An Afternoon Ordeal

I haven’t mentioned this before because I think I complain about my aches and pains too much, but I have had a pain in the left side of my hip for about a week now. It hurts to sit, to stand, or lie down. The short of it is, it hurts. I had googled what outer hip pain might be, and the most common answer was bursitis. Finally, yesterday morning, I decided I needed to see my doctor, but what an ordeal. My doctor can’t see me until October 12. They tried to suggest one of the other providers at the clinic, but I shot that down. I have not had good experiences with any of the others except my doctor’s father, who is now retired. When I called, I was told the nurse would call me back. She called, but just as I was starting a meeting I had to attend. Luckily, I was on mute and didn’t need to be heard, but as soon as I got the meeting going on my end and stepped away to talk to the nurse, my computer crashed unbeknownst to me. That’s when my boss, who was also on this virtual meeting, tried texting and calling as I was trying to talk to the nurse.

The bottom line with the nurse was the same thing I’d heard from the receptionist earlier, and she suggested the ExpressCare Clinic or my physical therapist. The nurse wasn’t sure though I could see the physical therapist without a referral, which couldn’t be done over the phone. I have a good relationship with my physical therapist and already knew I had standing orders to see her. She’s also told me she’d take care of the paperwork to get the necessary referral to take care of any other issues I had. I’d initially gone to her for neck pain, and she helped with my headaches. I just couldn’t afford to see her every time I had a headache. Anyway, I had to get off the phone with the nurse and take care of the meeting’s technical issues, but my laptop crashed again. It could have had something to do with the coffee I spilled on it this morning and not having the power cord, but it just wouldn’t work. I finally gave up. The other people in the meeting didn’t need me anyway.

Once I finally got back to my office, I called my physical therapist’s office and left a message about what I needed. Just as I was taking care of some stuff at my desk, the nurse called back and told me she had talked to my doctor, who said I needed to go to the ExpressCare and did not need to wait. So, that’s what I did. Because of pandemic rules, I had to drive up and park at the ExpressCare Clinic, and then call to get authorization to come inside, but just as I pulled up to the clinic, my physical therapist called me back. I explained to her my issue and told her I was at the ExpressCare Clinic. She told me to go ahead and see someone at ExpressCare but that she would block out a time Monday at 7:30 am for me to come to see her if I needed to and to call her back after my appointment. So, I called the ExpressCare Clinic to let them know I was there and did all my registering for my visit over the phone. Then, I waited. It was about 2 o’clock at this point, and I had to stay in my car for an hour before the clinic called back and said an exam room was ready and I could come inside. They took my temperature and all that pandemic procedure stuff and then took me to an exam room to wait for another half hour. 

Finally, the PA came in and asked some questions, then poked and prodded around my hip before deciding to have an X-ray done. Off I go to get an X-ray of my hip. After changing into paper shorts and getting the X-rays taken, I was taken back to my exam room, where I could get dressed again. Eventually, the PA came back and told me that I had bursitis in my hip, but she was waiting on the radiology report before saying more. Out the door she went again. I forgot to mention, I had been in saunas cooler than this exam room. When the PA came back with the radiology report, she showed me that not only did I have bursitis, but I also had the early stages of arthritis. She said I would need to follow up with my doctor for a corticosteroid shot, but in the meantime, I needed to see a physical therapist. So, I told her about my conversation with my physical therapist, and she sent over a referral just in case one was needed.

When I left, I called my physical therapist back, but it was already 4:30 pm, so no one answered the phone, and I left a message. I already knew no one would be at my doctor’s office answering the phone at 4:30, so I will call them this morning and get the earliest appointment I can. Geez, what an ordeal. It took all afternoon for something I’d already googled and found out the same thing. At least, though, I hope to get some relief from my physical therapist and later from my doctor. I’m just getting old and decrepit at this point. 

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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