Thursday, May 9, 2019

G'ma Was Right

Once again, my mother proves her perspicacity.

"Be sure your doctors are younger than you are.  Otherwise, they retire just when you need them."

Today I had my last appointment with my gynecologist, a woman referred by a woman I respect, a doctor with a sense of humor and the ability to tell me I'm an idiot without making it seem like an insult.

"Yeah, I'm prescribing you medication that will give you necrotic bone disease.  What else did you learn on the internet today?"  That was her snarky response to my derisive response to her professional opinion that I might need Fosomax. 

She's retiring next month.  Paperwork has overtaken her life.  Everything has a code and conversations are parsed by the possibility of an attached diagnosis.  It's just not fun any more. 

She loves her patients and wonders how she'll fill her days and it was fun to watch her delighted confusion. I tried not to feel sorry for myself.

"Who should I see?" 

"I don't know what to tell you," was her disheartening reply.  "I have 4000 patients.  Not everyone takes Medicare.  Not everyone is accepting new patients.  And why does everyone want to move to Oro Valley, anyway?" 

I reassured her that I had no intention of moving to, nor a need for, a gynecologist in Tucson's northern suburb.  She told me that I really didn't need to have a gynecologist at all.  I'm at below average risk for breast cancer, my insides looked fine to her today, and unless I have a problem there is no reason for me to be examined every year.  Her former PA is now working with my GP; if something is needed, she can take care of it. 

We hugged.  I wished her well.  I left the office feeling relieved and old at the same time.


  1. Yes, it might give you dead jaw syndrome, and it might give you weird breaks in your thigh, just below the hip. Yes, the literature says the risks of those things are less than the risks of taking the drug, until it's you that experiences the unlikely event. It's been suggested to me, but I just can't do it. I'm drinking more milk and doing more weight bearing and not mountain biking anymore. I'm pretty sure I'm older than all of my doctors. If you do need a gyn, the women who work at the Catalina Foothills Genesis clinic seemed to be good, I can't recommend the male gyns.

    1. Apparently, everything I might need can be done in the gerontologist’s office, unless we discover a real problem . She won’t give me Fosomax, if the scan shows I need assistance. There are other safer meds.

      I haven’t had a male gyn since the 1970’s.

  2. My gynecologist is about the same age as me, which means he'll probably be retiring in the next five years or so. I'm not looking forward to it.

    1. You may not need to replace him if your GP’’s office has a PAwith training.
      Getting older has its challenges, doesn’t it!

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