This past week I went to the doctor. I hate going to the doctor. I think I hate going to the doctor because growing up I was extremely healthy. I was rarely sick. I have never broken any bones, never contracted any serious illnesses nor had anything else that would require staying in the hospital. In fact, I was 22 the first time I ever went to a doctor for anything that was beyond a checkup or a minor cold, sinus infection, etc. Even since then, I have made only one trip to the doctor…until this week.

Several years ago I hurt my knee playing basketball. At the time, I didn’t know I hurt my knee. I thought I had simply injured my ankle. Over the next few years I began to notice a growing soreness in my knee at certain times (like during a rapid climate change, during high percentages of humidity, in an increase of precipitation, etc.). When D and I moved to Boston, it began to worsen. To make a very long story short, it seems that I have a knee injury that requires minor surgery. That in itself has freaked me out and kept me from going to the doctor the last couple of years.

Finally, due to increased pain and the encouragement of my wife and close friends, I am going to have something done about my knee. That leads me to my doctor’s visit this week. Before I can have any procedures done, I have to have a referral to the appropriate surgeon. So D made an appointment for me a couple of weeks ago so that I can get a referral. Because I am never sick, I do not have a primary care physician. And…because I do not have a regular doctor, I chose to visit a local clinic. But something strange happened at this clinic. Because it was my first time to visit this clinic and they are now going to be my “primary physicians,” not once was I asked why I was there. They assumed that I was there for a check-up and a physical. I actually had to ask them to take a minute and look at my knee.

Keep in mind, I went to this place to get a simple piece of paper- a referral to a surgeon for my knee. By the time I walked out of the doctor’s office, I had gotten a flu shot, a tetanus shot, an appointment to see an eye doctor, an appointment to see a dentist and an appointment to have X-rays done on my knee. I later found out that this clinic also has a dentist office and an optometrist on site. How convenient! (I hope you can hear the large quantities of sarcasm in the tone of my last sentence.) All I could think as I walked to my car was, “What just happened here?!” I almost felt like I was the butt of a joke or silly hidden camera show. There was nothing I could do but laugh to myself about it all. Needless to say, I am now going to be all set with any medical, dental, visual issue that comes my way in the future all because I wanted a simply referral. Thanks local clinic!

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