Monday, March 19, 2007

A LONG (BUT IMPORTANT TO JU) POST

As I've mentioned before, I have a few health issues but no certain diagnosis. I've been shuffled from one doctor/specialist to another, only to have made no progress. One person says I have raging PCOS, another says I have an adrenal dysfunction. Certainly, my hormone levels indicate that it could truly go both ways. Some of the side effects: excessive weight gain (ie, nearly 100 lbs. in less than six months time), thinning hair, etc. It's been a nightmare.

That's why I was so excited about going to see the same specialist R sees for IVF stuff. When I went with R to her first appointment, Dr. S talked to me briefly about my issues (only after he asked why I wasn't "trying-to-conceive" myself) and was very encouraging, recommending that I come see him for a diagnosis and a treatment plan. He'd been so extremely nice, sensitive, kind, etc. with us regarding all the pregnancy stuff, IUI, IVF, etc., that I felt good about going to see him for myself. I made an appointment and waited eagerly for a couple of weeks to see him.

So, the other day (Wed. 03/14) R and I went to see Dr. S (she had an appointment, too). We scheduled our appointments for the same day because he's an hour away from us and this way, we could just knock it all out at once. Well, R's appointment was first and with the nurse. We met with her and went over all kinds of stuff. Then, it was time for my appointment with Dr. S.

Now, when I made my appointment, the office manager sent over all the patient registration forms via email. I filled them all out, listing R as my "person" (for HIPAA reasons), just as R had done with me on her forms. When we actually showed up for the appointment, the nurse had me and R sign those forms and date them. Then, she weighed me, took my blood pressure, etc. I hate to wait a few minutes before I could begin the consult portion of my appointment with Dr. S, but when I was finally called back, I was told R could not come in with me. Supposedly, it had something to do with HIPAA stuff, but it was obvious to us later that Dr. S simply didn't want anyone in the room that could give input or advocate for me. My consult with him was horrible.

Dr. S reviewed my charts and even to an untrained eye, it is clear that I have a medical problem. Despite all the evidence, he wanted to turn it into a weight issue and obsess about that. He was not kind or senstive at all; in fact, he was an asshole about it all. To make matters worse, he couldn't make up his mind about what to recommend. First, he said I needed to eat more (as it is, I generally consume between 800 and 1,000 calories a day, which ain't much). Then he later said I should have gastric bypass surgery. So, which is it? Should I eat more, or have my stomach cut in half? Talk about contradiction.

As far as some of my symptoms go, his approach was not to treat them. ie, for facial hair, he suggested laser treament to remove it. Okay, so that might work, but it would be costly and wouldn't solve the problem. I'd still be a mess inside. This was just one instance of many of rediculous suggestions he had.

Dr. S seemed shocked to learn that my blood pressure is low and my cholesterol looks, as he said, "outta site!". My "bad" cholesteral is low, while my "good" cholesterol is really high. I don't know; it's like he thinks I'm simply a fat-ass and was expecting to see test results that reflect me taking poor care of myself. This wasn't the case. Ha!

Did I mention I had a cold when I went to see him? I was coughing, sneezing, and blowing my nose all over the place. R and I had stopped to fill my car with gas on our way to the appointment. When I'm sick, the only thing I care to drink is ginger ale. So, I got some in the convenience store. They didn't have diet ginger ale available. In fact, they only had one kind at all, so that's what I bought. Well, when Dr. S saw it, he said, "First of all, what are you doing with that crap?! You don't need the sugar... you need to throw that shit in the garbage..." and then proceeded to chew me out. I'm sitting there, like, dude, I'm sick with a cold!

Well, Dr. S did order some more blood work and tests. This, to me, suggests that he does think something is wrong. I mean, if you were convinced nothing was wrong, why would you bother to do a bunch of stuff that you clearly don't want to deal with? The fact that his answers throughout my consult were all-over-the-place clearly translates into: he doesn't know what's wrong, either, and doesn't want to admit it. Asshole.

