Photo credit: Kelly Arashin
I had a very relaxing and restorative trip up to northern Michigan last week with my family.
The weather was perfect. There was sightseeing in national forests, campfires and s'mores, good wine, good stories, and some hard work constructing a drainage system on the side of my parents' log home on Lake Huron.
However, one little aspect of my trip wasn't so nice: an earache.
I've suffered from occasional earaches since I was a little kid. For whatever reason I have small, tortuous ear canals which are susceptable to occasional infections, especially when I swim in a lake or the ocean.
Since I've been dealing with earaches for a very long time I know exactly how to treat them. I irrigate the infected ear with 50/50 water and hydrogen peroxide and I apply Cipro ear drops twice daily until the infection is resolved (which doesn't take long at all provided that I'm not out of Cipro ear drops).
Well, wouldn't you know it, I didn't bring Cipro ear drops with me on vacation. I didn't have a 10 or 20 cc syringe either. So I did what anyone else would do under the circumstances.
I toughed it out until I got home.
Unfortunately, when I got home I couldn't find any Cipro ear drops. So I either lost them or I'm out.
I did, however, irrigate my infected ear and gently applied triple antibiotic ointment with a Q-tip (I know, I know — listen, I was desperate).
To make matters worse, my regular doctor recently moved his practice a couple of hundred miles away to be closer to his aging mother. I have a new doctor who saw me recently for knee pain. Nice guy, but I don't know him well.
So here's my question to all of you. Is it reasonable that I should have to drive 30 miles, sit in the waiting room, get shuffled back into an exam room, get my vital signs taken, receive a physician exam, obtain a prescription, and get billed for a $60-$100 office visit, just to get a prescription for medical problem that I've had for my entire life?
I'm hoping that won't be necessary. I called the new doctor's office and spoke to an office clerk. I explained the situation and requested that a prescription be called into my local pharmacy. She seemed less than enthusiastic but told me that a nurse would call me back later with the doctor's reply.