Sunday, April 22, 2007

Perfect Example Of Jerky Doctor!

*I took out some of the curse words now that I'm not so upset*

Well it seems I will be looking for a new rheumatologist and my original feelings about Dr. O were correct.... he is a jerk! I was unable to see him for about six months due to how tight finances have been around here. I made an appointment with him for April 16th so I could catch him up on things and ask some questions. He had his mind made up before I even got there that he was going to ditch me. Of course, he made sure he got his money and copay first. Jerk!

I told him I wasn't on the Cymbalta any longer because as I had informed him several months earlier, it was causing severe mood swings and I know for a fact it's the Cymbalta because the same thing happened two years ago when I was given it for the nerve pain in my neck. That was the first "stupid b*tch" look he gave me. Then he asked what I've been doing for exercise. I was quite proud to tell him that I've been taking daily walks with Lil Man and also started a Tai Chi class at the local community center. I figured he would be happy because studies are finding that Tai Chi helps fibro. Nope, wrong answer. Instead I was told how stupid it was to do Tai Chi and asked for the NINTY MILLIONTH FREAKING TIME if I joined Curves like he told me to. I was told that I needed to do strength training and to "get over it" (direct quote) as far as my fear of the flare up pain that always comes afterwards.

For the ninty millionth time I told him that we can't afford stupid Curves. This is when I received the second "stupid b*tch" look. I am convinced at this point that the butthole owns stock in Curves or an actual branch himself. He has NEVER told me exercises I could do on my own. He has only ever told me to do Curves. Period. I think out of all the doctors I've been through, he is the most ignorant.

If you live in New Mexico and are in need of a rheumatologist, please email me first and I will tell you my opinion on who not to go to. There are so many others in town that I feel could easily do a better job and who probably don't have stock in Curves!

So the end of my visit was me asking him if it was okay for me to see a chiropractor just for an aligning of my spine (nothing to do with the fibro). He cut me off midsentence with "That won't help". So I said again, not for the fibro and get "whatever it's your choice". Ummmmm okay. So I ask if getting a deep tissue massage is okay and the answer to that is "do what you want and we won't need to see you again at all". Huh?

Yep, I was fired for not going to Curves. Unreal I know. Do you know what happened after I left his office? I sat in my van at Walgreen's and cried for TWO hours straight while my husband practically begged me to just come home. Dr O left me feeling like a loser and like I had wasted the last year of my life because he never ever helped me with any of the fibro pain. Ever!

If you are a doctor reading this then seriously think about the way you treat your patients. Just because you have a medical degree does not mean you know everything. Patients are human beings and they are in your office for a reason and that reason is not to be belittled by a pompous ass!

I told Dr. O of my pain several times. I told him that what we were doing wasn't helping. I never once asked him for pain killers and was willing to look at things that were not tied to medication to help me so it's not like I was some junkie that came into his office wanting narcotics! I was a woman who had already been through a year (when I first saw Dr. O) of constant pain, two forms of cancer, seeing my kids have surgery, and nerve damage and hoped he would help me find just a little relief from this so I could be a mother to my children. HE told me I had fibromyalgia not the other way around.

Two days later I talked to Dr. M about it and I will post about that too because he really deserves his own post.

Today I called our insurance company and filed a formal complaint against Dr. O . It's too late to help me but hopefully in the future he'll think twice before being a jerk to someone else.


Kat O+ said...

I'm so astounded at how insensitive that doctor was! I would have been tempted to sit in his damn office crying for two hours, just so I could at least get my money's worth out of that visit. I hope your next doctor turns out to be a much better human being. *hugs*

Marsha said...

I also hope your next doctor is better.

Jonzie said...

Some doctors forget they work with human beings in a condition of need and not just objects.
It's an horrible job tho, i have to admit, you tend to end up cutting out feelings and emphaty as a form of self defence. But you should remind yourself periodically that you're a doctor, if you cant do it properly just drop it!
And anyhoo, WTF is Curves?

YippeeSkippy said...

Sorry Jo. Some docs have major god complexes. My best friend is having issues with that right now as her dh is finishing his residency and thinks he can walk on water.
I had to Google you girly. I sent you an email but it is probably and old address. I have been thinking about you for awhile. Hope you get a doc who is a little more compassionate.

Bebe said...

I can tell you from personal experience that Curves, the gym or any other weight-bearing exercise is the wrong way to go and will cause more harm than good. Tai chi (and Pilates, yoga or any GENTLE stretching) is far more therapeutic and less likely to cause pain and exhaustion.
Why is it that some docs would rather be right than helpful? I'm sorry that you paid the SOB!

Jonzie said...

Hi again Jo, i told you about this before but i happened today to come across the name of the prescription drug containing synthetic THC and according to Wiki you can get it in the US too. Its name is dronabinol.
It should greatly help with the pain with virtually no side effects.

Jonzie said...

