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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.


3 thoughts on “Livid

  1. I hear your anger and I share it. The Western medical institution is infected with greed. After working for a huge HMO for four years I thought it was just them. They were the worst, but now that I’ve been out of that system for awhile I recognize that the entire system is corrupt. Worse yet many are following the HMO’s lead which leads to less care for patients, and more money for the people who are supposedly giving the care. If you’ve been to the pharmacy lately you know what I mean. Everywhere, healthcare providers at all levels are spending more time staring into computer screens, and less time looking at their patients. Eventually I hope, the system will self destruct. For now, I’m with you. I’ve seen hundreds of doctors and most of them have been useless, some of them have caused me great harm. I trust my LLMD who is a Harvard trained Neurologist. Everyone else in the medical system can keep their hands off my body. I hope your husband is able to get the meds he needs to get the exam he needs. Good luck to you.

  2. Thank you so much for your validation. Usually, I try to stay hopeful and positive, and work within the constraints I find myself,but sometimes, my head just explodes. Again, many thanks for your support 🙂

  3. !! I started with one doctor who was caring, up on research, and ran her own practice. I moved with her when she joined another group and it was completely different. I think she still cared, but it was obvious that she had very limited time with each patient and half the time was needed for computer entry. I felt sad for her as she seemed stressed. I was sad for me because neither setting led us to a diagnosis. I’m not a doctor but for every hour I spend with a patient, I am spending 1-2 hours making calls and filling out forms. I am trying to find ways to see fewer patients, make less money, and still get benefits. The system no longer works the way it should for providers or patients. Computers further decrease the individuality of care provided as the programs seem to be written so proper boxes can be checked for the payers and the government. Sorry, putting my soap box away. 8)

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