Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sniffling Doctor - Any Suggestions?

I want to tell you about a visit to my doctor that I made a couple of weeks ago.

I was going to write about hand washing from an article about hand washing and a study done by Lysol Hygiene Council. But I googled the subject and there were thousands of hits for the Lysol study. Essentially the study said that 75% of Americans fail to wash their hands properly and appropriately even though most Americans know that hand washing is most important for keeping diseases (especially viruses, like colds) from passing from one person to another.

Also I questioned along with Kristi Anderson whether the study done by Lysol was a legitimate study or a set of stats put together for the purpose of selling anti-bacterial hand hygiene products.

So to my point: A week or so ago I went to the doctor for a simple check up on my blood cholesterol and a change of medicine to treat it. My own doctor was not available to see me because he was recuperating from a bad accident, but the doctor I saw was a member of the same Medical group.

When he came into the room he shook my hand. He talked to me and asked the usual questions. He took my blood. But the whole time he was in the room with me he sniffled. He didn't use a tissue or (God Forbid!) a handkerchief. He just kept sniffling. I started to become VERY uncomfortable. He was taking my blood pressure, inserting a needle into a vein in my arm and standing quite close to me. (The room was small, you know, the size of a normal examining room).

He didn't excuse himself from the room. He just kept sniffling. Finally he said something like "These damn allergies!"

Now my question is "Should I have believed him, that his sniffling was due to allergies (in which case I wouldn't catch what was making him sniffle) or should I have said to him early on, "PLEASE! You are making me very uncomfortable...I'll come back another time to see you when you're not sick." I wanted to do that but I was embarrassed.

I will tell you that I'm not sick. I don't have a cold. If the doctor had had a cold I would have come down with it by now. So maybe he did have allergies. But how could I have known?

How could a DOCTOR be so dense as not to realize how uncomfortable I was? Shouldn't he have apologized immediately upon entering the room about his sniffling? Shouldn't he have left the door open to the room?(I was completely dressed through the exam.) Shouldn't he have taken allergy medication so that it would have dried up his sinuses?

Do any of you have any suggestions for what I should have done? the teach

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