One of the things about being so familiar with symptom patterns through long experience of eliciting reports of symptom timelines from patients is that it’s really easy to recognize the first tiny twitches of illness when you get them yourself.
For example: I have a little tickle in my throat. It’s been there all day. Drinking water does not make it go away. It feels cold and maybe just a little goopy/scratchy.
And I know that I’m going to wake up tomorrow with a sore throat, and probably have a full-on viral symptomatology by Wednesday: just in time for my New Patient clinic.
On one hand, I can plan for it in case it develops the way I think it will.
On the other hand…I’m about to be sick. I hate being sick. I hate sneezing. I hate coughing too, but I REALLY hate sneezing. And now I have to think all about how I’m about to be sick and sneezy for an extra day BEFORE I even start sneezing.
And all about how it’ll interfere with the development of my doctor-patient relationship with my new patients when I’m wearing a respiratory isolation mask while meeting them for the first time.
Isn’t it bad enough that we’re just about into allergy season?