up on 2 permanently screwed up parts of my body. I am proactive with trying to take care of myself and find most things don’t require a doctor visit and yet, was blindsided by another bout with cancer a few months ago.
    I can communicate with my PCM via email for my maintenance meds so no need to go visit her.
    I’m lucky enough to have pretty good health care due to my military service and where I live. If that weren’t the case, I’d probably be dead.

  8. Lillian says:

    My husband is retired military, so I have the dreaded Government Run Healthcare that allows me to go to any doctor or hospital I choose, requires no referrals, and costs very little. I’ve never had any major health issues, so I’m not always sure if I need to go to a doctor. Luckily, Tri-Care has advice nurses, so I call one of them and they tell me to either go to the ER, schedule an appointment for a doctor, or just do “this, this, and this” and I’ll be okay. I’d love to have some kind of regular doctor that I see for everything, but I can’t find a competent one to save my life. Last summer, I was having horrible pain in my feet and ankles, to the point where I asked my husband to buy me a walker. I’ve been to four doctors – and have been scheduled for an echo-cardiogram, PAP smear, colonoscopy, blood work, and a mammogram – but not a single doctor has even asked me to take off my shoes. No one has looked at my feet or ankles. One doctor prescribed calcium supplements, even though I have 100% bone density. So a couple times a year, I have a week or so during which I can’t walk. Not one doctor seems to give a shit.

    • iceblue2 says:

      Tricare has a long long list of faults, thanks in part to the incompetent congress. I could spend hours talking about how shitty it is, but the fact that it’s available is what I am grateful for. Lillian, go to the patient advocate and get pissed off the next time it happens.

  9. Mercedes says:

    I fall into the same category as yourself. I never go to the doctor unless I have too. I was even in hives from top to toe, and my parents didn’t take me until I was on my death bed. I think it wastes money for you going in every day to make sure you are not dying because of a small cold. Also, if someone needs to get in for something serious, you are taking up their time to get better. I had a kidney infection last week, and I couldn’t even move. I got up through the nights, and I wanted to go to the ER so bad, but I never did because I could still handle it. The next day I waited and went, and with antibiotics it is doing better now. I think people should toughen up, or at least do some research before seeing a doctor all of the time.

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