Days 6 and 7
Yes I skipped a day. We have this fun little thing going around our house called Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD). For those of you unfamiliar with this particular illness....it is a VERY contagious virus which causes fevers, extreme sore throat and a breaking out of a rash and in some cases blisters that can cover hands, feet, face, mouth, throat and genitals. Z was the lucky recipient of it on his feet, hands, mouth and throat. It is painful for him to walk and his mouth, tongue and throat are blistered. After taking both boys into our pediatrician.....I found out that this is what my youngest hand and was put in the hospital for. Amazing that out of umpteen doctors and nurses they couldn't figure out what it was....all it took was one look from our pediatrician and he called it. They both had HFMD! The bad thing as I said is that the blisters and rash are painful. The good thing is that after the blisters have completely formed, within 24 hours they start breaking open and crusting over. At that point.....they just slough off and there is beautiful clear skin underneath. Hopefully Z is on his way to the sloughing part and both boys have been cleared to go back to school on Monday. Apparently we are not the only ones dealing with this as the school was not surprised when I called them and told them Z had it. Thank goodness we have a pedatrician that picks up a medical book every now and then.
Yesterday I also had to go into the doctor. I needed to know if my shortness of breath was real or stress related. Thankfully I found that is was real and asthma related. Yes....I have had asthma off and on in my life but as an adult the flair ups have been few and far between. Apparently though...this fall has been a ripe atmosphere for some with asthma. The wind, rain and humidity have caused a lot of flair ups. Add to that I actually do have a sinus infection which is affecting my ears and that is pretty much what has been keeping me physically feeling like crap. Being that I really like my doctor.....I went on to tell him how anxious I had been feeling about my upcoming CT this month to check out the spots on my lung and he took the time to talk with me and re-emphasize that the spots on my lungs did NOT look worrisome and that the radiologists are highly trained to pick out those that are scary from those that are not. However....that being said.....they do need to be followed for a period of time to be 100% sure. After walking out of there I felt much better both physically and mentally and I actually got a good night sleep last night. Add to that that after using my new inhaler I have no shortness of breath.....I feel pretty much like a new person. I must say....it is all about the doctor.
Lets face it, when you get to be a certain age even if you are not sick you need a doctor. Women need yearly exams to help catch and prevent ovarian, uterine and other female cancers. Once we hit 40 we need to add yearly mammograms to ensure our breast health and make sure if we get cancer it is caught early. By 50 we need to be having regular colonoscopies along with yearly exams that include blood work, chest x-rays and bone density tests. Men don't get out of the doctor game either. In their 40's they need to start having regular prostate exams and when they hit 50 they need to also start having colonoscopies along with regular exams like women to make sure that they stay in good health. Once we get into these years.....having a good and trusted doctor is a necessity otherwise the temptation to not keep up with your health can override the importance of going.
A good doctor regardless of how busy, will take the time to answer any and all questions you have. They will take time to explain any tests or procedures they order and will also explain any medicines they prescribe. A good doctor is proactive in your health care and listens to what you have to say because at the end of the day....no one knows your body better than you. A good doctor makes you feel as if you and your healthcare are important and that you are in very good hands.
A bad doctor will rush in and out and give you no time for questions. They are often condescending and sometimes even have a God complex in which they become offended if you question them. A bad doctor will tell "you" how you feel and ignore any information you give to the contrary. Your doctor visit is often a one way conversation....he/she talks and you listen. Often meds, tests and procedures are ordered but not explained and you walk out feeling rushed and even disrespected. Not feeling good about your doctor can actually stand in the way of your mental well being and your healing.
It is not all on the doctor though. First you have to do your part and take your health seriously. Don't put off yearly exams. They can be the difference between catching something early and waiting until it is too late. Ask questions when you visit your doctor and let your doctor know truthfully what is going on with you. He/she can't diagnose or fix something they aren't aware of. Make sure that you ask questions about all tests and procedures your doctor wants you to have and make sure that you are comfortable with his answers. If a doctor is not forthcoming or you don't feel comfortable with them....then it is YOUR responsibility to find a doctor that you are comfortable with.
Lets face it, not all doctors (even specialists) are created equally. David spent five days in the hospital with about 6 hospital doctors checking him out and none even guessed that he had HFMD. Not even after I mentioned it to them. Heck....most had not even seen a case of Chicken Pox so I don't know why I was surprised. It took going to our pediatrician whom I trust implicitly and him taking one look to diagnose them with HFMD. He also spent time telling us that it was viral, contagious and that the only treatment was symptomatic....ibuprofen and gargling with salt water. Although I wasn't crazy about the diagnosis, I was comfortable with knowing how we needed to proceed and what to watch for.
The same with my doctor. His office was busy but he took the time to ask me questions and listen and answer mine. He knew I was anxious and took a couple of extra minutes to reread my chart and my previous CT findings so that he could give me some peace of mind. I walked out feeling better than I had in about a month.
So today I urge you to not put off yearly exams....man or woman....especially if you are over 40. You only have one body and it has to get you through the long haul so please take care of it. Also....don't settle when it comes to a doctor. You deserve the best care you can get....so get only the very best for you!