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March 3, 2011

Doctor Doctor Give Me The News!

Two weeks ago I went to see the same doctor I have had since as long as I can remember. I've seen this man for at least 30 years and to be honest, I never really liked him.  I liked him well enough to get antibiotics when I needed them and that was about it.  However, two weeks ago I had hit rock bottom.  My knee was so inflamed and swollen that for the 3 weeks I'd endured the pain, it had only gotten worse and I couldn't imagine going another week.  People started to warn me about blood clots and I knew I had to find out what was going on.  I went in to see him and I broke down in his office.  I explained to him that I was miserable carrying  these 250 or so extra pounds and I had to do something.  I wanted to have the gastric bypass and I needed him to monitor my weight loss for 6 months so that my insurance will cover it.  I admitted that I couldn't do it by myself and I needed the extra tool to save my life.  For me, it really is a matter of life or death.  I am sick of living like this and I am a prisoner in my own body literally watching life pass by me. I could go on and on but this is my decision and I'm going to do it. 
Anyhow, he agreed to monitor my weight loss stressing two things. 1. I must write everything down every day that I put into my mouth and that before surgery, I had to quit smoking or he would not release me.  Check and Check.  I'm ready.  And then he said, "and you need to start being responsible for your health.  If you don't take this seriously, I won''t help you."  He ordered and xray for me, wrote a rx for my pain in the knee and ordered a complete blood work to start the process. I went straight over to the lab and did all of the tests.  He additionally ordered a doppler test on my legs to test circulation and I scheduled that appointment and went to it!  Everyday I wrote down every single thing I put into my mouth even when I was stuck staying in a hotel with limited food choices.  I have had many more good days than bad and when averaged, I'm right on target.  I was proud and looking forward to go seeing my doctor yesterday.  I was anxious because that is how I get when I go see the doctor but I couldn't wait for him to see how well I had done.  At this appointment, we were to go over my lab results, the doppler test and my xray and then do a complete physical.  He walked into the room and immediately opened up my file...

My doppler test showed no blood clots but my xray showed 3 different areas of arthritis in my knee.  He seemed rather indifferent.  As a matter of fact, when he was asked what our next step was, he said to me, "well it's arthritis...and I replied with "so do I see an orthopedic doctor what can I do to get rid o this pain,because the pain pills didn't touch it." He said, "Frankly, nothing can be done." I said, "Wait, people are treated for arthritis all the time. You can't tell me I'm going to wake up one morning and my knee go from 0-60 and there's nothing that can be done." His answer was, "That's the nature of the beast".  (Oh really, I thought)  After doing my physical, he returned to the room with samples of a topical solution for my knee to try. 

Next he ordered another blood test and I told him that I had been recording my food everyday and brought it for him to look at. He looked rather puzzled and I recounted what happened two wees ago with him.  " I brought my diary like you said to" I said.   "Good! I"ll look at that later and how are you doing on your smoking?" I laughed and said 'one beast at a time let me get this down for a month and we'll start on that" He immediately went Jekyll and Hyde on me and again reminded me that he was the Almightly that would allow my surgery or not and I was not being responsible.  Really?? I have followed every appointment and lab you've ordered, began this process and you want to harp on my smoking two weeks in?  (I understand this may seem minimal but I know of at least 5 times I have had blood work done and not followed up even when it was suggested that I do by my doctors office sending me a letter.  I had reached a mountain top buddy and you as my doctor of 30 years should see this..)
I could go on and on but he never looked at my food diary and when asking him a question to clarify what it was he was asking me, he shook his glasses at me and said, "you don't ask the questions, I do" and when asked about the lab work he ordered, he replied, " I already went over this, and I wont be repeating it today."  and with that, I said, You know Dr.  I have clearly made an error in judgment when I chose you to monitor my journey with me.  You see, I have made a decision to do this and I have decided to be in this 100 percent and if that means I have questions or need clarification it's because I"m learning to take responsibility for my life.  You have made it abundantly clear to me by your actions today, that you are not 100% committed to take this journey with me and anyone that cares about their health and life would find this unacceptable as well."
As I said this, I got up picked up my purse and walked out of the room and went straight to the lab had them explain to me what the doctor ordered, completed the lab and then went home, called the doctor's group he belongs to and scheduled an appointment with a doctor that 3 people suggested I see who will 1. Have a good bedside manner 2. Be direct with me and pull no punches 3. Support me in my healthful journey.  I then emailed my bariatric surgeons office and reminded them that this was my fourth email and several phone calls since Feb 11 and that I had not received the paperwork I had requested.  I asked if they were still interested in providing service to me or should I seek a different surgeon? They have until Tuesday to provide a reply. 
If you only knew how many opportunities I had in the last 24 hours to say "screw it" I'm not worth it and blame someone else...but I didn't!  The difference is I am doing this and no one is going to stop me.  Don't let health care professionals run your life. The one thing that doctor did for me was get me to take responsibility..  I'll send him a before and after photo in his thank you card.

1 comment:

  1. BRAVO!!!!! I am so glad you are being proactive in choosing and PAYING for your companions on this journey. Yay for you!