Thursday, March 7, 2013

For the Sake of Illness, & Are Medical Professionals "perfect"? (or do we save ourselves)

I had been sitting here very early this morning, trying to figure out how I might get some of my latest health issues resolved. Or if not resolved completely at least some "answers" besides the ones I come up with online. I would like for someone to "concur" with me, what I am researching, finding out, feeling, my symptoms, etc are really what is going on. Maybe I could come to accept some of this, and not be so totally stressed out to the point of chest pains lately. I realize we all want to put our doctors up on "pedestals", view them as beyond human, and feel like they have every answer to every pain and problem, and they are always certain, and correct in their diagnosis. But, that would be in a perfect world, where everyone was right all the time, and no one was wrong. Doctors are HUMAN! They DO make mistakes, and yes they are very well educated, and take an oath to do their best to keep us well, or make us well, when we are ill. They work (or many of them) over and above the call of duty, with long hours, and sometimes little compassion when it comes to even us as patients. As long as they are "helping" us, and giving us the right answers, we praise them. But, let them not be able to give us an answer right away, or miss something in our charts, or any thing that may happen that is not perfection, and we are angry, we are let down, we are in dismay of how THEY a PHYSICIAN could miss something so critical! I have been through enough doctors over the past 8 years, and then gosh I cannot count on my fingers and toes the number over all of my life. I have had some that were just almost due for "Saint hood". I have seen some that I would not take a stray puppy to. Then I have had many in between. Much of what they do and do not do now, has nothing to do with them as doctors. Most of them would love nothing but to have just enough patients they can take great care of, make a living, not be hassled by insurance, liability insurances, and all of the bureacratic bull red tape that they go through. Most of them would prefer to spend a hour every time with a patient, going over all of their issues, symptoms, and making sure they do Listen and HEAR all. They wished they did not have to be called to do something else in the middle of our visit, or be late in seeing us by hours. But, all of that completely flies out the window, when it comes to the truth about physicians. They are overbooks, rushed, do not have time to look at charts, get to really KNOW their patients, and have time to look at what is really wrong before they walk in the room to see you. Hell, the other day, I had a "new" doctor walk in after being over an hour late, tell me he would "start" on my initial information, but he had a patient running late, and he would "work" us in together, going from room to room. He at least apologized for the situation, but even though he came in and spent a fair amount of time with me, he still honestly could not know enough about my illness, symptoms, and everything else wrong with me to try to even think about a diagnosis. He was able to make a few "guesses" and honestly he just about admitted that. He DID say if I would sign releases, let him get all of my records, and give him a couple of weeks to really go over all of those, then he may be able to come up with something that would make sense, and possibly find out what is wrong. So I admired the guy for admitting "hey" hell if I know after a few minutes, and trying to go by what I could tell him. Yet, even at that, he several times messed up and rather saying my "Lupus" etc... he said your MS, etc... so even though he was trying his best to "be in the room" with ME, he had his mind on other patients I know. I do not know if there is one doctor anymore that is truly able to "be" with a patient, physically, mentally, emotionally, and in all ways in a room during a visit now. They have their minds on 50 other patients, their nurses, staff, tests they have performed, patients in the hospitals, and lots of other things, like how far behind are they and how many are stacking up in the waiting room! It sucks, but the days of the doctors that make house calls, that really CARE and personally KNOW their patients, that do spend the necessary time on those that have lots of complications, do research on symptoms etc... that time is almost gone, and that type of doctor is so far and few between, and they are getting to be "dinosaurs", in other words, non-existent. Yet, many of the doctors get pissed if "you" say something you may have read online, in a news article, in a health magazine... they get all pissed off because you are "trying to do their job". Well, NO, you are trying to get well! I certainly DO NOT want their job! But, I would like to HELP THEM< HELP ME!!! If I can "shake up an idea" by saying something helpful, or helping to more describe a symptom, or tell about something that I did not think was relevant, yet I read something and maybe it is necessary information I am helping both of us. When a patient such as myself walks in, especially to a new doctor, and I list ALL of my illnesses, and surgeries, Lupus,RA, Sjogren's, DJD, DDD, 2 MI's, two TKR, a total shoulder replacement, hysterectomy, gallbladder out, a 4 level cervical neck surgery, a left wrist, elbow, and shoulder surgery, a pain pump internally, osteoporosis, migraines, high blood pressure, and the list goes on, along with a list just as long of medications, and my list of doctors are to where I cannot remember all of them... how can they not be overwhelmed? They walk into a room with a patient whose history is beyond what they ever thought it would be.. and here this patient is with these new symptoms, that are also very complicated, and could be something extremely serious, or may not be, but look at everything you must take into consideration! Just ONE of my current symptoms, DOUBLE VISION, in itself could be many things, and any one of those could be very serious. Now I have been to, let me think, 4 doctors, I have had every eye test, every blood test, even had a biopsy, and so far nothing shows to be "abnormal". Does that mean nothing is wrong? Does that mean that I don't have a tumor, or Myasthenia Gravis, or MS, or a TIA? Plus there could be several things going on with nerves and muscles of my eye. But, as of now, not any "test" has said so. I have issues with doctors going too much be "tests" They are great tools, but they are not always ACCURATE! They are meant to be TOOLS! They are not meant to be the one thing that absolutely diagnosis what is wrong. But, with doctors now days, if an MRI, CT, blood test, or any other scan, etc says NO, then they do NOT have time to try and just take that as a tool, and then put together everything else, and think, hey this patient does have "this, that or the other", even though some test may be negative, etc. But, if you "read", you know often times many of these tests are NOT accurate... often they are, but there are so many things that can throw them off, and so a diagnosis that might be accurate is put off, or missed, due to too much emphasis being placed on some blood work, or a scan. I know for a fact, that MRI's and CT's can be not accurate. I have had them on every joint before surgeries. I can tell you that on my shoulder, which is now replaced, and my knees, which are now replaced, that all of those scans, did NOT show the massive damage that was in them. The damage I had was "deeper" and hidden from what those scans could offer up. So, I spent 2 Years, In severe pain, just due to some scan saying it was not "looking" all that bad. It took me, griping, going back time after time, going through several doctors, and finally getting it through to one of them, after all the scans, and a nerve conduction study, and an EMG, finally he did the surgery, and we saw both my neck and my shoulder were both totally a mess, and the surgeries on both were totally necessary. But those scans in themselves, caused me to be in lots of pain, for a long time, before I could finally get it through to them, things were much worse than what any scan was showing. Often times they make you feel like you are "nuts", or stupid, or making it up, or a hypochondriac, or something, other than yes, you are right, and yes something is very wrong! Down below is more of the same discussion. I had put what is below on a FB group page, talking to one of the ladies there... thus more of what is just what we go through no matter who we are, unless we are some celebrity, with lots of money, and can have our own personal physician, we are going to be stuck with what we have here in society. My fear is, that it is only going to get worse. Our population grows, people live longer, diseases are getting worse, money and insurance is not as it was, and we do not have enough medical professionals to take care of us....

