This has been a month of big changes. I switched up my regularly scheduled medical plan and in the process of trying to get everything set and organized, I took some temporary measures to get my treatment.
This includes frequenting an urgent clinic down the street from me. It’s not my first time at the rodeo though. I’ve gone to urgent clinics a lot in the past to avoid the ER on late nights and weekends. I’ve pretty much always had good experiences at them. In fact, the few times I’ve been in the last couple of weeks have been with great doctors and nurses who either already knew what POTS was or were willing to learn on the fly.
But I wasn’t so lucky on Wednesday. Now this was pretty much my fault because if I had been paying any attention at all to my body I would have known on Tuesday that I needed to get an IV and I would have gone during the middle of the day and just done it. Instead, I waited until Wednesday night–when R.J had my car and my mom was out of town. My step-dad came to the rescue and picked me up at my house around six thirty. At this point I was getting that skull cramping migraine–so I took half a percocet before we set off to the clinic.
Alan had dinner plans and I promised I’d be fine on my own anyways–since this is, again, something I do regularly.
Except when the nurse came back to take me in she was one I hadn’t seen before. So she wanted to do the whole triage process, even though it was plain in my records that I’d been there for the same thing many times. I let her do her triage and then laid down in the exam room where my percocet promptly kicked in.
Which is exactly when the doctor entered.
“So why are you here?” He asked.
“I need an IV,” I said. Or maybe mumbled.
“Why do you think that?”
“Because I have a migraine and I have POTS and that’s what we’ve done the last couple of times I’ve been here and it’s helped.”
“Are you dehydrated?”
“Yes–are you familiar with POTS?” I asked, realizing I was going to have to clue him in.
“No, you tell me.” He said.
“It stands for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome–it’s a part of Dysautonomia, the dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. I get low blood volume, poor circulation, and dehydrated. IV helps with that.”
“Why would you get low blood volume?” He asked, then without waiting for an answer, “I don’t believe this “pots” is a real thing. I think it’s just a fancy name for a bunch of symptoms.”
“Okay,” I said, trying not to get frustrated–which was hard because I was basically slurring my words at this point. “Would you like me to get my doctor on the phone so he can explain it to you?”
“No,” he said. “I think you should just tell me your symptoms.”
“I just did–did you want to google it?” I asked.
“No, I’m not a pill pusher. You can’t just walk in here and get–”
“Get what?” I asked, “I asked for saline. Last time I checked that’s not drugs. That’s all I’m asking for.”
“I don’t think you need it.”
I sat up. “I’m not going to sit here and argue with you. If you’re not going to give me an IV, you need to tell me now so I can get to the emergency room. Are. You. Going. To. Give. Me. An. IV?”
After a moment’s hesitation, “Fine. If you think it will help.”
Don’t you just want to slap him? I know this is a common theme with doctors and POTS, but frankly it’s been almost two years since I’ve really had to deal with someone so arrogant.
And you know what? I’m glad I was on percocet because I think if I wasn’t so exhausted I would have sat there and argued with him. And you know what? Not worth my time or energy. In any situation.
Doctors: you now have three choices.
1) Speak with my doctor.
2) Fucking GOOGLE IT.
3) Listen to me.
I don’t really give a flying fuck which one you choose, but that’s all there is to it. If you think that I’m stupid enough to come looking for a cure for my duo of rare diseases at eight PM on a Wednesday night at an URGENT CLINIC you far underestimate my understanding of the medical world.
Just…just. I can’t even.
*Also props to my amazing friend Hanna who came over to sit with me while two of the nurses hunted for a vein and then drove me home and ate hummus with me.
Anyways, by this afternoon all my scheduling was sorted out and I was set up at the hospital’s infusions center for my weekly IV. I’m really grateful to be in an environment again where the medical staff understand my condition and don’t make me fight for hydration.
Also they have heated recliners with massagers, personal TV’s and side-stands. That’s about as luxurious as it gets when it comes to sitting with an IV in your arm for two hours.
I didn’t think this transition was going to be an easy one, but at least it’s been brief. I know things will be smoother from here on out–but god damn do I need to sleep this weekend.
~*Not that you could tell*~