There comes a point when you reach your limit and you just want to throw your hands up in the air and give up. Or full out punch someone in the throat.
I am absolutely fed up with medical doctors that DON’T LISTEN to their patients or brush them off as med-seeking, or worse, uneducated.
I hope to God it’s just a problem I’m having locally, and not endemic to the entire medical community, but I will admit, I’m doubtful.
Today my husband was scheduled for an MRI. He hates them. He needs to be heavily sedated in order to make the entire endeavor worthwhile. Otherwise, he full out panics, or moves and the images collected are worthless, and we have a huge bill with nothing useful to show for it.
He has never been sick before. This injury has plagued him for 2 fucking years, and before that we shelled out THOUSANDS of dollars over more than 10 years for insurance coverage for the “just in case” scenarios, and now that we are in one, it is of no fucking use.
I told the nurse. I told the doctor. He needs to be HEAVILY sedated to make the MRI an even worthwhile event. So when we were at the imaging center, and got news that the open MRI was down, and he’d have to be stuck in that small tube, and the 4mg of valium did NOTHING to help him, I called the doctor. We were already at the hospital, and his office was at one end of the complex. And the hospital has a pharmacy. How hard could it be to get a little more meds so that an entire morning (and another sleep deprived night for both of us), wouldn’t go wasted?
Apparently I was asking the impossible. The doctor was in surgery, and no one in the office would help, and by the way, the hospital pharmacy won’t fill scripts for out-patient procedures. What. The. Fuck. So my husband, in complete control of his faculties, stormed out of the hospital, mumbling about how all anybody wants is money.
This didn’t have to happen. We should have had an extra pill or two as back up. Somewhere along the line, someone should have heard me impress that he needs heavy sedation or we’d all be wasting our time. But no one listened. No one advocated.
I am still not at a point in my education where I can competently question dosing on certain pharmaceuticals, otherwise I wouldn’t have walked out that day with only two 2mg pills of valium. Had I known better, I would have given him both the pills at once, taking into account what I know of my husband and peak times. Had I known better, I would have insisted on having something else as back up. But I chose to trust this new doctor. And I’m sick about not taking the initiative to make my own judgment using the resources I had available to me. I will NOT make that mistake again.
In school we are taught to advocate for our patients. In reality, I have yet to see it, outside of the two Lyme doctors I am working with. It’s hard enough to get anyone to LISTEN, never mind actually advocate for you.
I get the frustrations and obstacles MDs face on some level. I know they are over worked and that insurance companies have their hands tied in many cases. But with that in mind, they forget that patients and doctors are on the same team. We ALL want the same thing: better treatment for patients. But I see the rat race that medicine has become lose sight of this big picture, and at some point a change is going to come, and it’s going to be a painful process. For everyone. But until then, the big losers are the patients. And I am really sick of it.
In the meantime, weeks and days will pass and he will continue to function in pain. And his resentment will grow. And mine will grow.
And then my determination will grow. Because one day I will have prescription privileges, and a caseload of patients of my own, and you can bet your ass I’m going to be different. I’m not in this for the money. I’m not in it for the prestige, or the degrees or the titles. I just want to be able to give people better treatment than I’ve gotten. And considering how bad some of the treatment I’ve received in the past has been, it’s not too high a bar to reach. First step is the easiest: LISTEN.