Sorry, the commercial-trade name is actually Marinol.

Jo said...

Kat- I wish I would have thought of that! Seriously, I think I'll do that next time and we know there is always a next time when it comes to crappy doctors!

Marsha- thank you. :)

Jonzie- Curves is basically just a gym specifically for women. Definately not all that. I finally have some time to check out that link and I'm going to go do it now. I've been through just about everything on the painkiller chain and I don't know how much longer I can do this. Thanks again for reminding me about the synthetic THC.

yippee- I didn't get the email and I don't know who you are by the nickname. :( I am sure that I will know the second I hear it but just not yet. lol. My email is jocoiner AT gmail DOT com if you want to email me. :)

bebe- everything I've read says that Tai Chi and walking are GOOD for fibro and that's why it ticked me off so bad that this jerk was telling me that walking was a waste of time and Tai Chi was stupid. I figured Curves was a stupid idea.

Jim said...

Jo, I greatly sympathize with your horrible health problems. I don't think I would have the courage to keep going with all that. Maybe it's your children that keep you struggling.
But I must say, based on what you described above, that you may be a person who makes decisions and sees the world thru intuititopm amd feelings more than analysis and evidence. As you know, the reason for the incrdible breakthrus in medicine in the last century, is the application of science to medicine. Docs are trained to base thier diagosis and treatments based on evidence to the degree that it's possible. That is not going to FEEL good to people who are trying to understand thru intuition. That kind of brilliant, analytical mind is going to rub "intuitive types" the wrong way, but that is the very reason you are seeing him. I have an intuitive friend that gets very upset with very brilliant doctors because the seem to be "out of it" because they're not relating on an intuitive level, but on a level that is evidentiary, scientific.
It sounds like you were disregarding the advice he was giving you and telling him what therapies you should be using (Tai Chi, massage, chiropractor),(I'm not very good at spelling as you can see). Those are all therapies for which evidence is lacking as to thier effectiveness. So he can't recomend them even though a serious long term, double blind,experiment may show them to be very effective. As long as there is no fact based, scientific evidence to back up claims, he CAN'T recomend them. He would start into the arena of quackery and his usefullness as a science based practioner would be gone.
Those docs are given a deadline of a few minutes to convey what they must to you and truely don't have time to have warm, sympathetic conversations with patients any more. It's a shame because, as you know, that in itself can be very thereaputic.
But, he must have felt that he was wasting his time giving you advice when you disregarded it and TOLD HIM what your diognosis and treatment options were. Why waist you money if you don't take his advice seriously and dissagree with what he tells you. If you want to get the most milage out of doctors, listen very carefully to what they say, take notes, and try not to project your own stuff on them. Don't tell them what treatment you should be doing when you're paying them to tell you.
Then, when you leave her/his office, USE YOUR WONDERFUL INTUITION to make the decision whether you have faith in the doc or not, keeping in mind that she/he is is a brilliant ANALYTICAL TYPE, probably has NO PERSONALITY and is locked "in thier head". They are the best in the world at what they do, even though they often don't FEEL very good. Our intuition is the only way we can judge a person because we are so complex, so now's the time to use your intuition about that doctor in general, not what thier advice is, because as you seem to know very well, you are ultimately in charge of your own health.
I found your comments on this guy O'Sullivan because I'M GOING TO SEE HIM NEXT WEEK !!!
I'll let you know what I think (not feel) about him.
Good luck dear,

Jo said...

Jim- thank you very much for your comment. I do appreciate hearing what others think and know that it takes ALOT to type out a comment that long. ;)

I found nothing brilliant about Dr O (I don't use their actual names on here) I'm afraid nor would I consider him very high up but that doesn't mean someone else feels just the opposite. I have dealt with many analytical and brilliant doctors- Dr. Samual Wells is truly an expert and he is amazing as a person as well. He listens, he gives his advice, and he helps. My General Practitioner and I have a respect for each other, he values my thoughts and feelings on things but we both know that in the end he is the one who decides my treatment and I respect that. Dr O did no such thing and maybe that means I'm spoiled at this point but I have learned that it is the kind of spoiling a patient is entitled to. Even in 15 minutes a doctor can be human and scientific especially with me because if you read any of my other posts, I am very informed on most things medically with me (no, fibro isn't on that list yet) and make it my job to learn from both their side and the patient side.

I can completely understand him not suggesting methods that aren't proven and respect that but I also don't remember the women's gym Curves ever being on a test proven list. Cramming a specific name brand company down a person's throat from the get go is definately something that is going to set off my radar.

Curves was not an option and he knew that. Not because I was being difficult or didn't want to listen to him but because it's not something we can afford. He also seemed to hold the fact that I couldn't afford to see him a few months earlier against me as well. When I informed him that money is VERY tight for us and I had had to cancel all appointments with everyone that is when he let me know he was done. Considering that he was only seeing me once every six months anyway, it was only a follow-up that I missed.