Coincidentally and magically, at the very end of my consult, they finally let R come back into the room. He was, again, so nice to her. But then, he'd turn to me and say something so snappy and awful. R and I looked at each other like, what the fuck?! It was like Jekyll and Hyde or something, like she and I were talking to two different sides of the same person in front of us. I had to do a physical exam, which they also let R sit in on. Why would they let her do that and not be there for the consult? Like I said, I really think it was so he could blast me without having her there to express any thoughts/opinions. (anyone who knows R can vouch that she's not afraid to speak up when something is wrong)

Oh, one thing I forgot --
I said to Dr. S that at some point, I'd like to "try" myself, but before I could elaborate to say that my health was my first priority and I wanted to wait until I had that under control, he cut me off mid-sentence. He was like, "...you'd have to lose a ton of weight before I'd even think of letting you try..." Well, if this is the case, then why was he pressuring me the last time we were in his office to try myself? Obviously, he knew then I was overweight; he could see it and I didn't look any different for either appointment. Again, it just didn't add up.

Well, he wants me to try some "special diet". That's okay with me; I'm open to trying things. My plan is to document the hell out of it, which shouldn't be hard for me because I'm kind of obsessive about writing stuff down anyways. Hopefully, his suggestion will produce some results, but if it doesn't, at least I will have the documention to say, "you were wrong."

R was really pissed with the way I was treated. And I, obviously, am pissed. In fact, I've been stewing for days on end. The way he treated me was totally uncalled for and very unprofessional. I wondered why he'd been so nice to R and not me. As she explained it, he has a very expensive product to sell her -- ie, an IVF that costs thousands upon thousands of dollars. It's clear he thinks she'll boost his success rates. But with me, he doesn't have a product to sell and I could be a riskier candidate for pregnancy, therefore lowering his success rates.

It's always about business, isn't it? But if that's the case, why he ask me to come see him in the first place?! Ooooh, I'm so bloody mad! What do you guys think?

7 comments:

Estelle said...

Uh... what the fuck?

What an ass!

Okay, I found myself nodding in agreement with everything you said... rapid weight gain despite eating almost nothing, really good cholesterol, blood pressure too low to even register on automatic thingies...

I have no advice for you at all. I hope he gets whatever answer he is looking for... and decides if you need to eat more or starve.

Some doctors are morons.

vee said...

Wow! I thought my doctor had behaved like an arsehole, but this is something else!! How dare he be so rude and dismissive! I'm really sorry you had to sit through that crap - what is it with these medical professionals and their inability to simply admit that they don't know something?
If it was me, I really don't think I'd go back for more, but then, the satisfaction of proving him wrong might be sweet!

Merr said...

What a freak of a doctor!

Amanda said...

What the f*?! First of all, even if he has his own opinion/diagnosis about your issues, there are MUCH better ways of talking to you about them. And his signals being all mixed like that is really odd.
i think you should write a letter explaining all of that and bring it to his attention as well as the office itself. Just because he's the physician doesn't mean he should get away with treating someone like sh*t.

Heather said...

Crap, Ju! I can't even imagine how ugly that experience must have been for you and I'm sorry that you had to go through that!

Melody said...

Good goddess!! I am ENRAGED for you! What a monster. It sounds like classic PCOS and, if that's the case, trying to lose more weight on your own is just going to frustrate the hell out of you. Seriously, if you're not losing weight on a diet of 800-1000 calories a day, there's clearly something wrong with your metabolism. What an absolute asshole.

My ex had PCOS and went through years of doctors telling her to just lose weight until she finally went to see an RE who specialized in diabetes. The RE did a transvaginal u/s and was able to see immediately that her ovaries were polycystic. She was also pre-diabetic according to her reaction to the glucose tolerance test. Have you had those things done? Belinda lost 15 lbs almost immediately upon starting glucophage (AKA metformin), and once she was kick-started, she was able to successfully lose additional weight via diet and exercise. She went from 230 lbs to 170 in about 6 months. It made all the difference in the world for her.

hb said...

OMIGOD I AM SO FED UP WITH INCOMPETENT DOCTORS and being treated like we should just "put up" with stuff. read my myspace blog. grrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!