Monday, March 24, 2014

Ring around the Roses

So. Called my GP in furtherance of my quest to be  a pest until someone actually treats me. Did get the prescription for the shaky-shakies (good). "Unfortunately, the doctor can't do anything else, that's why we sent you to a specialist..." Look, lady, I called the specialist first. He said "Exercise should be fine." NOT a helpful answer to the question, which was "What the hell are you going to do to make it so I can stay employed rather than falling asleep at my desk, falling over all the time and looking like an addict in withdrawal?!?" And, yes, I have an appointment set up with the neurologist...at the end of MAY. It is now March. March to May: a long time during which I need to be able to keep my job.

Luckily, the "lady" in question is my GP's nurse, and she's great. So the new war plan is this: 1) I called my rheumatologist and brought out the big guns (i.e. I used my title "Dr. Hyde"). 2) If this doesn't work I am to call the GP back so he or his nurse can yell at the rheumatologist to do his job. I pointed out that the rheumatologist seems to have decided that this is not his job, since he thinks something other than lupus may be going on (10 points to whomever guesses correctly what it turns out being! I have my own theory). Accordingly, el rheumatologist stupido seems to be washing his hands of it and punting me up to the neurologist. My GP's nurse pointed out that, if this the case, it's his job to yell at the neurologist's office to get me in NOW, not in a few months. So if he doesn't do that, she's going to call him up and yell at him. Don't mess with a pissed off RN, but definitely try to have her on your side.

Have I mentioned I hate physicians as a group? Maybe it's my academic background...I know which tests need to be run, how carefully they need to examine the results, and have a pretty good idea of what they might find. So waiting months for the MDs to get their *$%@ together doesn't sit well with me.

10 comments:

  1. You're fortunate to have big guns to pull out. I don't really have anyone to yell at others/advocate for me, so it's me making phone calls (if I'm awake during office hours and actually *remember*, which is a combination that doesn't seem to be happening often) and trying to get the doctors to do their goddamn jobs. Doesn't help that I'm totally one of those "shy" people who doesn't want to upset anyone and gives the benefit of the doubt even when it's clear that I should be DOUBTING and not giving the benefit of it. Boundaries. I is working on them, working on standing up for myself… but physicians are a hard group to practice on. I'm always afraid I'm going to piss them off and get shoddy care as a result. At least you have the "Dr. Hyde" to pull out, and you KNOW which tests need to be done, etc. I get the "well you know that THEY are the doctors who studied all those years and have the letters after their names and know what they're doing and you're just the patient with WebMD" spiel, which is ALSO a pain in the ass because, helloooooo, there happen to be rational, intelligent people who need doctor-help just as much as the idiots who need the doctor-help. Just because I'm "just a patient" doesn't mean that I'm not actually as intelligent as or more intelligent than the doctor I'm seeing. Geeze.

    Sorry. Rant over. Short story? I sympathize with your plight and wish you the best.

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    1. I know I'm super-lucky to have the big guns to pull out. That's why I switched careers and moved to public health (I was in biochemical/medical research before). I saw how awful it was for me, and how much worse it was for patients without my guns. So I'd like to think I'm attempting to pull out guns for all of us. That's also why I started this blog...I try to explain tests and diagnoses so that people understand what the hell the doctors are doing. I have more letters after my names than physicians do, so the least I can do is try to help other patients have the information they need.

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    2. P.S. I'm naturally shy, too. When I need someone seriously bitched out I bring my roommate. She's Nicaraguan-Italian, owns a machete, has a great Italian accent and can seriously go ballistic if doctors mess with me.

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    3. Dude, that's badass. I should bring some of my swords to my appointments :D I'm bringing my husband to as many appointments as possible, including the troublesome pain specialist coming this Monday. (It wasn't troublesome until they switched doctors on me at the last minute and the new one turned out to be a douchecanoe. At least, that was my perception of him. The person accompanying me to the appointment had the same sentiments, which was slightly heartening. At least I wasn't misreading things.) He is a very stubborn guy, and he is not going to let them brush me off without helping me to the utmost of their ability. He's not gonna let me be a pansy and get steamrolled like the last appointment. I tried SO hard to advocate for myself, but it just didn't happen. He rolled right over me. *sigh* I think I need to get me some letters after my name. Or maybe a Nicaraguan-Italian roomie with a machete.

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    4. I'm slowly learning to stand up for myself, but it doesn't come naturally. I generally try to be nice... Not always a good thing.

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  2. I don't have Lupus, or any of your other issues. But I have had a male doctor tell me, during my second pregnancy, that "it doesn't feel like that." Hello? This is only my second pregnancy. How many times have you been pregnant, doctor? Occasionally there are doctors who are excited to have patients who are in tune with their bodies and can identify what is going on, because then the doctor also gets to learn something while helping the patient. Unfortunately, there aren't enough of them. Bring on the roommate.

    Oh, and you can tell your computer that the proof I am not a robot is my dyslexia in trying to make out those words and numbers.

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    1. Sorry, Google controls the numbers and words. I hate the things, personally.

      My favorite phrase comes in mind here: "Doctors: you can't live with 'em, you can't shoot 'em."

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  3. Well, it would be better all around not to shoot one. But if you happen to print a photo off your doctor's website, tape it to your wall, and flip rubber bands at it, I won't tell anybody.

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    1. Rubber bands? I'd go with blow darts at the least.

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