A doctor who does not listen at all to his patient is far from brilliant. Retaining knowledge is not brilliance as much as I wish it was, you know?

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear in my post above. I did state that I never told Dr O what therapies I should be using only the things I was trying because he asked if I was "doing anything at all". I tried everything he told me to MINUS going to stupid Curves and honestly, by the time he asked me "Did you ever go to Curves?" that last time, any trust we had was gone.

As for the Cymbalta, it has been used previously for nerve damage in my neck with me having severe mood swings. I took the Cymbalta like he suggested and honestly hoped it would do alot of good for me but it didn't. The severe mood swings started again and when I told Dr O such he openly and completely ignored me and told me to stay on it.

Had I stayed on the Cymbalta even one more month I probably would have been in jail for assault on someone and I wasn't willing to take that chance. I didn't ask him for anything else just told him what was happening.

Why couldn't he have suggested exercises to me? Not asking you specifically by the way just saying... Someone with an analytical mind analyzes so why couldn't he suggest that if I couldn't afford Curves then try doing curls with milk jugs or push ups or climbing stairs or anything? Instead all I got was "Curves".

When I talked to my GP two days after seeing Dr O, he told me that by Dr O's notes that he faxed over it definately sounded like he had "fired" me. Do you know what Dr O told the company I filed the complaint with? That I was free to see him at any time and he only felt there was nothing more he could do for me. He never even DID anything! He lied though and I have no respect for that at all. I know he didn't say never come back because he could get into trouble... we both know that but it was clearly in his notes and saying to a patient "Well we won't need to see you again unless something comes up and you need to be seen of course" (not a perfect quote but very close) can only be interpretted one way.

Anyway- I appreciate your comment and you sound like you are fully in control of your healthcare as well so I most definately wish you luck and hope for whatever you are seeing him for.

Patients want doctors that think AND feel more and more these days and healthcare professionals are going to have to change with that. It's very hard for a patient to trust their lives to someone that treats them subhuman, it just doesn't work.

Even just going by what I "think" of him, he did not try even 1/10 of the treatments that he could have tried and I was open to whatever (within my finances) might make the pain even a little bit less.

I think another problem is that he was not communicating (just faxing over notes) with my GP and the two of them sometimes crossed medication and treatment when they prescribed things to me- Try Elavil, go off Elavil, Lower the Neurontin, no raise the Neurontin, and so on. That wasn't ME making those decisions. I was only the one stuck going on and off meds. I truly feel his frustration over that was taken out on me as well but in the end, he is not someone I would ever allow to treat me or any member of my family again.

I can't help but wonder if you are a medical professional as well. ?

Thank you again and it was well work the shooting pains in my hands from typing this! :)

Jo said...

sorry, well WORTH the shooting pains.

I also forgot- I haven't said anywhere that I have diagnosed myself for anything at all. I noticed in your comment you said I told him what my diagnosis and treatment options were, that isn't true. He is the one who diagnosed me in the first place. When I first went to him I just figured that my nerves and muscles had gotten screwed up in my last surgery and I was honestly too intimidated by him to ever tell him what my treatment should be. ;)

I'm changing the review that brought you here by the way so that it just reflects my opinion.

Brad K. said...

You might be just a bit harsh on Dr. O.

Some doctors go into medicine for a narrowly focused reason -- a family member with a particular condition, a peer or mentor in a particular field, Mama's guidance to wealth and social position. The doctors that want to care for people usually spend more time in acute care or family practice. Specialists often begrudge face time. Which sounds a bit like Dr. O.

Specialists often follow the 'I am working more hours than union labor on mandatory overtime, and cannot help everyone' rule. For instance, Dr. O may have come across 'Curves' and weight training as one therapy that works. Apparently his lack of concern about caring for patients (since all patients have to be referred, they all have a family practice doctor to 'hold their hands'), he obviously missed the 1980's lawsuit against the AMA -- where the federal courts found the medical profession bias and disparagement of chiropractors was illegal and without health or scientific merit: Stop lying about chiropractic. The lawsuit found the only basis the AMA was able to show for advising against chiropractic was loss of revenue.

Hopefully Dr. O provides sufficient skill to benefit most of his patients. Just ask a doctor that cares, when looking for life and management advice.

Oh, and I would be bitter, too.

Palm Coast said...

Sorry to hear that, hopefully you have better luck in the future.

Jo said...

Brad- I'm sorry, I started an email reply to you and then I guess it got eaten by my gmail. :( So please don't think I just ignored you or never cared to respond.

It was a longggggggggg email too. lol

Anonymous said...

I go to Dr O'Sullivan also..I cant say ive really ever had a problem with him but more with all doctors ive gone too..i was being treated for Lupus and I feel like crap all the time and whenever I seem to tell them my problem they give me that look like im making stuff up and exagerating and pretty much tell me to suck it up and go home. What is with doctors these days!