Saturday, November 3, 2012

*Ding! Ding! Ding!*

  Good morning folks! It’s a fine, still-dark Saturday morning and I swear I’ve got Writer’s Hangover! My brain feels thick and the words are sticking together like they were rolled in molasses, but I’ll try to make this coherent. (I said I’d TRY, I didn’t say I WOULD!)

  Our wonderful thought-provoking prompt for the day is *insert a fanfare of trumpets here* A post about a conversation with your Doctor.” Ya know…at this point there have been so many, it’s hard to pick just one!

  Oh, and by “so many” I mean Doctors. Yes, I am a pain in the sitting area, but it’s not without purpose! You see, early on I found a HORRIBLE, subversive book that probably is on the Medically Banned List. I hid in the deepest, darkest corners of my couch and read it…I devoured it…I scampered about the house reading portions of it out loud to family members.

  The things I found inside left me both in a state of shock and exhilaration! “How Doctors Think” by Jerome Groopman, M.D. left me breathless! Why? Because in it my sneaking suspicions that Doctors are not all created equal or infallible were confirmed.

  A later IRRATE call to my Insurance Carrier provided me with the last piece of the puzzle. I, in fact, had the power to “fire” my Doc and find a new one at any given time for any given reason and as many times as necessary to find the “right” fit! *insert choruses of angelic voices here*

  Switching Docs is NOT something I’ve ever done lightly. I’ve always done it in the best interest of my health. Because that’s what they’re supposed to be all about too, right? And the conversations that have led to these Doc-hopping episodes were chats that showed me I was in a relationship where they “just weren’t that into me.” *sigh*

Neuro #1
“It’s probably a pinched nerve in your shoulder and possible compressed nerves in your feet. The rest of it…well, I think you need a Psychiatrist more than you need a neurologist.”

 *Ding! Ding! Ding!* You’re OUTTA here!

Neuro #2 “You present with classic MS. Let’s do a full MRI of your spine.” After the result come back, her NURSE call me (NOT the Doc!) “You have irreversible nerve damage from a C-5 C-6 vertebral compression. She’s referring you to a Pain Specialist.

  (After an Orthapedic Surgeon and a Neuro Surgeon called “Bullshit!” on THAT diagnosis) *Ding! Ding! Ding!* You’re OUTTA here!

Neuro #3 “Why hasn’t anyone run any heavy metal testing on you? Environmental reasons could explain your symptoms. You’re ANA is elevated. Why hasn’t anyone explored that? I’ll tell you what, I’m gonna run a FULL blood and urine panel on EVERYTHING and we’re gonna figure out what’s going on with your muscles. OK?”

  *Ding! Ding! Ding!* Folks, we have a WINNER!

PLEASE! No more Docs!!!!

Rheumy #1
“You have Scleroderma and Fibromyalgia. The Scleroderma is probably what’s causing the motility issues, but everything else is the Fibro.”
Me: “But what about the muscle weakness?”

#1: “It’s Fibro. Fibromyalgia can cause EVERYHING you’re going through.”

Me: “But muscle weakness?

#1: “If it hurts or is weak, it’s Fibro. Period!”

  *Ding! Ding! Ding!* You’re OUTTA here!

Rheumy #2 (For starters, the guy read my Doctor Patient Terms of Partnership Agreement in front of me!!!!) “Well, I don’t want to contradict Dr. “X” but I don’t really see the Fibromyalgia. And you’re right, it wouldn’t cause the muscle weakness you’re experiencing. Tell you what, let’s take a little more blood, run some more tests, and see what we can find. Meanwhile, I’ll do some research and see if there’s something ‘outside the box’ I can figure out.”   *Ding! Ding! Ding!* We have a WINNER!

Primary Care Physician #1 She was a Goddess! She was my wildest dream! She listened, she laughed and cut-up with me and even worked with me on my desire to take as few drugs as possible. We were a team! And she left the practice and moved to an OBGYN office! *insert wailing and gnashing of teeth here*

Primary Care Physician #2
“ *insert sounds of crickets here*”No matter what I went to him for or what questions or complaints I had, he’d do one of two things, or occasionally both. He’d write me a script for a new drug WITHOUT discussing it with me and/or up my dosage on a current drug. Also without discussion. In and out of the room in under five minutes flat! Yeah, that’s just how he rolled!

  *Ding! Ding! Ding!* You’re OUTTA here!

Primary Care Physician #3 (Doc A+) Still in his probationary period. He listens, but I’m not quite sure he hears. One visit he was willing to “work with me” but the next he was script happy…Only time will tell if he’s a keeper of not.

 You see, “How Doctors Think” and “The Empowered Patient” by Elizabeth Cohen REALLY ruined me for Docs across the State, since I now know it’s my choice who is on my Team. I adore Doc A+ personality wise, but I’m a bit unnerved by the way the muscle weakness and low blood sugar was brushed aside.

This is the result of a wonderful
collaboration with Burly Man!
He tweaked on of my drawings for
Myositis Awareness Day! Thanks Burly!

  It’s been discovered the weakness is Myositis. My immune system thinks my muscles are a light snack and has been using them for a company picnic. (Fun, right?)

  And the low blood sugar? Doc A+ attributed it (as did I) to my meds. It turns out it’s a problem with my stomach and colon. My GI Gal is working on this since it IS a real problem, not an annoyance I must simply learn to live with after all…

  So, to summarize this LLLOOOONNNGGGG post, it IS in fact your choice, your right, and your responsibility to make sure your Team is just that, a TEAM with your best interests in mind. And you, my friends? Are the Coach. It’s your job to make sure you’ve got the right people in the right positions to make sure you have the best possible health care you can get, allowing you to live the fullest, happiest life you can!

  OK, I’m Zombie-shuffling off my soapbox now and you’re free to back away slowly… *grin*
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