Oddly enough, before I read your post, I was just thinking the same thing almost. I would like to find ONE doctor, that would absolutely sit down, with ALL of my records, my tests, labs, surgeries, illnesses, & everything I have along, with a list of all medications, and everything I have been going through that is "new" over the past 12 weeks, plus the double vision, which began about 10 months ago, and have them TRULY LISTEN AND HEAR everything I have to say! But, try to get that done! Even your best doctor, on his or her best day really does NOT want to do that. They have hundreds of patients to see, they have a "set" time they schedule for patients (usually if you get a whole 15 minutes you are lucky), and they do not want to get "bogged" down too much with a complicated patient, who takes up more time and effort and research. That type of patient "such as myself" and many of us due to all of our health issues, are a "waste" of money for them. The insurance will only pay so much no matter how long the visit is, probably why they max most out at 15 minutes, and if we had to pay cash for an hour visit, it would cost us hundreds and hundreds of dollars, and yet they still probably would really not like to get that engrossed. I am not wanting to put the "great" doctors down out there, because they do exist, BUT all of them now get caught up in the "system"... of insurance crap, of time, of too many patients (especially if they are a very good doctor), of people that could be so complicated, things like "law suits" could be possible, because of all the of liability involved. I know that sounds harsh, and even though I have two doctors that are incredible, and I have a couple more that are very good, I can guarantee trying to get a whole hour of even my best doctors time would almost be impossible. I am fortunate enough to have a PCP who is young, he has a great deal of energy, he truly wants to HELP his patients, he WILL (when you have a "scheduled" appointment) LISTEN and I know he must sit down "after hours" and research cases like mine for instance. He knows so much about my case, about each problem of mine, he treats me for almost everything, even though lately he has began to pick up lots of new patients, thus he gets to where now he is sending even me out to "specialists" which is where I am getting screwed around! Honestly, the "specialists" for the most part are the ones that surely do NOT want to be hung up on some complicated patient, who has a million questions, and Lord forbid if you are one of those "internet" patients who actually researches your own illnesses etc!!! Many of them hate that kind of patient! They want to be able to "tell you" what to do, for you to just take their words and "do it", and not ask questions! That cause disruption and delay if you are educated about your conditions. I ran into that more than once, and when it all came down to the "diagnosis" once everything, including surgery on me was finished, he admitted what I said in the beginning was exactly what was wrong. I was shocked he even was able to tell me that. But, he argued with me, basically told me I was stupid, I was NOT a doctor, or a radiologist, and I needed to shut up and listen! After I finally expressed my discontent with his nurse, and him... He finally got the message. After that, He was never disrespectful again. I NEVER said I was a doctor or a specialist, or anything.. all I did was try and help with my own observations, and what I was feeling, my symptoms, and things I had read and studied about... so he had to admit I was "NOT" one of these internet patients, who saw something online and thought okay I have that. Sometimes even my own PCP who LOVES educated patients, is happy when I do come in, I do have an idea of what is going on, and if it makes sense to him, honestly it makes his job easier, since I can relay what I am feeling and seeing as a patient WITH the problem!
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