Another advantage of having asthma is you get to move right to the front of the line. Fifteen years ago when I called my doctor I got in right away, no questions asked: all I had to do was say, "My asthma is acting up."
Fast forward ten years, and having not made an unscheduled visit in 14 years (a record that shatters the old record by a whopping 14 years) and the secretary at my doctor's office completely ignores my call. The conversation went something like this:
Me: "Hi, I need to schedule an appointment."
Sec: "Who's your doctor?"
Me: "Dr. Mumbles
Sec: "What's your problem?"
Me: "Trouble with my asthma."
Sec: "I'm sorry, but he's booked for the day."
Me: "Well, how about tomorrow."
Sec: "He'll be out of town."
Me: "How about anytime this week."
Sec: "No, he's out all week."
Me: "How about one of the other doctors. I'll see any one."
Sec: "None of them are available either."
Me: "So you're telling me I'm shit out of luck."
So at least she was honest.
The good news is I was sitting in the RT Cave while this phone conversation took place. Five minutes later Dr. Mumbles came in and sat down next to me to interpret EKGs.
I said, "Dr. Mumbles, I was wondering if you could do me a favor."
He picked up the phone, called his secretary, and got me on the schedule. So if having trouble breathing isn't enough to get through the doctor's screens (his secretary), it pays to be friends with the doctor.