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Just need to vent about doctor appt.


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#1 WestCoast1

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 04:28 PM

I really hate to complain about a doctor, but this time I have too! I so appreciate what most of the doctors have done for me in my life, BUT today I saw a neurologist for a new migraine that I suffered from last week. I haven't seen this doctor in about 6 months. You won't believe how this appointment went down!

His nurse let me in the room, told me to sit down, and before I could turn around, slammed the door without another word...no vitals, no questions. When the doctor came in, he looked at my old labs, asked me what my blood pressure was, UMMM how would I know, his nurse never took it. So he said "OK, you tried this, this, and this, medication for migraines in the past. Try this one."

I looked at him and asked him if he even wanted to hear about why I was here....about my new and very severe headache? He said "well all headaches are the same!". He is supposed to be a migraine specialist. Wow, I don't usually feel this angry, but I guess we all have our day.

Thanks for letting me share.

Tomorrow is a new day~
WestCoast
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#2 Catty

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 03:41 AM

Sadly...I am not surprised at all....

Sorry this happened to you sweetie. Over 30 years with SD I have ran into many of them just like that...I Never go back to them either. Sometimes I think that is what they want us to do.
BUT! There are good doctors out there....the problem lies with finding one..... :(

Catty

#3 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 05:50 AM

Hello Erin

I am so sorry you had such a disappointing experience. We always go to apointments with expectations, as we should, unfortunately they're not always met. Many years ago I saw a neurologist for migraines, I waited 6 months for the appointment so my expectations were high and oh boy were they blown out ot the water! He told me to keep taking the over the counter pain meds and to try yoga. I told him what I thought, laughed at him and walked out. I really do need to see a neurologist again but can't be bothered partly because of what happened before.

I am now going to tell you to do what I have not :blush: by suggesting you see a different neurologist sooner rather than later, alternatively go back to the same guy and question his assumption.

We have to fight various illnesses we really don't want to have to fight to get the care we deserve but unfortunately we often have to.

Take care.
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#4 imagine2

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 06:05 AM

Good afternoon,

Sorry to hear about your experience westcoast, it is a constant quest to find a doctor who is willing to take the time to listen and answer our questions, a battle I haven't seem to have won myself. I do have a question for all of you though. About a year after I was diagnosed with sclero, I started getting migraines with sight loss only in my right eye. When I mentioned it to the rheumatologist he said I must have a history of migraines. I explained to him that I have never had a migraine before in my life and he didn't say much else, I never brought it up again. I see many of you also suffer migraines and I was curious if it is related to the sclero or not. It's really a shame that these doctors make me so afraid to ask questions. I'm so glad I can come here and maybe get some answers. Thanks for your input.

Wishing you all well.

Robin

#5 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 07:37 AM

Hello Robin

I am sorry you find it difficut to get answers from your doctors. I may well be worth seeing a neurologist about your migraines particularly as you're having visual problems and have no history of migraines prior to them suddely starting.

We do have information about scleroderma brain involvement although the link between scleroderma and migraine needs more investigation:

In a small study of 30 Russian patients presented at EULAR 2004, the systemic forms of scleroderma were associated with brain (cerebral) problems, such as chronic insufficiency of brain circulation. This research is preliminary and would need to be validated by larger studies before symptoms such as cognitive impairment, migraines and vertigo would be included in the diagnosis, evaluation, or classification of systemic scleroderma.

I had migraines for years then they lessened, interestingly they came back with a vengence after I was diagnosed with scleroderma. They are very different from the ones I had years ago in that they are more severe, longer lasting and more frequent. :barf:

Whatever their cause they can be treated so I would think about seeing a neurologist.

Take care.
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#6 WestCoast1

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 08:10 AM

Hello, I am sorry to hear that we all have similar experiences. I could have never fully understood that feeling unless it happened to me. I guess it is a very sad reality that we will be treated at some point in our care with total disrespect by someone you have to trust with you health and sometimes life!

Today, I am over being angry, but feel very sad. I choose my doctors carefully and stick with them through thick and thin because I feel that I can get the best care this way. I cannot stay with this doctor obviously and really want him to understand how he is making his patients feel by not caring for their health needs.

Do any of you feel that it is appropriate to write a heart felt letter to this doctor? Do you think that he will even care?

