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Kansas City MO 64131






Cindy Maddera


These are some thoughts that have been swirling in my brain lately. In the last couple of days, two of my friends have said something about needing to go to the doctor, but not wanting too or actually going to the doctor. It's not because they can't afford to go; both have health insurance. One of them told me she didn't like to go because her doctor was mean to her. Mean. All of this got me thinking about the times I probably should go to the doctor but don't or how long it's been since these teeth of mine have seen a dentist. And let's not even talk about the eyeballs. I have really good health insurance and no excuses. One of the things I remember most about being a little kid, was being sick and going to the doctor. I had two: Dr. Stabb (yup) and Dr. Dunaway. I loved Dr. Stabb's nurse, but I hated going to his office. He was a firm believer in shots. Every time I went, I got a shot. Dr. Dunaway was OK. He wasn't too big on shots, but there were too many times I remember being held down while hot hydrogen peroxide was being poured into my ear. The only time I ever enjoyed a doctors visit was the time mom took me to see an allergy specialist. I remember nothing of the exam, but the waiting area had a big spaceship in it that you could climb around in. It is quite possible that I associate doctor visits with torture. But I also think that I have a 50/50 success rate when choosing a doctor that is actually going to do something to heal me. Actually, I think it's less then 50/50.

One time I had a sinus infection that I let go on for too long. It finally moved over into my eye and my eye swelled up with a really awesome case of pink eye. When I went to the doctor at a local clinic I told him that I thought I had pink eye and a sinus infection. He stuck his gloved finger in my eye and said " have pink eye. Want me to give you some antibiotics for that?". I remember blankly nodding my head yes but at the same time wondering what my other options where. I'd been willing the sinus infection away for the last three weeks and had only managed to will it into my eye. I didn't expect this infection to heal up all on it's own. So yes, of course, give me the antibiotics. But also really what I was thinking was I had diagnosed myself and the only reason I was paying this doctor my $30 (that's what it was at the time) copay for was to confirm my diagnosis and give me a prescription. Because really, all that doctor did was look at my eye with his own eyes (no special instruments) and diagnose me. No blood tests. No nothing. I know I am not the only person to experience the apathy of a doctor. Chris is the worst case scenario. He went to a doctor that told him he had food born Hep A and to go home and wait it out. That was a whole month wasted on a correct diagnosis and that he didn't even have traces of Hep A in his body.

No. We do not go to the doctor because we can't really afford it. We don't go because going to the doctor these days has become the equivalent to taking your car to the unreliable mechanic. Actually, worse then that. At least the mechanic tries to do something to get the car started. Changes the oil. Something. We don't go to the doctor for fear of not being taken seriously, fear of misdiagnosis and just plain irritation at being treated like an idiot for getting sick. So when people talk about health care reform it could be that they are not just disgruntled with the insurance side of things. They are fed up with dealing with people who make it so blatantly obvious that they don't care about doing their job.

And this is a really long entry to say that I have poison ivy on my elbow and I'm not going to the doctor until if and when it spreads over my entire arm.