By contrast, my new doc rocks. Her office is bright and cheery (and prolly costs a mint as it's in the middle of Designer Shopping Row, which also happens to be in the midst of a burb full of well-heeled older folks at the age of needing medical care, the upshot being that there must be at least 30 doctor offices in this building alone), she is redhaired and chubby, heck, fat even, and friendly and chatty and reassuring. She took my medical history in an office with us sitting at a desk just like it's a legal consult, before we went in the exam room. Her staff are skilled and nice and they do the blood tests and stuff right there so I don't need to make one visit to a lab and a separate one to the doc. I can tell already she's not the type to prescribe a bunch of meds and answered some of my questions (like about a colon cancer screening) before I even had a chance to ask them! She is a DO rather than an MD so I had to look that up to remember what the difference was, as the last osteopath I was aware of happened to be Sam Sheppard, heh. It looks like DO's are more into the holistic approach and the body healing itself and believe me I am all for that, since so many of my symptoms and ailments seem to be stress-related, and when some particular stress goes away, so does the problem. If you had told me in 1997 when I was in the middle of my second bout of paralyzing back spasms that I'd be hiking all through the world's airports, all over Amsterdam, and through muddy frozen cow paddys in Germany, I would have laughed hopelessly in yer face cuz I could barely move without pain and woke up every night screaming for months. But look at me now. I haven't had a back problem for 4 years and the last time it turned out to be due to a lousy office chair at my then-new job.
So yeah, I should have just switched doctors long ago. My problem is I always hang in there too long with people and situations that I don't like, or that don't feel right, trying to give it a "fair chance" and figure out what to do next, when I ought to be out the door already. And I tend to blame myself for feeling bad, for a long time, till I finally wise up and get that it's THEM making ME feel uncomfortable, foo'! I've been nervous of doctors in general since I was really tiny - had something to do with the tongue depressors at my pediatrician's office, combined with the smell of rubbing alcohol and disinfectant in there, that would invariably make me want to barf. I had my bad stomach even as a kiddie and thus was a very barfy child; for about the first 7 years of my life, every time I got nervous or scared, I threw up. Especially if I was already nervous or scared and then someone stuck something like a tongue depressor or dentist's tool or their finger in my mouth. I remember how I loved playing with the toys in my pediatrician's waiting room, especially a set of realistic big cardboard building bricks that I adored and would always get right out of the cupboard there, and put back away carefully when done. But the minute we got called back to the exam room, Mom would have to start playing all sorts of little games with me to keep me from wigging out and possibly puking (and of course she'd buy me a little toy or an ice cream or something afterwards, for being so brave). Having my father be in the hospital a whole bunch of times with his spinal injury, two heart attacks and a stroke, plus my mom being in there several times with her chronic choking reflex and a leg/back injury (fancy that, sounds like what I had myself, eh?), and all this happening before I even hit 17 years old, didn't help my anxiety any. It's weird because I never got sick at the sight of blood - even now I'll always watch a needle get stuck in my arm just to see how it goes in - or looking at gruesome ded bodies on the teevee, but just let a doctor or a hospital room or even hospital-type odors enter the picture and my anxiety shoots up 110%. Since I don't think avoiding all medical care is a good option, especially given that I'm lucky to have decent insurance, I need a super nice, reassuring, friendly doc. My Old Doc was the only doc I've ever had, besides my pediatrician when I was under 18, and some specialists like eye doctors, so I guess I was insecure about making a change even though I'd been unhappy going to her for ages, and it just seemed like a giant hassle to find a new doc. I'm sorry that it had to be poor L. and his stage 4 cancer that finally got me off the dime but God works in weird ways I guess.