Thanks~
WestCoast
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#7 janey

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 09:15 AM

Erin,
I am so sorry that you had to go through that experience! I've been there and know how frustrating it can be and how angry one can become. A couple of years ago I went in to see my primary with symptoms of fever, chills, cough and total fatigue that had lasted over a week. He took 5 minutes with me then told me to go come home and sleep it off. The next day my husband had to call 911 and about 4 hours after getting me to the hospital they had me on a respirator because I had gone into septic shock!

I'm still mad about it and just recently when my cardiologist asked if I had a primary care physician, I told her that I hadn't had one for a couple of years, then told her why. She asked if I had written him a letter and I said NO. She highly recommended (even though it was 2 years ago) for me to write him and tell him what happened and how I felt about it. She said that as a doctor, they lose patients all the time and never know why. She said that if she had done something to upset a patient or had provided poor medical care, she would want to know. So even 2 years later, I think I'm going to go ahead and write this guy. So in answer to your question - Yes. Apparently there are some doctors that want to know and would care. He just might be one of them.
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#8 Sweet

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 12:38 PM

Good Grief!!!

Erin that is terrible. I'm about at my wits end right now with doctors. I was at the doctors office last night from 5:00 - 7:30, then at the hospital for tests. I won't bore you with the details, but I came away from the doctor feeling similar to you. I get so frustrated, we are paying them, and yet it seems like we are getting the raw end of the deal so much of the time.

I recently wrote a letter to the Administrator of a practice where one of my doctors work. I complained about the nurse and doctor. It went really well, and my last visit was good! Maybe you should give that some thought. If no-one ever says anything, then nothing can change.

Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
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#9 Joelf

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 01:56 AM

Hi Westcoast

How very upsetting and frustrating for you to have such an unhelpful and unsympathetic appointment with your doctor; no wonder you're feeling a bit miffed!! ;)

In the UK our doctors are called General Practitioners and they deal with everything from colds to quite serious illnesses. I do feel, though, that part of their job is to refer us to a consultant if the illness is beyond their expertise, as in Scleroderma. I'm afraid my general practitioner knows very little about it and in fact admitted that she'd only ever come across one case in her whole career; consequently I was telling her all about it (in the nicest possible way; I didn't want her to think I was a bossy know-it-all telling her her job!! ;) )

I'm quite lucky in as much as my general practitioner realised I had a serious lung problem in the beginning and referred me straight away to a consultant; prior to having Scleroderma I hadn't been to a doctor in years and was actually far more chummy with my vet!!! ;) :lol:

The idea suggested by Pamela of writing a letter to the Administrator of the Practice sounds a good one; then you do have your complaint on record. :)

Kind regards x

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#10 Peggy

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 01:17 PM

There is no excuse for the way your appointment was handled. Can you imagine what he billed for that appointment and then to not even do a thorough exam or even do any type of exam just isn't tolerable. What you should do is contact whoever is the Administrator of that medical facility. I would put in a call and tell them exactly what happened. They need to know this so it doesn't happen to someone else. What if you heaven forbid would have a brain tumor. How does he know that something else isn't going on if he didn't even do an exam? I would think whoever is the carrier of his medical malpractice policy wouldn't like to hear that he sees patients and doesn't even examine them.......especially in the neurology field!

I had a terrible experience at a well-known facility with a neurologist. While I was still there seeing another doctor in the gastro field (this was during the year I was trying to find out what was wrong with me) I was contacted by the head of the neurology department. She sat down with me and I told her what happened. Apparently they had similar complaints from other patients and I told her that in my opinion the reputation that this clinic has that they shouldn't have medical doctors there who aren't at the top of their field. So if I hadn't given some input how is it ever going to change for the next poor soul who has to go see these idiots.

So in my opinion make a call and complain. Don't settle for this type of treatment. With the disease we have there are too many things going on in our bodies that when we see these doctors we need to be listened to and treated very thoroughly and carefully.

Good luck and huge hug,

Peggy

#11 WestCoast1

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 12:44 PM

Hi Peggy and fam~

So I wrote and re-wrote this letter with some help. I wanted to be sure that it was professional and to the point. In the end I asked for the coding and details of my so called exam. All I got in the mail was a sticky note with a code on it. When I looked it up it says that 2 of 3 things should be covered in that list, one of them were VITALS.

I now have re write him for the details of my visit.

Unfortunately, the doctor can go back in and add all he wants to what did or did not happen during my exam, but I will just have to wait and see (and hope for the best).

If there was no bodily "harm" done during my visit than he cannot be reported, and in his own private practice, there is no one to report his bad behavior to.

