Medical specialists are not always within a twenty kilometre driving distance, I've learned here in the Central Interior.
The one I was to see practiced in Kamloops, a three-hour trip to the South. We left early on Sunday morning, intending to spend the night in a Motel for my appointment on Monday.
Again, I practiced taking photos out of the car window. Sunday morning was particularly cold...the temperatures were hovering near the -30C mark, when we left home. Quite often, steam from the exhausts of trucks and cars made visibility difficult, especially with blowing Snow as well.
I have learned, however, to take the weather in stride.
I don't like seeing doctors, let alone specialists. I can't express myself, especially in the three second time span most specialists give one to answer a question.
I prepared myself this time, having written out a list of medications and symptoms...precisely so I could discuss these with the Doctor.
But she wasn't interested in what I had written...she wanted me to answer her questions. Off the top.
The questioning began. I had only moments to reply. After three or four of those, had she asked me my name, I would have had difficulty answering correctly.
And then, there were the exercises, which were demonstrated with great speed by the Doctor. I was to follow along. It was laughable. She went so quickly I was still on the second one when she was finished. And I couldn't remember the rest of the movements.
Suffice it to say, after all was said and done, I came out of the appointment, with a sheaf of tests which required doing. And I hope those tests pinpoint the problem I was in for, since I know a diagnosis could not be made on the strength of any conversation I had with her.
Each appointment with this Doctor runs 45 minutes...no more,no less. You would think, during this time span, I would be able to demonstrate or enunciate my difficulties with Arthritis.
My brain freezes up, when I try to explain. There is nothing there...there are no words which will come out of my mouth. The worst moments are when I go blank and then start to giggle, which sometimes...morphs into deep guffaws! Oh dear!
Some Doctors have become offended, thinking my laughter was directed at them. It never is; it is only my reaction to being blank-brained.
My favourite kind of medical specialist is the one who, on my arrival, will have the receptionist give me a list of questions to complete. This gives me time to remember my history, check my notes, and sometimes think deeply about some of the answers.
I will be fifty-eight soon, in February. There is a lifetime of maladies to report, not all of them within easy reach of my middle-aged memory.
So here I am, today, answering all of her questions, in my head. I am completely understandable, very verbal, with no signs of the nervousness which overtakes me...in my head.
I remember some of the answers I gave, some which were not completely right, when I spoke to the Doctor. And I wish I could answer those questions again, with more lucidity. But it is what it is.
And no amount of self-abuse will change it.
The weekend away was wonderful, even with evil appointments with specialists...well worth it. My perspective changes a little,for the better, when I visit a City I am not familiar with. Struggling with addresses and places unknown humbles me; but finally finding a place is cause for celebration, each time.
And going away...well, it makes coming home that much better!