The Doctor Might Get Around to Seeing You Sometime

I learned something valuable at my sports doc follow-up yesterday. Unfortunately, that thing had absolutely nothing to do with medicine and everything to do with logistics: Never, never, ever make an appointment at that clinic after 4 p.m.

{Cue whining, because whining heals}

How I thought my visit was going to go: I wait 15 minutes, because they are occasionally slow. Doctor comes in and apologizes. I say, “It’s OK, because now that you’re here, I’m going to talk your ear off.” I read through list of symptoms that I’ve spent my wait time typing on my phone, and we discuss them. He re-ultrasounds my leg, tells me some snippet of useful information, and then we talk about next steps.

How it actually went: I wait for 45 minutes. Eventually a resident/fellow/other youngish doctor comes in, having obviously not looked at my chart. (My chart, for this particular issue, is one paragraph long.) She asks me to describe what’s going on with my “… [looks at paper]… shin?” and later gets annoyed because only the outside of one’s leg is the shin, so the whole time she didn’t understand that my pain was on the inside, and why didn’t I tell her that? (Uh, not a doctor?) She asks how long my pain lasts; I tell her it doesn’t “last,” but it appears when I do certain movements. She has a very hard time understanding this; I start to worry I’m getting bad medical advice because I’m incapable of explaining what’s going on. Finally my doctor comes in having heard nothing of the previous conversation, pokes my calf for five seconds, says “you didn’t get an MRI yet? Get one,” tells me it could be a stress fracture or compartment syndrome, and leaves, telling me to “just keep doing whatever it is you’re currently doing” in the meantime. And then I couldn’t find my way out of the clinic because the office staff had left for the night, with lights off and doors shut.

The hell?

(I have had good experiences with this doctor before, but even if I hadn’t, I’m stuck with him for insurance reasons for now. I know I am extremely lucky to have insurance at all, and while the mechanics of the plan I’m on can be frustrating, I chose it. But I chose it with the expectation that my doctors wouldn’t suddenly be giant dicks. Anyway.)

I’m working on being zen. (“Working on being zen” is probably a contradiction.) The MRI in and of itself isn’t surprising, and there’s no particular reason for him to order it other than my very presence in his office, because he missed out on all of my rambling to the resident/fellow/whatever. The stress fracture/compartment syndrome stuff pisses me off because a) this is someone who looked in me in the eye two months ago and said there was no way it was a stress fracture, and b) I googled compartment syndrome and it seems like the Freaky Friday/opposite day version of what I’m dealing with, so I can’t even get worked up about it, but it seems like a shitty thing to just throw out there. What does get me worked up is the idea of getting a surprise on the MRI — a surprise I would have rather had in, say, February when there still would have been a chance of recovering in time for Berlin training — and if that happens I will be mad and blame myself and think I should have fought harder for a better diagnosis than “usually it goes away,” but I can’t fix that now.

So, MRI’s on Saturday — in between tri group practice and driving to Folsom for the race on Sunday, how’s that for timing? Follow-up appointment sometime next week, probably, and lord knows I’m making it for the morning.

In between, I’ll just “keep doing whatever it is I’m currently doing,” which I’m taking to mean racing my brains out on Sunday. More on that later.


5 thoughts on “The Doctor Might Get Around to Seeing You Sometime

  1. Linda says:

    Getting answers will likely lead to more questions but at least the MRI is the next step in figuring out what’s going on. Don’t beat yourself up on this one; you’ve done what you’ve been asked/told to do in a timely, orderly fashion. We trust our doctors to be our advocates and don’t expect them to be jerks. Good luck on Saturday with the MRI and on Sunday at the race. Just keep on keeping on. Here’s to healing…and whining!

  2. Katie says:

    OMG. I am seething at this, because it sucks for you, and because it sounds soooo similar to what I have experienced with frustrating doctors, especially lately. SERIOUSLY! It just enrages me! I’m sorry! I hope the MRI reveals something… not that serious? And that your issue with your SHIN… magically goes away? Yeah! Also: whining does not heal things. For an example, read my blog for the past, uh, 4-5 months… STILL. NOT. HEALED. However, I (obviously) see nothing WRONG with whining, so carry on. 🙂

    • kimretta says:

      Hahaha, thank you. I am having a major “I will never run normally again and might as well cancel those Berlin tickets and I never improve as a runner because I get hurt every time I try and maybe I should put the effort into some activity that loves me back except I’ve never found one of those” day. This might have something to do with the fact that I googled runner’s world forums again. DAMMIT. But I know you understand …

  3. Katie says:


  4. Kelly says:

    Good lord, sometimes I wonder about how some people get medical degrees and are allowed to practice. Or whether they get any sort of bedside manner training whatsoever. Grr. I am annoyed for you. But, I hope the MRI turns out ok and you race your brains out well on Sunday? 🙂

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