WA 2020 #2: Doc Appointment

As instructed by my primary care doctor, I visited a specialist. I was supposed to have a pulmonary (lung) function test, but the doc said his office doesn't have the facility and I have to make another appointment to the hospital nearby. What a waste of time; What's the point of the specialist?

Without waiting for the test result, he prescribed a long-term control medicine for asthma. Why don't we wait? I was nervous, but kind of expected it. After all, asthma is very a vague categorization and the perception of the patient (me) matters a lot. And I went to the doctor, suggesting I consider myself an asthma sufferer.

Reading through the instruction of the medicine, the long list of the side effects scares me a lot. I hope I don't have to use this, but "long-term" means this is likely to become my lifelong medication. Sigh.

I was fed up with the series of my doctor visits. It's not close (20 min drive) and their office work is far from efficient. My primary care doctor/provider (PCP) hasn't shown up after my very first visit but only her subordinate NPs do. The specialist today was as blunt as I almost took it as an arrogance. I hate all of these.

My spouse has her PCP in a big hospital. It has its own strengths and weaknesses. One strength over my current mediocre small medical center is the streamlined services and the doctor's average quality of the service. The drawback is the long queue of appointments. Last week I asked her how long she had to wait for the possible next appointment. The closest date, it turned out, was about a month away. I'm not sure that is a good option. Even though my current situation is messy and has tedious arrangement, I can at least make an appointment in a few days.

Yet another option for me is the employer-provided medical center. I didn't like the idea of letting my life depending on the employer beyond the paycheck and I didn't have high expectations regardless. However, a friend of mine tried it and told me that he was very much satisfied. According to him, it has a couple of advantages over my current situation: First, the appointment latency is very short, which is a big plus. Also they are located on-site, meaning very close to my office. I would no longer have to pay about an hour plus $20 Uber fee for each visit. It'd be another big win. And so far I don't see any real shortcomings. Probably I should, and will, take a look - Once this asthma round is over.

I didn't like the employee-based services because I feel spoiled and I miss the opportunity to see "Real America." I don't have such an aspiration anymore though. Life is too hard to chase the reality behind the curtain. Now I'm happy to be illusioned.