Thursday, September 18, 2008

Doctor Blessing

I just wanted to post here & say what a blessing it is to have a GREAT doctor.

As a child, our family doctor was always in Spokane...there was no clinic or doctors in Plummer (although I think we went to Fairfield for a while when I was very small). When he stopped practicing family medicine & went strictly immediate/emergency care he recommended us to another general practitioner in his building. We interviewed her & loved her. Although she is a general practitioner/family doctor her passion is preventing & treating diabetes, heart disease, stroke...all those diseases that we become more susceptible to as we get older. Because of this many of her patients are middle-aged or older. When our children were very young we would get the royal treatment when we came to her office because the staff did not see that many younger patients & we were an anomaly.

After moving to St. Maries it became harder & harder to get to Spokane & we began to use the doctors/clinic here for minor issues...stitches, sore throats, allergies, etc. I think we have some really good doctors here & I particularly like a couple of our physician assistants, but like any small town there are is hard to get an appointment with who you want to see, you get to hear about every miss/mistake made because everyone knows everyone, they have a hard time retaining doctors who want to stay here therefore the turnover is high. So, even though we do frequent the clinic here our family doctor is still our family doctor.

Last fall, right about the time I needed to go in for my annual physical I received a letter from our insurance company saying that we could no longer see Dr. Harrison in Spokane unless we wanted to pay the entire bill ourselves. It took MONTHS of back & forth calling, explaining, etc to finally, this spring, be told that we could see her, but our co-pay would be $40 instead of $20...twice as expensive, but way better than changing doctors.

The summer was crazy, so I finally got an appointment to see her for my annual physical (one year late!) yesterday. I also took along Cassidy, who received a diagnosis last spring of asthma, but had not been seen since by Dr. Harrison and Ike, who has been struggling with frequent, painful, huge, ugly, nasty cold sores.

My appointment was at 2pm & the kids' were at 3pm...we did not leave the office until, she is not inefficient, she spent ALL of that time with us! She gave me my physical & got my prescriptions re-done for the sleep disorder I have (and have really been struggling with since I have been out of medication)...she also ordered some lab work & routine tests. She hooked Cassidy up to a computer & measured her breathing. She was able to confirm the asthma diagnosis, identify some of her triggers (cold weather, exercise, & interestingly enough, acid reflux!) & get her some prescriptions ordered. She also said that Cassidy has a sinus infection which is likely why she has felt terrible for the past 10 days or so...antibiotics on board today! She spent a long time looking up & researching possibilities to treat Ike's cold sores, we finally came up with a solution to try for a while to see if it works.

Dr. Harrison is also very good about making sure you don't pay more than you should for your prescriptions. She always has a wealth of samples, coupons, etc on hand & has no problem telling you to go to the over-the-counter section at Costco for some of your needs. She loaded us up with samples so that most of our prescriptions could be filled a few at a time so it wouldn't be one big expense. I was kind of afraid we would be pulled over on the way home & accused of robbing a pharmacy! :)

I'm really looking forward to getting my sleep back on track, getting a handle on Cassidy's asthma, & (hopefully) Ike not having to suffer through any more cold sores.

So, for that, I am thankful for our family doctor!

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