Wednesday, September 04, 2013
I am SO FREAKIN' frustrated and angry right now. Seriously, pop a vein, angry. So, here's the background.
I forget the exact timing, but sometime around the year 2000 I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism. Luckily we found it and started treating it because I was married in 1999 and we wanted children and this was interfering with my ability to do so. It still took us another two years to get there, but despite the hypothyroidism I have three gorgeous and healthy children because I received proper health care from a doctor I trusted.
Recently I had to give up that doctor due to insurance changes. I picked a doctor who's name I knew from when I worked at the hospital. He was pretty old then so I was fully prepared to find that he had turned a lot of the care over to partners and/or PAs (Physician's Assistants). I made my appointment, got there early, filled out all my paper work, including a form about which medications I was currently on. I filled in the correct information, and I know it was correct because I brought my one and only pill bottle with me.
I had to wait too long, but nothing new there. I was seen by a male PA and we had quite the lovely chat where I laid out my concerns (namely the thyroid meds I needed refilled) and he laid out his (namely I need to lose weight and get in better shape). I left him with my meds info and he said he'd call it in.
He called later to say he wanted to wait until the labs were done to call in the meds. I was a little concerned because I was quite low, but agreed. Instead of the four days he thought it would take (what world does he live in where labs come back in four days? Not So Cal in any case.), it took from Thursday to the very next Thursday. I was really needing meds by now, not that going a day or two without is REALLY bad, but it isn't really good. He called, left a message and listed two meds he wanted me to take, one a statin, the other an antibiotic for a UTI I didn't know I had (completely asymptomatic as far as I could tell). I called back to say "no way Jose" to the statin until he gave me MINIMUM two to three months to try kicking things into gear using a MUCH improved diet (because it has been HORRIBLE) and exercise and to remind him he forgot my thyroid meds. I called a second time on Thursday. I called Friday morning making it clear it was VITAL he call me. I called again on Friday evening and left a scathing message. Saturday, Sunday and Monday the office was closed. I called again today and FINALLY got a call back. I got the numbers and found that my triglycerides are elevated, but not in the danger zone, only a few points above the high end of acceptable. He wants me to take a med that could a) destroy my liver or b) cause diabetes WITHOUT trying diet and exercise first. ALARMS BELLS started going off when I didn't get a call by Friday morning, when I talked to him today the alarm bells threatened to deafen me, but I still had the problem of the thyroid meds, so I focused on that.
It took three times asking for him to give me the NUMBERS for my thyroid. He wanted me to accept "within range" as an answer, that isn't good enough for me. I need the numbers. We finally got to where he would call in the meds and for the SAME dose I was currently taking.
Fast forward to this evening. I run by the pharmacy and pick up the thyroid plus a vitamin D supplement he wants me to take. Wow, this guy REALLY likes prescribing meds. The pharmacist comes to the window and points out that the PA had ordered a HALF dosage of what I take. I take TWO of the dosage per day, he ordered ONE.
I am FURIOUS. This person, who is in charge of my health is a TOTAL and COMPLETE MORON!!!!! I swear. I don't know HOW he possibly got through the course work to become a PA. Cracker Jacks anyone? The REALLY sad part is, the REALLY sad part, is that I LIKED this guy while we were in office and talking. I thought I would be satisfied with my decision and that I was done Doctor hopping. I WANTED to keep going to this office when I finished the initial visit. Now, I can't trust him. I can't trust him to do ONE thing right for my health. I can't trust him to listen to my input. I can't trust him to do the right thing and organize his time to benefit his clients. I have a bottle of statins in my cupboard I have NO intention of taking for AT LEAST four months, probably not for a year if ever. If my next labs show that the levels have come down AT ALL I'm still not taking them. If they go up I'm demanding more tests first. I'd rather know the root cause. Maybe it is how I eat, maybe it is something else.
Looking at symptoms of different things all these things are connected. I'm vitamin D deficient. High cholesterol is related to Vitamin D deficiency, so is depression. So GEE DOC, THINK MAYBE WE CAN START THERE? I have no intention of taking the statin he wants me to take until I try my way first and because my levels aren't "that high" I think a really good doctor (or PA as the case may be) would listen to those concerns, maybe run a test or two first to see if there is some underlying cause that needs to be addressed, but it's probably just because I'm REALLY overweight.
So now, I get to call his office, AGAIN and yell at some poor staff member AGAIN and hope he actually calls back AGAIN. At least the pharmacy gave me 5 days emergency supply from my previous prescription. So I have 5 days to get him to do the right thing and fix his error, AGAIN.
Then, I file a complaint against him with the state board and start jumping through the hoops to be seen by someone else.
The take away is that your health is important, value it and don't trust a doctor that doesn't put as much value on your health as you do. A GOOD doctor will LISTEN, take notes and tell you his view point but also consider yours. Also, SO many health related things are interconnected. Hypothyroidism carries certain symptoms that could also be Vitamin D deficiency. If you are Vitamin D deficient you might have higher cholesterol levels or feel depressed, or feel muscle weakness that makes you not want to work out. Don't let a doctor tell you your levels are this or that, get the actual numbers and check on line for comparisons. Find out what the NUMBERS mean, not "high", "low" or "in range". Something can come back elevated and still be so close to normal you have to take that into consideration. Especially with hypothyroidism, ranges can be "normal", but if you don't feel "right" it doesn't mean a darn thing. The "normal range" is so broad you could feel good at the high end of the range or you might need to be at the low end of the range before you experience symptom relief. Don't let the doctor say "you are within range" and leave it at that.
Now, for that past four days I've been doing my homework. I've looked up the foods best for lowering triglycerides. I've evaluated my diet with an eagle eye and found it SERIOUSLY lacking. I've been looking up recipes for NUTRIENT rich soups that will pack a punch without a lot of sugar (like NO sugar except what is naturally found in whole foods or dairy products (1% milk or Greek yogurt, no sour cream, no heavy cream, no cream cheese). Soups that include lean proteins and especially fiber. Protein and fiber coupled with natural carbs from fruit or whole grains are my new best friends. Highly processed foods are limited. Soda isn't off the menu, but extremely limited. Yes, today I took two sips of my hubs' soda. Two sips. Enough to satisfy my "thirst" (not thirst, craving, hence the "" ). No more soda with dinner, no more when I need some thing to "get me through the day", no more 20 ounce bottles guzzled in 15 minutes. Time to get SERIOUS about this and do what I need to do to make this fool look even more foolish. Revenge is a GREAT motivator.