Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Alright, I am writing this post to vent. As background I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Hypothyroidism after having my daughter in late 2011. I should have seen the diagnosis coming as my joints have been fairly messed up since college. Since my formal diagnosis in 2011 it has been routine for me to see my doctors every two months for blood work and monitoring (to make sure things are working and that my drugs aren't wreaking havoc on my internal organs).

My biggest complaint lately is the way I feel when I leave the doctor's office (mentally and physically). My doctor in IL was great. He was responsive when I had a flare up and very compassionate about how I felt. My doctor in AZ spends less than 20 minutes with me at each appointment (this is after the doctor comes in late by about 30 to 60 minutes), makes me feel like I am an inconvenience, and then also proceeds to tell me that my symptoms are either non-existent or don't make sense. Even worse, when I review the doctor's summary of the visits (which are posted on an online portal), she mis-characterizes what I describe to her during the visit. This is very frustrating. I have no reason to lie about having a flare up. I am not looking for any extra meds, just advice on what I should be doing and whether the flare ups indicate that maybe I need to try something else. Even worse, I read enough about the disease to know that the latest science indicates that people can have flare-ups without it showing up in the blood work right away (i.e., smoldering inflammation which can only be detected by ultrasound).

Look, I know that I have a life long disease. I also know that pain will come and go for the rest of my life. I am not asking the doctor to cure me of all of my ailments. But I am asking for compassion, real or faked--I will take it. It would be nice if she pretended to care. She should put herself in my shoes and see if she'd have the same response. Its called customer service..I do this with my clients. When I get slammed at work and annoyed with client questions that I perceive as obvious or dumb I try to step back and think about the client's perspective for a minute. What is routine to me is not necessarily routine to them. I am acting as their trusted adviser on a certain topic. Without these clients, I do not have a job. I try to keep it all in perspective and treat the clients with the respect that they deserve. It would be nice if doctors did the same.

1 comment:

thecanary said...

This is definitely a big change to health care overall right now- I heard there is a movement within the medical community to 'lab based' or 'science based' care, where listening to the patient is not relevant to diagnosing or treatment. It is extremely frustrating, especially when you don't match up with the 'averages.' I had one doctor, I told her what I thought was going on, and she then proceeded to tell me off for several minutes.... How dare I look information up on the internet, who did I think I was? Etc. Out of air, she looked down at my chart and realized that I had correctly self-diagnosed something the lab results showed. Then she tried to prescribe me a medicine I had not tolerated well 6 months earlier, and which my 'idiotic' internet sources told me was not appropriate for the condition. I basically don't trust most doctors anymore. I dump them and go on searches, which does not work well in rural America.