Sunday, February 1, 2009

Medical excuses for not writing....

I can come with a host of legitimate excuses to explain why I’m not writing as much as I should. But I never thought my annual physical would be one of them.

There’s nothing major wrong with me, thank goodness. But all the minor things I recently discussed with my doctor have developed into cure strategies that are now eating up big chunks of my limited writing opportunities. I can’t imagine how time-consuming it must be if you're really sick.

My primary care physician sent me home with directions to take Vitamin D twice a day, instructions to increase my thyroid medicine that requires carefully cutting half of my pills in quarters until my new mail-order prescription arrives, a sheet of daily exercises designed to relieve foot pain, and a recommendation for a skin cream to be applied twice daily. She also handed me referrals to two specialists.

The ear, nose and throat doctor said there was nothing seriously wrong that a nose spray and a saline solution kit, both to be used twice a day, couldn’t fix. The orthopedic guy ordered me to put ice on my impinged shoulder for 20 minutes, three times a day; take a pain reliever twice a day; and to try his list of exercises until the start of my physical therapy appointments, which will take one hour each, two times a week.

I'm sorry to bore you with my maladies, but isn't this list of minor cures mind-boggling? It makes me sick just to think about it. All these courses of treatment have gotten so complicated that I'll need a daily calendar just to keep up.

A doctor friend tells me the compliance rate for physicians’ orders is generally low. I understand why. If you add up all my medical directives, I could be spending the equivalent of one day a week dealing just with them – and there’s hardly anything wrong with me.

But then I thought: maybe it’s about time management. What if I could find a way to put the ice on my shoulder at the same time I take all the pills, use the nose stuff, apply the cream and then twist myself around to do the foot exercises, too? That would get me down to one hour of medical mania a day.

On the other hand, there’s the risk of something going wrong or developing a new injury from trying to do too much at once. Then I’d be sucked further into the medical black hole. So I've decided to pace myself and hope all these cures don’t kill my writing career.

Nonetheless, the next time someone asks me how the novel is going, I’m just going to say, “Ask my doctor.”

Have you ever found yourself in the medical black hole? Doesn't it make you wonder whether the cure just might be to STOP consulting medical professionals?

1 comment:

Carole said...

Okay missy, for joint problems, take good quality MSM and Vita C plus alternating heat and cold packs one minute each for oh say 20minutes. Every day until it is feeling better and then some. Why? This encourages the collagen to come back. Collagen being that nice rubbery stuff that keeps the joints limber and working properly.

Yes, it takes time, but it works and then you don't have to do all the nasty other stuff.

Beasties (remember that?), Carole Ann