Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Waiting Rheum (Living With Cogan's Syndrome)

April 10th:

I pulled my cellphone out of my pocket and looked at the time: 2:35 pm. We had been in the waiting room at Dr. Rolla’s office for 35 minutes, watching as patient after patient were escorted to meet with various physicians. I was getting impatient and I could tell that Sarah was too.

“Wasn’t our appointment supposed to be for two o’clock?” I asked with a frustrated tone.

“Yes,” Sarah replied, “this is getting ridiculous.”

“Maybe we should say something,” I said.

“Let’s just wait a few more minutes.”

When I was first diagnosed by Dr. Russo, he had mentioned that we should set up an appointment with Dr. Rolla, the hospital’s Rheumatologist, to make sure that the diagnosis of Cogan’s Syndrome was, in fact, correct and to see if there were any other internal issues.

I looked at the time again: 2:53pm. I don’t think I have ever waited this long for an appointment. What the heck?

“Alright, I’m going to ask what’s going on,” Sarah said.

Just as Sarah placed the magazine down that she had been reading and readied herself to stand up, we heard the call—well, Sarah did anyway.

“Max Pfeffer?” the doctor called out.

I was still looking at Sarah, wondering why she hadn’t actually stood up yet when she nodded to me, motioning toward the doctor. I turned to see and said, “Oh.”

We followed the doctor to his personal office. He asked me to explain what happened—I’ve been getting pretty good at telling the story—and then kindly ushered us into an examination room. After a brief inspection, Dr. Rolla spoke.

“It looks like Dr. Russo’s Diagnosis was correct,” he said. “I don’t see any other problems. If you were having other issues, we would most likely be seeing some sort of exterior rash or internal pain. I would continue to take the medication that he has prescribed for you and follow his orders. I’ll personally contact him to let him know about our meeting and so that he can keep me informed with your progress. You can come see me again in a few months, unless you start experiencing other symptoms, in which case you’ll see me sooner.”

I was having a decent hearing day in my right ear—which tends to fluctuate daily—so I was able to hear most of what Dr. Rolla had said.

Sarah and I thanked Dr. Rolla and exited his office. We walked to the elevator in pursuit of the parking garage.

“Well, that was quick,” I said. “The actual visit. Not the waiting around for an hour part.”

“Yeah, it was. And he seemed really nice.”

“Yeah, he kind of made up for the first part. At least we know that there isn’t anything else wrong with me, and that we don’t have to add another doctor to the weekly visit list.”

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