Saturday, June 28, 2014
More Than Cellulitis - Is it Alright For a Patient to See 2 Different PCP's - Both in 2 Different Practices?
Just a quickie post to say I AM still blogging ...if I ever get to relax and focus long enough to write something thoughtful. Just have been very busy. It is the end of June and for the first time in SEVENTEEN years I have not been in our pool yet ...and it is the end of JUNE now. Need I say more? Oh of course I will. :) And as previously stated I do want to write about the biopsy experience and some funny posts and actually they keep piling up. I should write the titles down so I don't forget!
Fortunately I caught the beginning of cellulitis in my left hand. 20 years working around patients and my own previous significant experience (October 2011), with how quickly it can exacerbate into a serious illness caused me to act promptly. It can really take you down quickly once it takes hold.
We should ALL be mindful to clean any opening that draws blood. Seriously though ...how many of us do that? Usually I am in the middle of some project and just don't take the time. And if little I blow it off.
I am not sure how I got the tiny scratch that I apparently ignored ...was probably from the rose bush I was pruning. I recall getting pricked in the finger but not the scratch. And by the way ...if I didn't get an infection from pricks then why from a scratch? If anything the pricking process is more of a puncture wound type ...meaning the pricks went deeper into my fingers. ??? Unless ..the scratch was deeper than I thought ..although then wouldn't I have bled enough to want to treat it? Whatever.
The thing is less than 24 hours before I had had observed that it was a bit swollen and red and pondered telling the PCP when I got there but it never came to mind again and we discussed other things.
Then the next morning it seemed to be puffier and could feel a roundness below the scratch ..puffier toward thumb and forefinger. I knew I need to be seen but I was babysitting the little ones and had no one to watch them. Never mind how could I possibly get int o see the doctor. Mindful the weekend was coming and I did not want to end up in the ED with it ...I made some calls anyway.
Turns out younger son had taken a personal day (hated ruining it tho) and so he agreed to come over. But I also put a call out to Mr SeaSpray ...hoping he could get home in time ...thus allowing son to go on with his special day. Oh and amazingly ...I got scheduled in to see the doctor within the hour and so I grabbed that spot. They both got here in time. I flew out the door sans shower, makeup, etc., because there wasn't any time for that. I guess for me ...normally that would be the definition of emergency or extreme pain, weakness and/or illness. However this time it was just trying to meet everyone's schedules.
The thing is I didn't schedule with my regular PCP. I felt like I was cheating or something because I scheduled with a former partner of his that I happen to like very much ...although I am not deeply bonded with him as I am beginning to feel with my regular PCP. It took me a while to get over missing my PCP of almost 20 yrs. Oh heck I still miss him ...even to the point that I've thought about leaving a note for him at the former office he had. That may seem weird, but he is a Christian and so we often had discussions, etc., and so I do miss his take on things and well lots of things he shared. he did say he'd see me around in the community, but admittedly I have not been very involved in the Christian community thus not in the same circles ...as yet. He still owns the building and I believe still has contact with staff and some was his original staff. I didn't stay there though as I had heard such good things about doctor I did choose in another office that I was thrilled to get in. And it was difficult for me to make that switch ...and desperately want to be known ...trusted and feel a bond. to me it builds trust and confidence in the doctor. it also connotes mutual understanding and causes me to feel more comfortable in opening up and also secure.
I actually went to this other doctor last November and just never told my current PCP. The thing is ...the partner is in a nice new office only 5 minutes from my house or less without traffic. I do feel a good rapport with him and he was WONDERFUL the day I saw him when My friend Iris had passed away just a few hours earlier. I actually was going in for a cellulitis follow up back then. He was the doctor that treated it the first time and it had progressed so much by the time I saw him he said he would prescribe antibiotics but if I didn't respond I was going right into the hospital. I was so ill from it that I couldn't even pick up the meds I needed and just collapsed back into bed back into bed, waiting for Mr SeaSpray to bring them home for me. Again ...I KNOW how quickly it can progress which is why I moved on it immediately.
The other thing I like abut his office is the aesthetics (I know - least important), that only two doctors there because I have wondered if an office can be so large that things get missed in a larger, busier office. (I have my reasons for wondering about this ...and some experience) And now they also draw blood on the premises which is much more convenient. Still ...I would not leave my current PCP because of any of these things. I am just saying why I don't have any problem using this doctor as an alternate. B-U-T ...I feel like I am cheating because I don't know if this would be frowned on by my PCP. I was surprised to here the partner had left and without my asking anything about why ...the receptionist immediately stated, "We don't know where he went." * Smirk* That immediately told me they DID know where he went, but the practice didn't want the patients to follow. I understand that. I've seen other businesses do that as well.
Anyway ....I never set out to look for him because I am appreciative of and glad to have the PCP I do see regularly. I was sorry to learn the other want had left though. And the only reason I found out where he was is that last summer I called the office because I saw it was a new practice opening and I was considering applying at some point. That is when I learned he and another doctor cover that satellite office for another large practice in the area. It is soooooo CONVENIENT! The other office is about a half hour away. I also think the front office staff is MUCH more friendly than the other office. The inner office staff is the same.
This doctor knows his former partner is my main doctor, but hasn't told me I can't come in. The first time I went to his office I did tell him that felt guilty for coming in and wondered if it was alright, but he didn't comment either way. Maybe I am silly to be concerned about telling my regular PCP I can't do that. But ...he also wants all doctors to send any reports to him. he wants to know everything about me medically speaking. I know this is because they are our main doctors and they rely on this information ...like a detective should we become seriously ill. They put all the pieces together ...where as specialists are usually dealing with specific body parts only ...for the most part anyway. I'm thinking I should tell him about the cellulitis and treatment.
And that brings me to the outcome of my wandering visit to the other PCP. I had said I know that we don't want to take antibiotics unnecessarily but that I'd rather err on the side of caution ..especially since the weekend was coming. He agreed that I did the right thing by coming in to the office. He could feel the swelling going out from the scratch. I asked if I could have a script for antibiotics if it exacerbated but that I would not take them if not needed. He agreed and also gave me an antibiotic cream to apply twice daily for 2 weeks, stating he thought it would respond to the cream.
I thanked him and the front staff and amazingly I was back home in 20 minutes. :)
Last night I thought I would need the antibiotics but have definitely improved since then and now I think the cream will suffice. Now I have antibiotics on hand. Although I would never take them without informing a physician of what I have and their agreeing it was the right med to take.
I don't want to tell my regular PCP when I go in for a physical in July ...but ...I am thinking I should. I will. I just don't want to annoy him ...cause a problem with a colleague ..or lose him I don't think the latter would happen though. But I don't want to be told I can't either. And of course if there was a dire emergency ...the kind where the hospital was imminent I would ONLY call the main PCP's office.
I've never met the other partners at the main office and so I don't have any negative reasons for avoiding anyone but my PCP over there. Besides ...I know how that office is ...you just could not get in easily. I guess I could seek out closer satellite offices. That never occurred to me. And the other one is so much more convenient and if ill feeling/pressed for time but you know you do need to be seen ...the second PCP is my choice.
What to do ...what to do?
Oh and staff informed me that there is going to be a state-of-the-art urgent care going into that building with specialists there every day. My working antennae went up after hearing that ..and ...m-a-y-b-e ...after I get through both knee surgeries (it will happen), I will apply there. Talk about convenience!
Quickie post? Ha ha! Well I didn't expect to write this. I guess it really is bothering me ...thus the thoughts poured out.
Sometimes I think I am too conscientious for my own good.