Monday, July 7, 2008

Dr. Internet

For the past couple of weeks, or maybe longer, I'm pretty bad with time these days, I've been noticing an increasing pain in my wrist when I hold Sophie or pick her up. Each day I notice it a little more often and the pain seems to be a little more pronounced. Neil keeps telling me that I should go see a doctor, but I'm not entirely convinced that it is necessary.

I don't enjoy going to the doctor. Not that this is a great revelation, I don't believe that most people do. But my reasoning is less because it is a painful or uncomfortable experience and more because just about every time I go to the doctor for an ailment, they make me feel like I am wasting their time. I can never seem to convey my symptoms in a way that brings about the desired response of "Whew, you got here just in time! If you'd waited just one more day, we might have had to amputate. We need to get you to the hospital, STAT!" Usually it's me stammering my way through trying to explain why I am taking up their time while they look at their watch and then the door eager to get me out for that someone with a far more pressing ailment/injury in the waiting room. And with each question I become less eloquent until in the end I'm just a blubbering idiot on the verge of nervous tears.

I've tried different doctors. I don't think I have an inferiority complex when it comes to people in the medical profession. I respect them for their knowledge and the time and effort they put into schooling but, ultimately, they're just people. I am sure that the vast majority of doctors treat their patients with care and sensitivity, just not most of the ones I've been to. (Offensive sentence deleted.) Wait, could my doctor construe this as a bad attitude? If my doctor is reading this, I LOVE doctors! They are the coolest, smartest people around! Please don't put a black mark in my file.

So, since I am hesitant to visit the real doctor, I decided to pay a visit to Dr. Internet first. I did a Google search for "wrist pain holding baby" and came up with a surprisingly thorough response. There was an article from the NY Times that described women who had symptoms and situations so similar to mine that for our purposes, we'll just say the article was about me. It described a condition called DeQuervain's Tendonitis that is sometimes called "new mom's syndrome." Well, hello, that's me! So off I went on a quest for more information. And I found it. A lot of it. According to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH, for those in the know), DeQuervain's Tendonitis is described as a "condition brought on by irritation or inflammation of the wrist tendons at the base of the thumb." Basically, I've been picking up and holding my little bean the wrong way. The treatment is to wear a brace (which I have from an old injury), take anti-inflammatory pain killers (which I also have) and to not do the things that caused the problem in the first place. Done and done.

Who needs a doctor*? I've got the internet.

*Disclaimer - Yes, I know the internet is no substitute for real medical advice and if my condition doesn't clear up pretty quickly I will get myself to a doctor. Okay, mom?


  1. My husband and I are laughing out loud at your comment regarding money being a motivating factor while working through medical school and residency. Because 95% of all physicians leave medical school at least $150K in debt (praise God, we didn't--Scott's was paid in full by a benefactor and that is something we DO NOT take lightly), and most residents make about $35-40K per year, depending on location and specialty. We ate a lot of beanie weanies while in our 3 years of residency.

    My husband has said it millions of times: there are easier, faster, and more sane ways to make a buck than being a physician. Trust us. And no, we do not have a $75,000 Merceedes. It's a Porche. JUST KIDDING!

    Now...back to your wrist it feeling better? Because the Internet doctor sounded pretty spot-on with that diagnosis. I'm not a medical expert, but I did marry a medical student who became an expert.

    Go pick up your sweet precious and love on her some more--but carefully!

  2. Oh Lula, I just knew I'd offend someone with this one. You're absolutely right about the debt and starting out not making much but you can't tell me that the potential isn't there. Or maybe I'm just going to the wrong docs. LOL. I've had it in a brace for 3 days now and it is starting to feel better, thanks!

  3. You are funny carabee, stating that you love your Dr if he is reading and don't put a black mark in your file because nobody want a black mark...

  4. Lula - I haven't been able to stop thinking about your comment and decided to get rid of the offending sentence. Can we still be friends?

  5. I've had good experiences at The Minute Clinic at CVS (I've posted about it before). I felt like I was the center of the universe in the exam room and not at all rushed. They take most insurance there as well.

    Though, I also visit Dr. Internet quite a bit. Plus, my best friend's husband is an ob/gyn so I am fond of calling him (via my friend) for issues I don't want to "bother" my doctor with!

  6. MEP-We have a Patient First (same type of thing) just down the road that I have been to on several occasions. Never once had to wait less than 2 hours and then sat in the exam room for no less than 45 minutes watching them walk by looking in at me. After all that I get the harried, bored attitude. Wait, maybe I already have a black mark on my file! That would explain a lot.

    Maybe the Minute Clinic hasn't heard of me yet.

  7. Ugh, Patient First. I had bronchitis for 3 months and my ribs were so bruised from coughing. They gave up on my one fine afternoon and broke. I had to go to Patient First and of course, it was crowded. I don't understand why when you have broken ribs they make you get up so many times to register, tell you that your registered, and then let you know it's going to be hours before you're seen. I was in so much pain that I cried and of course thought maybe I'd be seen faster...But all they did was give me a wheelchair to cry in. When Mady started getting irritated and crying, a doctor actually acknowledged me! I understand the whole first in first out thing. But come on! Mother with broken ribs and infant should be seen before a woman with sniffles!

  8. OH MY HEAD!!!!! I was so NOT offended at all. I was telling Heather today that the darn thing about these comments is that sometimes "tone" and "intent" isn't always obvious. So forgive me if I sounded offended. I wasn't. Not in the least. PROMISE. You better not edit any post because of some dumb comment, girl...I'm serious. (Heather and I talked about this, too--obviously she and I have been "burned" by a commentor. But that's a whole other story...)

    We are so BFFs. It's all good.


Give me some sugar, baby!