Looking at ourselves and the world through the lens of the 21st century.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Sorry, Not Sorry!


Last Monday, I blew off a doctor’s appointment so I could sleep in. And not just any doctor…it was my cardiologist. That sounds terrible, doesn’t it? We all know we should go to the doctor regularly, but there’s something that we dread about doing it. I don’t know anyone who wants to go to the doctor. Do you?

I once complained to my therapist that I was tired of having to go to so many doctors’ appointments. She promptly scolded and corrected me with, “You get to go to the doctor so you can take care of your health. This is a good thing.” Perspective won that argument. I reluctantly agreed that she was right, and since then, I’ve tried to remind myself of that conversation any time I feel inconvenienced by anything health related. It mostly works. 

The sad thing is that I wasn’t feeling inconvenienced by this particular appointment, in fact, I was looking forward to a follow-up that would confirm that my previous issues had been caused by a change in medication that was rectified quickly and that I haven’t really had that problem since. My only complaint was that the appointment was at 9 AM on Monday, which is a day and time I would have never scheduled if I had been allowed to choose (and why wasn’t I allowed to choose?). Monday’s are one of my busiest days of the week because it is not only my cleaning and laundry day, but it is also my first day back to work after the weekend, and there is always a ton of work to be done, emails to answer, and phone calls to make. Even still, I was all set to go, and I set my alarm for the crack of dawn so I could get there in time.

But when my alarm went off Monday morning at 6:30 AM, after I’d had a busy weekend with very little rest and only 2 ½ hours sleep Sunday night, I just could not face getting out of bed, running through my morning routine, and then spending an hour in morning rush-hour traffic. I wasn’t even sure I could stay awake enough to drive. So I killed the alarm, tried to leave a voicemail to let them know I wasn’t coming, and promptly fell back asleep until almost 1:00 PM. I guess I really needed that sleep.

Afterward, I did not feel particularly guilty about missing the appointment. It happens sometimes. And in this case, I think that catching up on my sleep was a lot better for my heart than a stressful drive when I’m exhausted. The doctor will still be there next week, the week after, or the week after that…that sleep was necessary “now”.

Do I advocate missing doctor’s appointments? Not at all. I have seen hard evidence of what happens to someone who ignores symptoms, refuses to go to a doctor, and/or rejects a doctor’s advice. More than one of those people eventually died because of it. All because they didn’t want to face what the doctor might (or did) say. They didn’t want to know the truth. They tried to pretend nothing was wrong because they thought the treatment was worse than the disease, or maybe they just didn’t think they could afford it. Maybe they went to a doctor who didn’t take their concerns seriously enough so they never went back or went for a second opinion. 

Whatever the case, finding the right doctor is the most important part of treatment, tied equally with just getting there in the first place. Whatever the circumstance, finding a doctor that you trust is the key, because when you trust your doctor, you’re more likely to show up, listen to their advice, and do what they tell you to do. And part of finding the right doctor for you means knowing what kinds of doctors there are, which can be confusing on the best of days. And that’s why this week’s podcast is all about doctors – “M.D.s vs. D.O.s: What’s the Difference?” I hope you’ll join us. Even Christen, Amber, and I learned a few things.

Modern Musings: Conversations with the Maiden, Mother, and Crone” is available on PodBean, Google, Apple, or wherever you get your podcasts. New episodes drop every Wednesday. Watch for our episode about doctors airing Wednesday, May 24, 2023.

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