This past Friday, Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy went to the neighborhood health clinic to get an injection of Diclofenac 75mg.
There was nothing new about this routine. I have gone through it many times before, in order to get this intramuscular shot. I pay the fee, and then walk into the nurse’s office. She checks my prescription against the box. I walk into the neighboring room, and slightly drop my pants. She comes in with the alcohol swab and syringe in hand. I get my injection, and them we are done.
Start to finish, it usually lasts no more than five minutes. I then go on my way.
There was something different this last time around, though. As soon as I walked through the door, the nurse saw me and exclaimed out loud “Caserito, how are you doing?”
[*Caserito is a term of endearment that vendors use for their frequent customers. It is most commonly used in the market, where all of the vendors of one type of item are grouped together, and everyone knows which customer belongs to which vendor.]
I was heartened with this response. When it comes to health care, it’s nice to be recognized. The people at this clinic know that I generally come in for these injections when I am not doing too well, and they respond accordingly – usually with a few words of support.
A few years ago, I went to the same clinic frequently…when the method of my methotrexate therapy changed from oral to injection. At that time, I was not too excited when I was recognized (by a nurse other than my current one). I was still a relative newbie to the who rheumatoid arthritis world, and I didn’t enjoy anything anything about the “routine”.
In fact, I was even a little weirded out the first time I went in. The nurse asked me if I was taking this medicine because of rheumatoid arthritis. (I was just familiarizing myself with methotrexate, so it still came as shock that anyone else – even a nurse – would know what this medicine was used for.) When I asked her how she was so familiar with this medication, she told me that there were a few other guys my age – who lived in this same neighborhood – who were taking methotrexate injections for rheumatoid arthritis.
I’ve never met one of these other guys my age who live with rheumatoid arthritis, but I’ve always wondered who they are.
So yes, I am such a frequent customer that even the nurses at the local health clinic recognize me and no longer check my box of Diclofenac 75mg against my prescription. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. In fact, it’s probably a good thing.
Now, if I can only get enough miles for a free trip to Paris…
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!