So, you really do have to be your own advocate…

I have been sick since mid-December. The kind of sick that makes it almost impossible to exercise without coughing or gasping for breath. I am exhausted doing household chores and just really could stay in the bed all of the time. But my daughter had her bday and we had Christmas and New Year’s and then things going on after and I just kept going. I rested more than usual, but at this point I am just sick of being sick.

So, today I went to see my doctor. He is fairly new to me because I “fired” my doc November of 2014 who did not take me seriously when I told her I was sure I had a kidney infection, which is very painful and can be dangerous, but instead told me I may be depressed. She had not even done a urinalysis when she said that. Went to urgent care twice. They did obgyn tests, urology tests and after digging found that I did have an infection in my  kidneys but it wasn’t easily showing up on tests.

So, I thought this new doc was okay. I have only been to him twice because I am only sick with allergies/asthma once or twice a year and other than that I am good. In December I wasn’t thrilled when he prescribed me a heavy dose of steroids and an antibiotic with no x-rays or real testing. Though I did clear up with drainage and upper resp.issues, I gained 10 pounds from meds and I also felt bad during the process because of side effects and after they were all done I still had these asthmatic issues.

Back to my point. I went to see him today thinking he would listen to my chest with a stehoscope which is standard, or order x-rays. He literally signed me up with a pulmonary specialist! He didn’t even let me breathe into a machine to see what my breathing quality was or anything. He just sat on his pc typing away. I said, aren’t you going to check my breathing? Don’t I need to go down to the lab for an x-ray? He said, “sure”. Sure? Really? I am not the one with MD behind my name. Then I went on to say that a pulmonary specialist would not be necessary because I don’t have symptoms of pneumonia. I just have allergy induced asthma and cough that won’t quit.

This man sat there and asked me if he thought I should go to an allergy specialist first to see what was up. I was floored. Why is he asking my opinion? Wouldn’t that be the logical step? I go to Kaiser. It’s like Nazi Germany. All of the info is on the screen with all of my history from all departments. They can see that I am only sick 2 times a year and it is always bronchitis or seasonal allergies or asthma due to allergies. I was in a building in December where my daughter’s play was and I have a mold allergy. I was in the same building for a long time the December before and the same thing happened. It is in the notes!!! It’s like MD for dummies. All of the departments consult with one another or cross reference. He asked me if I was another patient’s name when he came in. I am kind of concerned for him now that I think of it.

Anyway, later in the day after an hour plus of dealing with Radiology for x-ray I had to go 30 minutes across town to another Kaiser to an allergy specialist. My elementary aged daughter immediately noted the differences in the 2 doctors. She said: “Mommy, the first doctor did not know what he was doing. This doctor was so smart and she listened to you and helped you.” Dang, a child could tell what a mess the first doc was. So, I asked the doctor if she did internal medicine too. She explained that she doesn’t anymore and I told her that I was willing to go to another location including hers if she had a colleague that she could recommend. So, I will go online in a minute and cancel the pulmonary appointment because I forgot to ask her to. Then,  I will switch doctors again.

I know that doctors do not make what they used to. I know that care is literally like an assembly line in some practices. But gosh, this doctor spoke clearly and listened to me and looked me in the eye and assessed me in a proper manner doing the usual things one would to check a patient. That is the least I expect from a doctor. I immediately told her how great her bedside manner was and how much I appreciated her and that I wasn’t there to do out other doctors, but I did not want to feel like I did all of the work when going to an appointment. So, yay. I have another doctor’s name and coming from this awesome and kind and competent doctor that this new doctor is wonderful, I will give her a fair shake.

The whole point in blogging about this tonight is that you do not have to put up with poor care. Insurance, no insurance, crappy insurance, there are options of a better doctor. Or, a doctor that fits your needs or personality better. I used to be the kind to stick with someone for a long time. That good old gen-xer customer loyalty. But no more! I suggest you do the same. Think about it. Had I listened to that doc in fall of 2014 who said I was depressed, I would probably have been put on anti-depressants and been in a hospital somewhere with severe if no irreparable kidney damage.

Take care of you!

simply~

Dee

 

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