I regret that this ever had to become part of my life. The last thing I needed was a negative experience. I really want to move on from this whole thing, but I really need to deal with it. As I sat in the waiting room, I watched many fragile people waiting along with me. If they are also being treated this way, who is watching out for them? Who is their advocate?
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#12 imagine2

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 01:55 PM

Okay , I have come to the conclusion that it has just got to be me. I went to my primary care physician because of issues I was having which I wasn't sure if they were sclero related or depression related or both. He more or less blew me off and suggested I seek counseling. I am not a talker, I have a very hard time expressing myself or showing feeling, but I felt so bad that I thought it might not hurt.

I had my 4th counseling session today. It began with this woman telling me that she wasn't sure she could help me, because I didn't seem to be very open to it, and her exact words were, "you are just wasting my time". Then she proceeded to ask me what I wanted to do now. I politely stood up, and said I guess I will just go home then.

Isnt it funny she didn't mind taking my money for a 5 minute session? I am so absolutely blown away by this that I went to the store and bought 2 bags of chocolate cookies, a gallon of chocolate ice cream, 4 bags of halloween candy (for myself, not the trick -or treaters) and some chocolate eclairs. I have plenty to share.

I have never asked anyone for help with anything my whole life, and now that I have asked for help I am left feeling very foolish. I don't know what I did to get that kind of response. It is starting to bother me more now than it did when it happened this morning. Is this sort of thing something that is standard practice? Why does it seem like its such a common thing among us that we are treated as if we don't matter? Im just not getting it. :emoticon-bang-head:

#13 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 03:31 PM

It's a sad thing when a patient is made to feel even more helpless than usual~ I'm really sorry you didn't get the help you were looking for. Just keep reminding yourself that there is more than one practitioner and persevere in getting to the right one.

I celebrated the third anniversary of my diagnosis Monday and a friend congratulated me. Now anyone who hasn't been in our position wouldn't understand that the congratulations were for the day when I knew I wasn't a raving hypochondriac and that I would be getting the appropriate treatment. It's not that there haven't been times since when I've felt like I needed to keep at my doctors to investigate something I thought was going on, there have been. It's just that I've learned I have to be my own advocate and the ultimate responsibility for getting the care I need is mine.

You stick to it. If you are concerned about depression - make another appointment with your doctor and refuse to budge until you've discussed possible medications that could help and gotten a referral to a better counselor. I'd try and find one who sees a lot of patients with chronic illness. A cancer center, or rehabilitation center, might be able to identify local therapists who have that kind of practice.

If you think your issues might be scleroderma related, it wouldn't hurt to give your rheumatologist a call, would it?

We matter. Each and every one of us matters. Each of us is unique, valuable, and irreplaceable. You matter to me.

Warmest wishes,
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#14 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 07:55 AM

Erin, I'm sorry for what you experienced with this. You can report the doctor to your insurance company and request that they refuse payment to him for your appointment.
Warm Hugs,

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#15 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 08:06 AM

Imagine, I mean, really. The counselor probably would help more than the food, you know. :blink:

But it is often hard to find a good fit with a counselor; many of us need to try 3 or 4 before finding one that clicks and seems like they will really help. Plus, it is a two-way street, one in which we do need to really try to hold up our end of the deal.

I think though, that if I were you, I'd look for group counseling, first of all. Seeing the example of other people opening up and dealing with similar issues can really speed up the process of identifying issues and finding ways to heal from them. We all pick up a bit of "peer counseling" from the forums, but none of us are professionals and it just doesn't replace in-person assistance by trained counselors, not by a long shot!

Why not eat up the remains of your pity party food-ertainment (sounds totally yum!!!!) and then call around a few places, see if you can find a better counselor, or group, or support group, and let us know what you find? I will send you my magic wand to help you sort through the calls. Here it is: :fairy:
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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#16 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 08:41 AM

Hello Imagine

Oh I am sorry! We always assume that someone who calls themselves a counsellor will have a certain way about them, for exampe they will listen, encourage and coax the stuff out of us. Unfortunately some people and the word counsellor are mis matched! Be assured that her lack of ability to listen, encourage and coax is exactly that, her lack, not yours. There are excellent counsellors out there and it is worth trying to find one.

I can't believe she took your money for a 5 minute session! :o That takes the biscuit :excl:

Enjoy your goodies, a little bit of comfort food goes a long way.

Take care.
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