28 February 2011

A not-unpleasant visit to a doctor (it happens sometimes)

I went to see an ENT, and he was one of the best doctors I've ever encountered.
  • He actually read the forms I filled out.  Seriously.  I didn't slave away on useless paperwork I've already filled out a million times only to have it not even looked at.
  • He asked a lot of questions.  And listened to the answers.  However, I think I've learned that if he asks the same question more than once, it means I'm giving the wrong answer.  It was kind of like those online applications that ask the same questions to try to trick you into being inconsistent, so they don't actually have to spend human time screening applicants.  Only not.  So, yes, apparently, I strain when I talk and sing.
  • He did not immediately prescribe expensive medication.  Any time I can walk out of a doctor's office with instructions to drink more water and sometimes Gatorade and use a nasal saline rinse (recipe provided with an emphasis on the need to use pickling salt instead of table salt), I feel I have not been ripped off.
  • He pointed out that I had a big gob of lotion on my face.  He said, "Oh, and I guess my nurse was too much of a coward to mention this, but you have a big blob of lotion on your face."  He also wiped it off.  Mortification . . . 
  • He did not act like he knew everything after our 45 minutes together.  When I asked him if he thought all these other problems meant that at least I didn't have acid reflux, he said, "I have no idea.  You have so many other symptoms, we'll have to try to clear them up before we can even figure that out."
  • He gave a follow-up time frame.  He said, "Try these simple things.  Come back in three months, and we'll see if we're on the right track.  Then we can talk about whether or not you have other problems."
  • He hates my voice recognition software.  We sat in companionable silence as he typed up his notes right then and there after talking about how frustrating it can be to use the Dragon voice recognition software later.  It's bad for his blood pressure, too.  I can see why since he does not have a calm, even, boring NPR announcer voice with no emotion or inflection.
If all doctors were as helpful, compassionate, and competent as him, I think people wouldn't hate going to the doctor.  They would feel like they had an ally interested only in helping them heal.  Whoa.

Have you ever seen a doctor that restored your faith in the medical/healing professional?


  1. Yay! That's how I feel about my PCP, and why I refuse to switch to another even though it can be difficult to get in to see him.

    I'm curious about the pickling (not table) salt -- Dan uses table salt for nasal rinse all the time, should he switch?

  2. I guess if regular salt works for him, he should keep it up. Unless pickling salt is cheaper. :)

  3. It seems to work well enough for him, and I'm not even sure where one buys pickling salt, so it's hard to know whether it would be cheaper. Table salt is already pretty darn cheap, though.

  4. Should you ever wish to know, I was told pickling salt is readily available at organic grocery stores like Whole Foods. Makes pickles and clearer sinuses. How's that for multitasking? :)