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Old 09-24-2010, 06:39 PM
 
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Has anyone else given up on chasing the medical profession?

No, I haven't completely given up, we still see doctors on a regular basis when indicated. But I am discouraged by chasing doctors for every little thing, then getting the run around. all they do is bounce you ffrom one doctor to another, with no real diagnosis or help.

Usually, it goes something like this----you experience something that causes you concern. You make an appt. Takes 1-2 days just to set an appt, by the time you track down someone on your plan who lives within a reasonable distance and has an opening in this century. You spend half the day on the phone trying to explain to the little gal who answers why you want to come in. Be careful what you say, don't say too much or you will confuse them. Just use words of one syllable and speak very slowly, and don't give more than one symptom or you will have them so confused you will never get anywhere.

So, after 1-2 days just to set up an appt, then, usually at least 1-2 weeks wait, oftentimes 4-6 weeks. Then the magic day arrives and you see the great doctor. By then your symptoms have usually abated and you really don't even need the visit, but you go, anyways.

Seems they don't understand WTH an appt is. Its a mutually agreed upon time that both can meet. You're asked to be there 30 min ahead of time to fill out paper work, etc., then left sitting in the waiting room at least one hour minimum, usually 2-3 hours. Then finally you're escorted into the inner scantum, asked to undress, wear paper, then some little gal comes in and asks your symptoms, but can't understand a word you say. Everything you tell her you just get a bewildered look, she scribbles something down and leaves you there, wearing paper, for at least 30 60 min.

Then, in walks the great doctor, who seems fascinated by your chart, keeps reading what the bewildered little gal wrote, doesn't even look at you, call you by name, usually acts annoyed your'e there, even though you're the one who's been waiting on him for pushing 4 hours now.

Old grumpy then does a cursory exam, then says something to the effect of , well, if the symptoms continue, schedule another appt, then walks off. A whole day blown for nothing.

So, symptoms continue, you schedule another appt, same old routine, finally, get in to see great doctor, who's now thoroughly annoyed you're taking up his time (even though you pay before going in and your insurance is filed as you're walking out the door). Ok, then, Dr. Grumpy mumbles something about some tests, then walks off.

Then, you run all over town for various tests, each one taking at least half a day. By this point, you've probably spent $1000+ on copays, etc. Then, go back to Dr. Grumpy. By this point, its been at least 3 months since onset of initial symptoms. Ok, same old stuff, wait, wait, wait, wear paper, bewildered office gal, doc acting like you're some sort of nuisance, after all, isn't this the 3rd time you've been here? he barely glances at the tests, mumbles something to the effect all tests are "within normal limits" (translation, he hasn't bothered to look at them), come back if symptoms continue.

That's been my experience trying to track down mysterious symptoms I've had of muscle weakness and balance and coordination issues, first started in June.

I'm so fed up with the runaround. But, my insurance is maxed out, now pays 100% until the end of the year. I'm seeing a different neurologist next week and will demand they do anything and everything test-wise before the end of the year, and, I want the results. I will say something to the effect that I want a copy of the results for my primary care physicians, and also for my own records. They aren't that hard to read, at least I will know someone is reading them! Usually, by then, they want to repeat the tests because they are "stale" or "inconclusive" anyways.

The whole business makes you just want to give up, all you wind up with is one big, fat bill for nothing! Well, all I can do is keep on trying, but seriously, has anyone else just given up on chasing doctors?

 
Old 09-24-2010, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Canada
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I don't completely trust them that's for sure. I make sure I am as well informed as possible on what my symptoms could indicate.I do a lot of research. You really have to be your own advocate for your health. There are few Dr's in my experience you genuinely care and listen to their patients. I have only really had one Dr. like that and he is my OBGYN....best Dr. in the world.
Nowadays its all about money.
 
Old 09-24-2010, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Texas
44,246 posts, read 54,930,246 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post
So, after 1-2 days just to set up an appt, then, usually at least 1-2 weeks wait, oftentimes 4-6 weeks. Then the magic day arrives and you see the great doctor. By then your symptoms have usually abated and you really don't even need the visit, but you go, anyways.
Anyone tired of annoying patients who run to the doctor for every little thing without considering whether or not it's a waste of time for everyone? You think it just wastes your time and your money? Watch the insurance company or (especially) the government slash the reimbursement once they figure out you never needed to be there in the first place.

