Last week I paid a visit to my doctor, after more than eight months.  I really wouldn’t have gone had I not felt really really worse due to my sore throat and cough.  Not to mention the throbbing in my head.  I had to go on medical leave from work, because I already knew that visits to my doctor take a while, especially since there are usually long lines of patients waiting for her, and she’s a bit tardy at times when it comes to her clinic hours.  So it came as a surprise when I found no one in the waiting list, and I was the first one there.
Waiting for the doctor had the usual duration though.  It’s during these waiting hours that I get to realize that I am a bit special.  My doctor is a known rheumatologist, so most of her patients are in their golden age.  A few middle-aged people also come in.  When they see me, they assume I’m the patient of another doctor, until they ask.  The questioning will usually start with “Kaninong pasyente ka?” (Who’s patient are you?).  When I tell them, they go “Anong sakit mo?  Ang bata mo pa” (What’s your condition? You’re too young.)  When I tell them I have Lupus, they immediately go through the usual reactions: how I’m too to have it, what symptoms do I have, how its very rare for men to have this condition.  Moments like this I get to reflect on how far I have come: It’s been 14 years since I’ve been formally diagnosed with this condition.  The first few years were the crappiest, but soon the acceptance comes in after.  And with it comes the coping.  Now I’m in remission, as my doctor says.  A pretty long one based on my count.
When my doctor arrived, my consultation time was only 15 minutes, less than 10% of the whole time I spent traveling all the way from the house to the clinic in Manila.  It’s a simple viral infection this time.  My labs are fine and no need for concern.  The only prescription I got was for effervescent vitamin juice drinks (Berrocca) to beef up my immune system until my next anti-flu shot in June.