Monday, February 22, 2010

And now for some rage...

Talk about insulting!

I received a phone call this morning from the nurse of the orthopedic specialist I'm scheduled to see. Her message was simple. "You will get no drugs here."

Mind you, I was understanding and courteous when I first received the call. But as the hours ticked by and the more I thought about it, the greater my anger. I mean, in all the years of seeing various doctors for one problem or another, I had never EVER received an advance call like that. I had no intention of asking for narcotics; I have enough, thanks. So what would prompt a doctor to have his staff do such a thing?

Well, my angry call to his office revealed that he had apparently seen just enough of my medical file to know I've been receiving narcotics from my PCP. But did he bother to even look at why I might be coming to see him?

His staff seemed no brighter during my call back. "Does the doctor think I somehow managed to tear my meniscus on purpose in the hopes of receiving drugs?" The nurse managed to stammer that she had no idea what I was trying to say.

I'm trying desperately to do the math on this. It boils down to the simple fact that the doctor didn't really look at my medical file to see what the problem is. He got as far as my regular prescriptions for percocet and morphine and stopped. That's when he decided I must be a drug seeker and had his staff call me. Had he used more of that supposedly highly educated brain, he'd have known to look at the MRI of my knee and kept his presumptions to himself. And whatever was on his mind should have stayed there until he either read that I also have severe osteoarthritis and Charcot's joint and saw good cause for such meds, or until I got to his office to tell me he wouldn't prescribe narcotics.

Right now, I'm ultimately insulted. For the second time, I am being treated like a drug addict. (The other time was by an ER doc who ended up causing serious infection in my foot.) I find it highly insulting. And if this is how he treats other patients, I don't know how the man has remained in medicine.

For the moment, I'm keeping the appointment. I need this leg fixed, and it's the closest appointment I have. But I also have a call in to my PCP's office. If I can get another appointment with another doctor in as little time, I will do so. I will also give this advice: "Before treating me like a drug seeker, read my medical file and look at the damned MRI. Then, if you still think I'm just looking for drugs, THAT'S when you can call in advance and tell me I won't be getting drugs (that I wasn't going to ask for, anyway). Otherwise, until I arrive at the office, don't be an ass and keep your mouth shut."

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