Monday I had a follow-up visit with my new primary doctor, Jennifer Seele. I initially liked her on first impression. I was my usual blunt and candid self, asking her about her background and area of specialty. She is an internal medicine and pediatrics doc, which is terrific for me. I want/need someone other than a general practitioner to get a greater level of expertise, and since I am still a kid at heart (actually I don’t think I ever grew up) the pediatrician part of her should make it so she can put up with me.
I explained my outlook on my medical condition(s), and explained that I do not want sugar-coating or someone to dance around whatever issues I am having. If I’m going to drop dead next week (I’m not, as far as I know) then tell me. I am not an emotional person to a certain point, having learned over the years to compartmentalize my life. She seemed to appreciate my candor and bluntness, and returned the favor.
I reviewed for her my medical history and my frustration with neurology. I went into detail about prior head injuries and other neurological issues that I was having. The tremors, loss of muscle control in the legs and the problems predominately on the right side of my body. I also explained the issues with my vision and the auditory problems that I have been experiencing.
She did the usual heart and lung check. Asked me about my visiting the dentist. That is something that I don’t really do, unless there is a MAJOR problem. I know that it goes back to being a kid and seeing the dentist most of my family visited. Something about him just absolutely terrified me, and to this day I get violently ill if I have to go to a dentist, or even hear a dental drill.
After her checking me over and talking, she informed me that she was going to get me set up for auditory testing to see if there is in fact some physiological reason for the hearing problems I am having. I do know that in my left ear there is some hearing loss, but I attribute that to years for firing handguns. My firearms training leaves the left ear more exposed to the sounds and concussive force of the weapon than my right ear. I was trained in using the Weaver Stance versus the isosceles stance, leaving one ear more susceptible to injury. She is also going to have me go for an eye exam since I have been having issues with blurriness and my eyes crossing when I am tired.
She further recommended physical therapy. That was something that I had not even considered, but makes sense. It will help me to learn to compensate for control problems, and may teach me techniques that will increase my stability when I do walk.
We were wrapping up our visit, when she asked how old I was. I told her, and she looked me right in the eye and asked if I had ever had a colonoscopy. I told her no, and she said that I needed one. That’s when I decided that I was wrong about her. I don’t think I really like her any more.
She made some very valid points, I am 52, though I don’t look a day over 49, and due to my lifestyle choices – smoking, my prior drinking, BAD diet and all – I needed to get checked. If caught early, colorectal cancer can be treated fairly easily. It is not the actual procedure that bothers me, I know I will be knocked out for that. It is the pre-op stuff that I don’t look forward too. They have you drink some stuff called Golytely (pronounced – go lightly) unfortunately you do anything but “go lightly.” This stuff will clean out every inch of your intestines, and that is my biggest gripe.
During the procedure they look for polyps that could be cancerous and remove them for testing. I guess an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of intestine. And I suppose I should be grateful that I have a doctor that thinks with a preventative mentality. It is much better to be proactive than reactive in disease prevention. I’m still not thrilled! I promise I will not post the video or photos.
They also drew blood for testing, and Mimi, the nurse who did the draw was wonderful. I hate needles (again a childhood phobia) but she hit the vein on the first try. Since I was a tad dehydrated it took some time to fill the thousands (actually a half-dozen) vials, but she got what was needed, and I did not even have a bruise on my arm the next day.
All in all my visit to Grassy Creek was good. I feel confident that this new doctor does indeed have the best interest of her patients at the forefront of her mind. She was open, honest and blunt, things that I appreciate in anyone, but especially a doctor.
Maybe she’s not so bad after all, even with the colonoscopy.