Doctor’s visit and “health maintenance”

I had my annual physical today with the doctor I enjoyed seeing for years, but had to stop given a change in health insurance. Now that I was back, we talked about all the usual things, plus life in the time of COVID-19. I told her that I was experiencing tightness and pains in my hands, and she confirmed that it was likely mild carpal tunnel symptoms, but suggested that seeing a physical therapist at this time may be too much given that usually physical therapy “is meant for people with far worser injuries than yours.” I don’t know – that didn’t really sit well with me. Far worser injuries – really? I really do not think we should all be fully out of use of our hands or on our death beds before we get physical treatments or exercises prescribed to us; aren’t we supposed to be taking care of our bodies every day instead of waiting until everything breaks? I thought this was supposed to be about health maintenance?

She suggested I start with a wrist split on one hand and see if it helped with morning numbness, and go from there. If it got better, I’d likely just continue with my exercises and wrist splints, but if it got worse, she’d refer me to a physical therapist. The odd part came when she suggested she draw blood to check if I had any early onset rheumatoid arthritis “just in case.” Arthritis for me – at age 34?????

Our medical system is so sad and broken. I was terrified just hearing this.

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