Doctor #1…

The first appointment at a gyneocologist that I was able to get I took. Even if it was another day later. This is another issue that I have. Because I am in the business of optimising the things around me, things like standing in a queue bothers me cause I can see a more efficient way. Yes I understand that doctors want to make as much possible money as they can therefore they fit in the maximum number of pasients that they can in 1 day. As a result of this a consultation is usually 15-20 minutes and then you pay for every second (or the medical aid). So they book their entire day out in advance and the poor people that wake up that morning with serious pain (or whatever might to be the case) have to wait till the next day or a cancelation or no-show. In most cases these are the more serious or pressing matters, in my opinion. Let’s face it nobody plans on being ill. So I would make a suggestion, if there are 3 docters at a practice, rotate them to each get a day to only see on the day appointments or walk-ins. Let them split the money equally between the 3 of them if they are scared of loosing money. Or leave every 3 timeslot open on each of their schedules for the day, which might give them time to make up lost time during the day or treat the walk-in pasients.

So the doctor did a sonar and made the diagnosis as polycystic ovaries. He gave me a prescription for Minerva (a contraceptive) and Andocur. For 12 months with the instruction to complete the entire packet of Andocur for the first 3 months and then decrease it every month until I only take 2 on the 12th month. Also I had to come see him after 3 cycles again. He did mention that he is first going to treat me in this way and if there is no improvement after 3 cycles visible on the sonar he would consider cutting. Offcourse I was relieved to hear that cutting is not the first option, I mean who wants a scar on their stomach? The warning lights should have gone on right there in his office because as I learnt later, in SA doctors are only allowed to give prescriptions for 6 months. After that they expire and you have to get a new one. But not having really been ill before, other than colds and flues really, and not being on contraceptives before, I didn’t know this.

When I picked up my first prescription the pharmacist informed me that the prescription is only valid for 6 months. Even though it was written out for 12, I would have to get a new one then halfway through. The other thing that made me wonder was the fact that she was surprised that the Andocur is prescribed as a full packet (15 tablets) per month. Apparently they don’t usually dispence that amount of tablets per patient per month. They didn’t even have enough stock to give me. So I had to return 2 days later to pick up the remaining 11 tablets. This was weird but I just smiled and went with it, cause the doctor knows what he is doing. Every month that I returned to pick up the next repeat prescription, I would get a comment from the pharmacist (not always the same one) either regarding the fact that they have to give me a full box (this was weird to them) or that they didn’t know that was how much a full box costs (not the cheapest medication). This made me wonder more and more. Which ended in me not going back to the first doctor after the 3 months as he told me to, but instead to my sisters gyneocologist who was also treating one of her friends for Endometriosis.

The first time I heard the word endometriosis was from my sister, who works in the medical industry. But I trusted the doctor and was a bit confused because now my sister, whom I trust and is really smart and well informed, is now telling me something differently. So I turned to google and started reading the one research article after the other (I don’t really trust journalists) and in the end decided a second opinion can’t hurt. Which turned out to be the best decision I could have made. The lesson here was to be knowledgable and not just trust one person blindly with your health, it’s too important. Find reliable sources. This helps you to make well informed decisions which are to your own advantage. And never make an appointment with a doctor without getting a reference from somebody. At the end of the day it is your health, not theirs. The reality is not all doctors are the best at what they do, which means the first diagnosis might not be the correct one. Rather safe than sorry I would say.

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