Under the category of “What Will They Think of Next?” comes the relatively new idea of online doctoring. Studly’s company’s insurance provider began pushing the service last year, but I was reluctant to take advantage of it. The whole thing just seemed like an oddity. I couldn’t quite fathom how a doctor could examine a patient via a Skype-type arrangement and prescribe treatments, and even medications, for an ailment, all without physically being in the same room.
Last evening though, as I struggled to breathe, as snot dripped relentlessly from my nose, and tears flowed freely from my eyes, Studly Doright insisted I access the site. I told him I already knew what they’d say: “Drink plenty of liquids, get lots of rest, take ibuprofen for your headache, use a humidifier and a Neti pot, blah, blah, blah.”
“I’m already doing that stuff. Plus,” I grimaced, “They’ll charge me for that information.”
Studly insisted, though, so I downloaded the app and made the call. After filling out the online paperwork, I found myself in a virtual waiting room to see the first available physician. My wait time was a little longer than ten minutes, but I didn’t have to wonder what new germs I was being exposed to as I reclined on my own sofa in the privacy of Doright Manor. I do need to acquire better magazines, though. Ours are boring.
When the doctor appeared on my phone I was pleased to see that they’d assigned me a woman. I probably could’ve requested a female, but didn’t think to do so when I initiated the visit. Dr. W exuded confidence and compassion, and got right down to business.
After going over my health history and asking about any medications I was taking, Dr. W asked me about my symptoms, then had me check to see if the glands in my throat were swollen. She had me evaluate the pain level in my sinuses.
And if you’re wondering, yes, she asked me to stick out my tongue and say “Ahhhhh!” while I pointed the phone’s camera at my throat. Apparently I wasn’t adept at this maneuver because after I fumbled about for several minutes in an attempt to expose the inner workings of my throat, she asked if there was someone else in the house who could aim the camera for me. Studly rose to the occasion, and played cameraman.
He saved the day again when the doctor had me take a blood pressure reading. Studly has a small sphygmomanometer with a cuff that wraps around one’s wrist. I was trying to put it in place while talking to the doctor, so he stepped in and made sure I did it correctly. Always the hero, my Studly.
After a few more questions the doctor gave me her recommendations: Drink plenty of liquids, get lots of rest, take ibuprofen for your headache, use a humidifier and a Neti pot, blah, blah, blah. Hmmm. Where had I heard that before?
I gave Studly an “I told you look,” but he wasn’t at all chastened.
“We needed to see if it worked,” he said. “Maybe next time you’ll have something more interesting, like a broken leg….”
That man. Remind me to keep an eye on him.
Peace, and good health, people.