We all get frustrated from time to time with our doctors, which is why doing reasearch on your own is a good thing, provided you take it with a grain of sanity and not assume you’re dying from every disease in the book. There are some things, however, that are kind of hard to research unless you attend a medical school or have a buddy who does.
Case in point: I have been getting allergy shots for almost three years. I started with my family doctor who had a routine, the first few injections I had to stay in the clinic after to make sure I didn’t have a bad reaction, after that she let me use my judgement and gauge if anything was amiss on my own, with strict orders to come right back if it happened. She used an alcohol swab to clean my arm, used the smallest needle and administered it in a spot on my upper arm that was close enough to the front so I could easily watch the spot for reactions. She would use a bandaid if need be, both of us knowing I get a specific kind of reaction from the adhesive and ruling that out upon observation. I would get my shots weekly, as monthly maintenance doesn’t seem to be possible yet (my system is weird!). Occasionally I would have to see another doctor for the shot if she wasn’t around but it was routine, in and out, do as the paper said, same practice as she did.
And then we had the fires in May.
After almost three months without my meds, I have had to start over. Not only with a new vial of serum, but with new doctors every other week. We are now short handed in the medical field here and I have seen more doctors in the last 6 months than I have seen all my life! Herein lies my frustration: Every doctor is giving me different advice and reasons and rules for administering what I thought were routine shots. I have had a doctor use water for the first few injections to wash my arm so as not to get a reaction from an alcohol swab that had been routine for two years straight. I have been told that these needles must avoid the more muscled area of the upper arm because it doesn’t show the reaction as well and yet I have had injections given so close to my shoulder I could barely move it for a week, some so close to my elbow it was really painful, some so far in the back of my arm that I couldn’t judge the reaction size without help, been asked if I wanted it in my backside or tummy. I have been told I had to remain in the clinic for a half hour or fifteen minutes or not at all. I have been told to keep the meds cold, yet some doctors hold the bare vial in their hands for five minutes before the shot, others barely touch it. Some use gloves, some don’t, most clean the top of the vial with an alcohol swab and some refuse to give me a bandaid if I bleed.
I am no expert, no doctor and no medical researcher (though it kinda feels that way sometimes), but it seems to me that a doctor can make their own rules once out of med school, no? Much as I hate being a pin cushion, I look forward to these shots as it means life might be possible to live without scratching the inside of my nose with a knife or keeping Kleenex in business. Maybe I will be unlucky and all this sado-masochism will be for naught (did I mention how much I hate needles?) and won’t end up any better once I finish my term of shots. Whatever happens, I am thinking I will sign up for surgery theatre, afterall, it can’t be that complicated if everyone gets to do it their way, right? I learn fast…