Seriously, this right here is why you need a good, permanent medical home with a GP. Get a GP, they know you, you know them, they work you in quickly, and they can decide whether or not you need to be shuffled off from one specialist to another.
 
Old 09-24-2010, 07:27 PM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,972,808 times
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I haven't completely given up on doctors, but I have definitely lost the blind faith bordering on worship that many patients seem to have for their doctors.

It took years to diagnose my arthritis and fibromyalgia cause I'm seronegative for arthritis and I kept not being symptomatic by the time I had the visit until finally I was finally symptomatic, after about 6 years of going to doctors. (Note, I had been battling with my parents to believe my symptoms in the first place for many years, so this was just the convincing the doctors stage.) But it took way too long.

Don't even get me started on my eye doctors, who had been convinced I was lying to get glasses and from then on had "tunnel vision" and kept missing otherwise very obvious signs of my legal blindness. For seven years. Why? Because they weren't looking in the right place.

I've had doctors expose their narrow-mindedness before, too. I started having problems with my jaw and so I went to see my orthodontist, who said I have TMJ syndrome. When I went to see a TMJ specialist, he took one look at me and said "Someone your age can't have TMJ syndrome, fibromyalgia, or arthritis. Those conditions only happen in people 40 or older." That is until he took one look at my jaw. At least he became much gentler after taking a look and realized he was wrong.

I go to doctors if I need to now, but I don't just bow down to them at every whim. They probably don't like me cause I don't see them as gods but oh well, I've just gotten screwed over by the medical system too many times. So I do my research before picking a doctor and taking recommended medications.

I stopped taking my medications too, because the side effects were so much worse than the symptoms they were meant to be curing (which they often weren't doing very effectively either). I've only had success with one medication, so I do believe they can be helpful, but I think they probably get prescribed incorrectly too often, either in the type or the dosage. I've resorted to things like meditation, exercise, and diet, which work much better for me anyway.

I have had a handful of good doctors, so I don't completely demonize the medical profession. The doctors I have that were both the most successful in treating my conditions were the ones that listened to my whole story, didn't go in with "tunnel vision," and kept persisting until they found an answer.

I think medical schools overemphasize tree-thinking (where you ask a question, and if the answer is yes, you ask this follow-up question, and if the answer is no, you ask a different follow-up question) which leads to missing clues that can lead to a diagnosis. I hope that modern Western medicine learns to be more holistic in its approach, and I hope more and more doctors remember to listen and not rule anything out too soon so that they can give their patients the best care possible. Another thing I think is not stressed enough in Western medicine is bedside manner. It may seem trivial, but when the patient feels comfortable, they reveal more information, which can help point to a diagnosis.

Last edited by nimchimpsky; 09-24-2010 at 07:38 PM..
 
Old 09-24-2010, 07:46 PM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,972,808 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
Anyone tired of annoying patients who run to the doctor for every little thing without considering whether or not it's a waste of time for everyone? You think it just wastes your time and your money? Watch the insurance company or (especially) the government slash the reimbursement once they figure out you never needed to be there in the first place.

Seriously, this right here is why you need a good, permanent medical home with a GP. Get a GP, they know you, you know them, they work you in quickly, and they can decide whether or not you need to be shuffled off from one specialist to another.
I know what you mean. Once I was in the E.R. for a sudden decrease in vision with head pain. I called my eye doctor who fit me in and after checking my eyes, instructed me to go straight to the E.R. right away for an MRI. The woman next to me was in for a minor conjunctivitis infection and was complaining about how the eye drops made her vision slightly blurry. The irony.

I've had conjunctivitis before. Most regular eye doctors will try to fit you in the same day or the day after if your eye is really bugging you, but does it really require an E.R. visit? I didn't even go to the E.R. at first, it was my eye doctor who made that decision. The only time I went straight to the E.R. is when I got my hand slammed in a door and part of my pinky was hanging on by a thread.
 
