Monday, July 10, 2006

Cutting through red tape

I'd like to say my doctor appointments have been going along swimmingly, but that just is not even close to the truth. Although I'm certainly not having as many 'double talk' moments as Susie has, I've definitely had my share. It's getting very exhausting.

My old OB-Gyn retired about a year ago, so before I decided to go and get all knocked up, I went to this new office, early February of this year. I told them THEN and THERE of this lower abdominal pain I'd been having, and the PA-C insisted it was ovarian cysts. Okay.

I've seen two other 'professionals' in this office since then. The doctor (or, CC, completely clueless) and the midwife (she's okay, but let's just call her Man Hands). I have not seen the PA-C ever since, and she was the only one I really even felt comfortable with.

I saw the doctor (or CC) in late April and I mentioned the pain again to HER and she suggested it was irritable bowel syndrome. Right.

When I had my ultrasound and got to see the piggies of little Missy, they also found an irregular spot. They called to tell me this last Thursday. The Medical Assistant assigned to the task of calling me said it could be 'nothing' or 'something' but they want a 6 week checkup to make sure. I then reminded her of the lower abdomen pain, and that it had been hurting a lot that day. Her words were, "Oh! If you are having pain then you should probably see the doctor sooner." She set up a 'sooner' appointment for this past Friday. Okay. And please note she said see the DOCTOR. That will come into play later on. I hang up the phone.

And thus begins the freaking out.

I called LP and he suggested I call my insurance's 'helpline' for reassurance. I did. I got an 'advocate' who offered to call the office and explain the results to me. Big. Mistake.

Mind you, this woman had my best interests at heart, she did, but completely went about it the WRONG way. And I really got no good results out of it, other than being labeled "DIFFICULT" on my medical record I am sure. This woman conferenced me in with the medical assistant (poor girl) and more or less started a shouting match with her. She insisted I see the doctor THAT DAY (which would have been good) but the MA was having none of it. She finally got CC (my doctor) on the line. CC assured me and crazy lady that the 'mass' was probably benign and was not that concerned about it. I told her of the pain, and she said,(after I hear her obviously going through my chart) "You've had that for awhile, and we said it could be irritable bowel syndrome. I will give you a prescription for a stool softener."

Okay, y'all know I'm lactose intolerant right? So stool softener? Not such a great idea.

Then she said perhaps I had a urinary tract infection. I said, "For 6 months you think I've had a UTI? Plus, uh, I was JUST THERE and everything was CLEAN."

"Well, the best I can do is you can come in and give me a urine sample and we can test it today."

Read: "I will not see you today but you can waste YOUR TIME by coming in and repeating the same test you had done two days ago if you think that will shut this crazy lady up."

After we hung up with the office, the advocate woman suggested I find another doctor. Thanks.

So this past Friday I go to my doctor's office. I wait IN THE ROOM for over and hour and fifteen minutes. Just as I'm about to walk out, Man hands walks in. Yep, no doctor. She says, "We are here to discuss your ultrasound?" I looked at her blankly. "Well, I was having pain like I have been before and they said to come in sooner..."

"Oh, I have on your chart that we are just discussing the results of your ultrasound."

"But see, this pain, it's been intermittently getting worse."

"Are you having the pain right now?"


"Well, I can't very well evaluate it if you are not having the pain right now."

"But I was having the pain last week when the office called and suggested I come in earlier because I WAS HAVING THE PAIN."

"Well, let's go over the ultrasound results."

"So you're telling me the pain has nothing to do with the mass they found? The first person I came in here said it was ovarian cysts. Is that not true now?"


"Okay, then what could be causing this?"

"Well let's talk about the ultrasound results. You can just take Tylenol for the pain."

Oh my gosh I wanted to bang my head against the wall. I told her I wanted to know what the problem was, not to just take Tylenol and cover the pain. I insisted on a followup and she finally ordered another ultrasound. Then she proceeded to tell me she hoped I didn't think she was brushing off my pain, that was not her intention.


I've already started the search for a new doctor.


On a much lighter note, a friend of mine related this story to me the other day:

They were driving home from somewhere and a discussion came up about my pregnancy. Her 11-year-old daughter, a recent graduate of the Catholic school's sex education class which most likely scared them witless into avoiding sex like the Plague, was commenting on what a nice surprise it was, and how there had been several other nice 'surprises' lately. (a few of our older friends have had babies recently...more 'whoops' than planned!)

My friend replied, "Yes, there have been a lot of surpises lately."

Daughter: "Yeah, but mom what did they..."

F: "Yes?"

D: "I mean, it's nice but how did the surprise..."

F: "They had SEX, dear."

D: "OH MY GOSH I am going to get SICK. Are you serious? GROSS! EW! YUCK!!!!!!!!!"

I am not going to be able to look that child in the eyes for a long time.


Circus Kelli said...

The story about the doctor and the pain and how they're not listening -- that's not funny at all. I hope you're able to get some answers on all of that very soon.

The story about the 11-year old, though? VERY FUNNY. :)

Michelle said...

Get a new doctor. That runaround is the last stress a pregnant woman or any person needs to deal with. I know a GREAT OB/GYN here in Massachusetts. She even delivers all her own babies!

Susie said...

Oh, my heart aches for you. I hope you soon know everything there is to know about what's going on, and are reassured. Like you, I've been told to take meds for pain that has no diagnosis, and I'm not willing to do that. I don't know what's wrong with you at all, but your story reminds me of another, so I will tell you this. My niece had an ovarian cyst during her pregnancy, that had to be removed, and the pregnancy still proceeded, normally, healthily. I certainly hope you don't have to deal with any such thing, but if it comes to that, I do have personal knowledge of someone who did it, with all happy results. Let us know what happens.

Lazy Lightning said...

Wow, yes, new doctor now.

I've had far too many experiences of this type with doctors. Where you get to the point with whatever your problem is that it doesn't fit in to their diagnosis, so they just start giving you meds or telling you B.S. to shut you up. Not cool.

J Bo said...

Yes, get a new doc, quick. I am so sorry you have to go through this- like the pains of having another baby isn't enough!!