Thursday, March 4, 2010

Some shouldn't be doctors

It's really quite simple. Based on one's name or personality, some people should not even approach a medical school. As a minor example, there's the pediatrician who diagnosed me as a diabetic. The irony is thick. I was diagnosed as an insulin dependent diabetic by DR. NEEDLES! (I'm not even joking.) What kid likes needles to start with? And why, pray tell, would someone with such a name opt to treat children? Sadism?

The bigger example is the idiot I saw today. Someone, somewhere is reading my MRIs wrong. According to the specialist I saw today, there's nothing wrong with my left knee. The tear is in the right. During his examination, he pulled and stretched my left knee, and I was all but crying on the exam table. Doing the same things to the right knee, I felt no discomfort whatsoever.

My intention was to walk in, tell the doc my issues, schedule surgery, and get it over with. No. Despite having attempted exercising at home, he insisted on several things. The first was that I can't be feeling pain where I feel pain. The next was that I receive physical therapy. The final was that if PT doesn't work, he'll go with a shot of a numbing agent...all of which I am absolutely sure will do NOTHING to fix what's broken.

The best part was being treated like an idiot. I'm so glad that the report now says that my right meniscus is torn. The exam and my recent experiences all tell me the left knee is my main problem. And to tell me I'm wrong is stupidity incarnate. How can anyone tell me that the pain I feel doesn't exist? For G-d's sake, my left tibia is relocating itself with every acute bend of the knee! Are humans actually capable of THINKING bones into new places? If so, I could become a superhero! So there I am, trying to explain that my discomfort knows no bounds, and that I want the knee fixed, to which his actual words were, "You're not understanding what I'm saying." Translation: "You're too stupid to grasp my diagnosis." He then went on to tell me, again, that I CAN'T be feeling pain where I'm feeling it. Oddly, I still feel pain there.

The key problem, I believe, is that he was NOT treating me as a patient with a specific medical problem, but as a mere drug-seeker. He's not interested in what I have to say; he knows better than me, and has all the degrees to prove it. Instead of listening to me, (and I just happen to be living in this body for more than 42 years), Dr. Know-It-All is intent on treating me as little more than someone trying to find bigger and better ways of getting my hands on narcotics. This attitude, mind you, comes after the fact that I told him I don't WANT more painkillers; I want my knee fixed.

My increasing ire doesn't end with the experience of dealing with this "doctor." His idea of treatment is going to ruin my GitP meet-up plans. The next month will be spent in physical therapy. April will then involve shots for a numbing agent. (I flat out refused steroid shots, citing diabetes complications.) That brings us to some time in May, which may or may not involve the surgery I'm sure I need. Add to this the fact that I've started healing at a snail's pace over the last decade, surgery recover may well take a month or two. Even if I have the surgery in early May, it means part of June will also include my recovery...and the meet-up is toward the end of June.

Before I left, I cornered the CNA and asked her if there were any doctors at that practice who listened to and cared about patients. She was unable to pass an opinion, probably with the great fear of losing her job. I'd be afraid in her shoes, as well. With someone like Dr. Know-It-All at the helm, she could lose her employment for any kind of free thinking.

Ultimately, I was INCREDIBLY ANGRY when I left the office. Thankfully, I've been home for some time, and my anti-anxiety meds are doing their thing. I'm fairly relaxed at this moment...But thanks to my report to my housemate Ray, who played the role of medical transport today, his desire to look after my well-being has him thinking it might be wisest to get a second opinion. I'm inclided to agree. Because first impressions mean a great deal when it comes to the doctor/patient relationship, and Dr. Hinkin, (that's the idiot's name), was already off to a bad start with that early call declaring I wouldn't get drugs from him - drugs I had no intention of asking for. It was made worse by his haughty, callous attitude toward my visible suffering. With luvk, I'll find a doctor whose humanity remains intact.


Zeb The Troll said...

Thankfully, I've not had the kinds of experiences with doctors that you've had.

On one hand, I can see the need for caution with a new patient with a history of strong pain prescriptions, but it seems to me that the best course of action would be to give the previous MD's the benefit of the doubt and actually investigate the patient's complaints before passing judgement, as this man seems to have done.

Is there some sort of regulatory body, appelate board, or something to whom you can file a complaint about this physician?

On another note, is there any way that you can ask the doc to show you your scans and point out what it is he's seeing that disagrees with the pain you're feeling? Maybe the guy just can't find his left ass cheek without first confirming which hand he needs to feel around with, and is therefore hindered when determining L versus R from a picture?

I'm also still wondering how PT can be in any way useful in treating torn connective tissue. This is counterintuitive to me.

Rob Meadows said...

The only thing I can do to reign him in would be to sue him, for which I have no grounds to do so.

As for looking at the MRIs and pointing things out...I wouldn't know what I was looking at. He's the one with the medical training. But to tell me I can't be feeling pain where I feel it...? Honestly, that's dumb beyond description. It's like saying people with migraines aren't really in pain because the brain has no nerves with which to feel.

Using this kind of logic, perhaps I should stop taking insulin. I mean, my pancreas has never really bothered me - no aches or pains to speak of. Thus, it must be fine...right?

Zeb The Troll said...

Well, judging from the tenor of your previous interactions, the implication seems to be that he just thinks you're lying. Although, that's equally silly considering he saw the damaged knee, he just doesn't know right from left. If you'd just wanted pain meds, you'd have just agreed with him hoping to get whatever dosage he'd give you, right?

"You can't be feeling pain in this knee, it's the other one that's damaged."

"OH! Yeah, did I say this one? I meant to say that one. Yeah, it's definitely that one. So, are we thinking Vicodin then?"

It's just a shame that book lernin and (un)common sense don't necessarily go hand in hand.

I hope it all gets worked out for you, and soon.