Old 09-24-2010, 08:29 PM
 
9,967 posts, read 16,586,172 times
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This isn't a case of "running to the doctor for every little thing"

Last June, right before moving, I developed odd neurological symptoms and have experienced the runaround. I went to the ER, thinking it was a stroke, sat there 6 hours for nothing, was told to follow up with my primary care physician (it was Sat night, couldn't very well see him then), then, saw the primary care doc, pretty much as described in my previous posts, then, was sent for MRI's, then to other specialists, then, told I should have more tests, which they should have done all at the same time, anyways, instead of stringing it out over a 3 month period. symptoms have waxed and waned during that time, which only indicates something's going on that's undiagnosed and untreated. By this point, they want to go back to square one and do all the tests over again.

But I know what you mean about "every little thing". We ran into that with our kids, especially our ds. He loved running to the nurses office at school, like he was the first kid to have discovered that trick? I got tired of calls to pick him up, and take him to a doctor. I finally realized they can't require me to take him to a doctor unless they pay for it. Trust Dr. Mom, I know when my kid is ill, and if medical care is ever indicated, he gets the best. But I got sick of running him to doctors to satisfy teachers and school nurses. I learned this trick----call the doctor first, discuss it with the nurse, usually she give advice over the phone which any parent with half a brain would do, anyways, such as fluids, rest, robitussin, etc. Then I can tell the school the doctor's advice was----without running him to a crowded doctor's office, spending a fortune, and probably coming back exposed to more than we started with!

I'm just venting tonight, I'm so frustrated, after 3 months I'm still no closer to any diagnosis than when I started.
 
Old 09-24-2010, 08:34 PM
 
9,967 posts, read 16,586,172 times
Reputation: 16912
[
 
Old 09-24-2010, 08:44 PM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,972,808 times
Reputation: 12543
Marylee, have you tried an ear, nose, and throat doctor? If you're having balance issues, it could be vestibular. Try to see if you can find an ENT who leaves openings. I think some do this for their Meniere's patients, so you may be able to benefit from the same thing and make an appointment quickly when you're actually symptomatic.
 
Old 09-24-2010, 08:53 PM
 
9,967 posts, read 16,586,172 times
Reputation: 16912
Quote:
Originally Posted by nimchimpsky View Post
Marylee, have you tried an ear, nose, and throat doctor? If you're having balance issues, it could be vestibular. Try to see if you can find an ENT who leaves openings. I think some do this for their Meniere's patients, so you may be able to benefit from the same thing and make an appointment quickly when you're actually symptomatic.

Thanks, its an idea.

the suggestion to go to a primary care doc then let him direct the path is a good one, but turned into a dead end for me. I first went to the ER, suspecting a stroke, then was bounced back to my GP, who did some basic workups, like blood, ekg, the usual, then referred back to my neurosurgeon (I'd had 2 spinal surgeries). The nuerosurgeon did MRI's, but just of the areas he'd done surgery on, they were fine, so now he's out of the picture. He suggested to come back in a month for a series of neck MRI's, if the symptoms didn't improve. The frustrating thing was, we already invested a major effort, time, money, rearrangement of schedules, etc, just to see this guy, then he decides to split up the diagnostic tests. Now its Fall, our kids are in school, and it will involve rearranging everyone's schedules to go back to this guy (he's in another town, takes all day to get there).

They suspect MS, google MS Gait---that's how I walk. I can't post the link to it, but just google it and you will see my symptoms. It just all started suddenly last June, and comes and goes. The frustrating thing is, its never there when I see the docs!

Just got an idea---take a video of me when I'm having those symptoms and show that to the doc, perhaps that will get his attention! why didn't I think of that sooner? Great idea---even if it is mine!
 
Old 09-24-2010, 09:01 PM
 
9,967 posts, read 16,586,172 times
Reputation: 16912
Anyone heard of this? I'm ok walking as long as I have a touch point. Just lightly touching something,like a grocery cart, or someone's arm, and I'm fine. But if I lose my touch point, I lost my balance. Even if someone's walking next to me, and I'm not touching them, if they abruptly move away, I lose my balance. Like yesterday my ds was walking next to me, stopped to look at something, when I could no longer see him out of the corner of my I I felt my balance go. it wasn't my imagination, he saw me sway and grabbed my elbow, he said I looked like a paper doll blowing in the wind.
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