Passive Acceptance or Fear?
AnonymousFebruary 21, 2010 at 11:26 am
[B]**Warning** This is a lengthy post with a bit of rambling but hopefully it isn’t too nonsensical. [/B]:rolleyes:
Something occurred to me yesterday and I wonder if others have experienced the same.
I often read posts where people have gone to numerous doctors and still have no diagnosis.
Or, others are surfing the net with their symptoms to find the cause of their illness and treatment options.
Or, those that received a diagnosis years ago and every future issue/illness is thought to be a residual of their particular illness, aging, or brushed off as “not a big deal, it will resolve itself eventually”.
Sadly, I fall into the last category. This is surprising as I’m fairly aggressive. Well, I can no longer brush off anything nor can I afford to just accept a bandage and simple explanation when I visit the doctor.
[B][I]**This post is not intended to inflame or incite bashing against medical professionals. I’m simply stating my experience.**[/I][/B]
I’ve noticed a trend when I have a regular doctor for more than a year or so; I tend to switch doctors every couple years if they no longer accept my insurance or if they change practices and are no longer nearby or if I feel I’m just patted on the head and given a new prescription if I’m having issues.
I’m not sure issues or and I hate this word, [B]concerns[/B] are brushed off as complaints or just hastily considered a residual of previous illnesses/issues. I’m guilty of brushing things off for years or thinking it’s a residual of GBS or other medical issues I’ve had throughout the years, so why should I get upset when/if doctors do the same? I shouldn’t….right?
A couple weeks ago, I pulled a muscle or “something” in my back while getting dressed. Getting dressed is a fairly easy task but when you have limitations, it can take a bit more effort. However, pulling a muscle while putting on clothes is sort of “freakish”. I think. ~shrugs
So, of course I decide to self medicate. 😮 I have plenty of meds from other injuries, etc., and I’m sure one or two of them will eventually get rid of the pain. Not this time. The pain became so intense it was almost debilitating and my already compromised walking and balance became even more precarious.
Yesterday was the last straw and I decided I needed to see a doctor. As my regular (and soon to be former doctor and not because of the following paragraphs) is not available on weekends, I decided to visit urgent care. The urgent care physician is the reason I can no longer be passive or accept a bandage with no real follow through when I’m experiencing issues, illnesses, whatever.
The first thing the doctor did when she walked into the examination room was look in my face. Literally. She immediately asked “are you wearing blush”? I said, um…no. She then asked, “what is that rash on your cheeks”. Of course I brushed it off and said “oh, I think it’s rosacea or something”. Her response….”hmmm, it’s appears to be butterfly shaped or a malar rash”. Now, this is the first time any doctor has ever asked about the rash which I’ve had for at least 10 years or so.
Anyway, her assistant had already gone through my medical history as well as my family’s history. Which is quite scary but hey, I have a large family so it stands to reason that we’ll have numerous illnesses.
After a lengthy conversation regarding who had these illnesses and my medical history, the doctor finally got around to discussing my reason for being there. At this point, the pain meds I’d taken earlier (which didn’t help the pain but made me not care as much) have worn off.
She had me stand facing the exam table and lift my sweater. She then did something no other doctor has done in the 5+ years I’ve had back pain (I’m usually sent to physical therapy or given a corticosteroid injection, which are not necessarily bad things). She started pressing down on my back. Remember guys….my entire back is hurting and burning and I’m already close to tears before she touched me. It was so painful that I actually almost fell onto the table.
Long story short (yeah, too late for that), she explained that I literally have lumps of balled up muscles in my back. She could feel muscle spasms as she’s pressing down. As she can tell that I’ve endured enough pain at her hands, she stopped and had me clamber back up on the table.
Now, here’s the gist of this long post. She started from the beginning; the rash on my face. She asked if I’d ever been tested for lupus. I told her if I have, it was without my knowledge but probably not since she’s the first doctor to ever ask about the rash on my face; my sister asked about the rash a few years ago but since she’s in admin @ a hospital I brushed her question off; I mean….she does paperwork, not diagnose folks. 🙂 The doctor suggested I get tested for lupus and referred me to a rheumatologist. She stressed that she wasn’t saying I have lupus, but that it wouldn’t hurt to have it checked out.
She also asked if I’d ever been tested for an abundance of yeast in my system. Um, no again. Did I experience migraines and other related questions; yes.
She finally discussed the back issue and muscle spasms and suggested I visit a neuromuscular specialist. I mentioned my upcoming visit with a physiatrist and she said I should probably see the neuro first.
I asked if she had a practice and she said no, she just worked for urgent care at this time but she could refer me to one of her colleagues. We wrapped things up with another prescription which will hopefully help the pain and she wished me well.
The moral to this story is; why was she able to ask so many questions where no other doctors have? Is it because she was looking at me with fresh eyes (which is what one of my close friends said last night?) Since we had no doctor/patient history, did she not feel that my “complaints” were those of a hypochondriac or related to prior illnesses? Or, is this my fault too as I’m afraid to receive additional medical issues/ illnesses to my lengthy medical history?
Do you guys feel that our doctors become accustomed to us and never delve beneath the surface? In all fairness, I realize their job can be overwhelming and they have to see X amount of patients in a fairly short time, but at what and whose risk?
So, I’ve decided to join the second group of folks on this board; I don’t want to drive myself crazy, but I have to compile my list of “complaints” and seek as much information on the net as possible. I’m going to do so while keeping an open mind and not driving myself (and my SO) crazy in attempts to become healthy. 😀
Kudos to the ones who have done this for themselves as well as the ones they care for. It may be in our best interests to do this to determine the best course of action/treatment.
I apologize for the lengthy post….I really do. But, I hope that someone can understand where I’m coming from because after yesterday’s urgent care visit, I realize that self-preservation and being informed is the only way to go.
I hope everyone is having a great day!!
AnonymousFebruary 22, 2010 at 12:25 pm
Good luck Tina. I hope you get some answers. Please be careful with the internet research. I am addictive about this and it can drive you more crazy. At some point, you have to step back and let the doctors diagnose you. My coworker tells me that if you are not happy with the doctor, or not getting answers, move on and find another one.
Another coworker of mine had brain surgery at Mayo. She said that she went to all the best hospitals in Chicago, and they told her she would be in ICU for 6 days, etc. She went up to Mayo, and they said, 2 days and you can go home and she did. They told her that they are 10 years ahead of everywhere else. So if they are 10 years ahead of a major metropolitan areas’ hospitals, what does that say? I am not saying that Mayo is the answer, but sometimes, I think you have to keep pushing and searching if you are not satisfied.
I have had what I think is GBS, but since I did not get a spinal tap, no definitive diagnosis. The neuros diagnosed me with “mild” GBS. All my tests are “normal,” but there is nothing normal about what happened to me or continues to do so. I am still pushing for some answers, and maybe I won’t get them, but at least I am trying!
February 22, 2010 at 1:34 pm
Could you please check your pm, as I find it difficult to continue to post in light of the continual jabs at some ideas;)
AnonymousFebruary 22, 2010 at 5:34 pm
Good luck on a diagnosis. I sat in the hospital and googled everything that feel out of the doctor’s mouth and there were lots of docs! I also have found prior to this experience that Web MD is the tool of the devil – I can have the sniffles and by the time I am done reading Web MD, I most probably have lymphoma. So be aware!
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