For those of us with fibro…. especially the veterans of ten or more years….. we know the drill. Most Doctors are curt, arrogant and just want to write an RX and get you on your way! They don’t listen, talk over you, ‘shush’ you and are in the room maybe 5 minutes? I mean really….. a $50 co pay for a specialist and all I get is 5 minutes! Hey, isn’t there a T-Shirt in this somewhere….. I went to the Neurologist at Lewis Gale and all I got was more radiation from x rays and this lousy t shirt.
I know what you are thinking: this subject matter should be on my “Hitting The Wall” blog. However, this is not just about fibromyalgia or other chronic illness, this is about every day experiences that every single reader (that has had to go to more than one or two Doctors) can relate to.
I want to take an aside right now because there are some really GOOD Doctors in the Roanoke / Salem area who deserve a shout out.
Dr. Mark Gustafson my gynecologist. Not only is Dr. ‘Gus’ kind and caring, but he is funny and has one of the best bed side manners of any Doctor I have ever seen in my 40 something years on this earth. He leaves no stone unturned. Any problem…. big or small…. nothing is too frivolous for him. When I had my ‘female’ partial surgery nearly two years ago, he knew how nervous and, well….. sad, I was. It wasn’t the surgery itself, I had been through plenty of surgeries….. it was the finality of it all. That was it. When Old Gertrude came out, that was ‘it’ and one part of my life would have a door closed forever. I will not go into the details of what made me decide to go ahead and do it. I will say, however, before I could finish my question, still groggy from the ‘sleep juice’, “So Dr Gus, was there any chance at all… any?”. Before I finished his head was shaking no. There were so many fibroid tumors, the pathologist did not even count.
Dr. A. Reif Kessler I hold in the highest esteem for on July 2, 2011, he saved my life. That was my Granddaughter’s 1st birthday to boot! I went in on July 1st, thinking I had the worst gas ever and found out I had perforated the intestine where the bypassed part of the intestine meets the pouch. I also had peritonitis. I was in ICU for three days and hospital for a week. It was the worst week of my life. 🙁 I will say 1st (I was worried…. at 4 AM when they call in a surgeon that you don’t know and it is one that is a little older, that has never done a gastric bypass and keeps telling you, “This is bad, this is really bad”) but he knows his stuff! You could not see my laporoscopic incisions from my RNY in ’07. However, I now have a big, long scar…. navel to breastbone…. perfect and straight…. and I call it my ‘badge of honor’ for surviving such a horrific ordeal. The worst part was the NG tube I had for the three days I was in ICU. Dr. Kessler told me in a dry tone, “I knew the brother of the man that invented that tube. He was mean….. real mean”. 🙂 We created quite a nice Dr/patient relationship and I will forever be indebted to him. I heard yesterday in one of my various stops at Lewis Gale that he is retiring next month 🙁 I was going to send him a card anyway, but really need to now. I tried to hold it together and get through my granddaughters birthday party, however, if I had, I would likely not be here getting ready to get presents for her 2nd birthday. We had a re-do a few weeks later.
I also have a wonderful LNP, Collette Carver, who really is my “family Doctor”. My pain group is decent as pain management goes. They are up to their neck in patients and of course walk such a fine line with some of the medications they prescribe, it is no wonder they have to be very strict. Overall I am happy with them (though I rarely, if ever, get my fifteen minutes when I actually see Dr. Baylor). They did, however, tell the neurologist I was to be seen for migraine headaches and what I was in for was my neck. Picture “Charlie Brown” standing on the stage for the Christmas pageant, proclaiming, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about ?” I sit here and proclaim, are there any Doctors left (besides the few I listed) who care enough to listen to their patients, who care to be respectful by letting you finish a sentence. I wanted Dr. Staykov to test me for MS and Lupus but we never got that far. He kept talking over me and stopping me. Is it too much to want a Doctor who just C*A*R*E’S? I am more than just the $$$$$ my insurance dishes out. As someone who racked up $90k in medical bills last year alone, I am so grateful we have insurance. However 20% of $90k still leaves about $18,000! =8-O For that kind of money we should be getting Doctors who serve us champagne with chocolate covered strawberries at each visit!
My statement to healthcare providers: the bottom line is simple, really, we are the patients, and the health care provider is working for *us*. Our insurance and own personal money pay a lot to find answers to what is making us feel so unwell. We are the reason you drive the big expensive car, live in your big house with a pool and go golfing every week. We may not be as educated and rich as you. However, we are human beings and deserve the *respect* and need to be heard. Word has way of getting around, so if you have the bedside manner of a crocodile and talk over your patients (i.e. are rude), you may want to re-think, or you may find your patients going elsewhere.
The song of the day is Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear The Reaper”….. and the video is flippin’ HILARIOUS! LOLOLOLOL!