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» Thursday, March 24, 2016Doctor Visit Number Four
This morning was a surprise all the way: I had my alarm set for 7:45 and was woken at 7:30 by the sound of a lawn mower under my window. I don't think I've ever gotten dressed so fast (and I don't think without the three steroids yesterday I could have made it). Walked the dog, ate breakfast, back to Kaiser to the rheumatologist.
So now we are back to the original diagnosis: reaction to the shingles vaccine! Dr. Boelli heard the long, long story, complete with visual aids starting with the swollen fingers, which he said also looked like an allergic reaction. I also showed him the rash photo and he said that was not a Lyme rash (glad I took pics for Robin and Puli) and said that I should have made an appointment with the dermatologist immediately. Well, swelp me, how was I supposed to know I could do that? You need a referral for everything else!
And he chewed me out exasperatedly for seeing three different doctors (well, what was I supposed to do with my primary-care physician being on vacation when the rash broke out and then not being available when my hands were swollen like a puffer fish?) and going off the doxycycline without telling the previous doctor. The more I think about this, the more ticked I am. If Dr. A says I have some condition, and Dr. B reinterprets the test results and says I don't, and even Dr. C says something like "It's not that." why do I have to be the one to tell Dr. A that I quit taking the medicine she prescribed? Shouldn't Dr. B send a note to Dr. A saying "I believe you may have mistakenly given Ms. X the wrong diagnosis and this is why," quoting the same CDC guidelines as Dr. B quoted me, and adding, "I have told her to stop taking the medicine you prescribed."
Now if I took myself off the medicine, for whatever reasons, damnfool or not, then I should be the one to do the telling, yes.
He told me to finish off the steroid Dr. Nguyen gave me, but two a day rather than three, and then he would give me some half strength to take when I finished those to ramp me down. "But what caused the rash?" Allergic reaction. "This long after the shot?" He likened it to going into a room and turning on a light, then leaving the room. The light [i.e. the vaccine] is still on to my body and I have to wait until it shuts off. Anyway, the whole thing gave me a headache.
So I gave it book therapy: went to Barnes & Noble, had a bowl of chicken noodle soup for lunch, and bought four books: the newest Flavia de Luce mystery in paperback, the third Longmire mystery, No Comfort for the Lost (a mystery set in old San Francisco), and a history book called Dead Presidents, about the afterlife of the American presidents. Came home by the Smyrna library and checked out the perpetual booksale: brought home David Attenborough's The First Eden and The Animals in My Life: Stories of a Country Vet.
Therapy or not, dogs must still be walked, and I still had two BBC "Lent Talks" to record for tomorrow afternoon. So it was done.
James was late because it was his turn for a doctor's appointment, and now we are watching Killing Jesus, with a strikingly non-charismatic lead.