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Saturday, December 7, 2013

And, the doctor said, " ....

On November 21st, I had a D and C and was told to make an appointment in two weeks. So, this past Thursday, I was set for my appointment. The doctor's office called and told me that the biopsy was fine, no cancer, no polyps, and I did not have to come in. I assured her I needed to talk to the doctor. The woman stilled tried to talk me out of coming in even though I repeatedly told her I did need to see him, that something was wrong. We went back and forth. Finally, she sounded resigned and agreed.

When I saw the doctor, I told him I had never had enough "pain" to take the oxycodone he gave me. However, the tender feeling that I felt right after surgery was still there, just as strong as the day I left the surgery center. If I pick up five pounds or walk up the five steps to my side door, I feel my uterus.

He seemed to be surprised at the lack of pain and said many women have such hard cramps that they do require medication for pain. I kept reiterating that there was something wrong. He kept assuring me I was okay. I told him I had a bit of an elevated temperature. Of course, it was less than one degree.

After I assured him at least a half dozen times that something was wrong, he said I had a low-grade infection and I needed an antibiotic. I mentioned I also had a sinus infection again, so he gave me Levaquin and said it would take care of both infections.

If I had not insisted, I wonder what kind of infection would have landed me in the hospital. He is a very good physician, and I trust him. Why do I have to insist that there is something wrong to get physicians to take action? I go to doctors because each has a sterling reputation, but it seems I must not be credible. I feel like I am not expressing myself effectively. Can you imagine that?--me not expressing myself effectively.

NOW, I am suffering from pains in left calf, both arms, right foot, right groin and all sorts of places, just like I did the last time I took Levaquin last month.

I feel like I am getting superior care and will not change doctors. I know him, was the patient of his father, now retired. His father was not "knife happy," removing uteruses like some doctors in this town did for so many years. One obgyn in this town treated all women the same. Each one was recommended the same treatment if anything was problematic--complete hysterectomy. His office was one block from me. I have to drive a ways to get to this superior doctor I have now. People thought I was nuts to drive out of town to my obgyn.

I like that known history of attitudes about women. I like that he has all my records and remembers me and things I have said.  I hate it when a doctor does not remember things I say. There is no expectation that he can recite my comments, but not ever recalling anything I ever said makes me think the doctor is not listening.

He is not as funny as his father, but I have resigned myself to that.

Your turn
Do you take into account a obgyn's attitude toward women when you choose or stay with a doctor? Would you choose a doctor who had the reputation of eventually performing complete hysterectomies on all patients? Have you had a D and C and felt two weeks later that it was performed that day?


17 comments:

  1. Hi Linda...I know what you mean about doctors treating all women the same. Many years ago a ob=gyn I saw seemed to do a d and c on every patient. I imagine it was a very lucrative business. You know your body best and they should trust you when you tell them something is out of balance. Of course it is not as if you have a severed limb, they must do some detective work. No money in that?

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    1. Carol,
      Thankfully, I never went to that doctor who did the hysterectomy! I looked at a record somewhere of costs of my surgery. The physician's fee was $800. I do trust this doctor not to do it for the money.

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  2. Sorry you are having a rough time. Look up the side effects of Levequin: neither DD nor I can take it again, as both of us almost had ruptured Acquilles tendon's as a result of taking that drug!

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    1. CTMom,
      I read about that problem. Once again, I am having pains in different places. If I make it to Monday, I may call him for a different med.

      Delete
  3. I've had two D&Cs, both many years ago. I had very little pain afterwards and was fine within a few days. I would not want to see a doctor who treated all patients the same way. When I lived in Maryland, I know my obgyn didn't remember me until The Hurricane started attending the same high school as the obgyn's son. Then he recognized my name and treated me as if I were an actual person. Before that, I was just another hmmmhmmmm in the crowd.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Janie,
      At least I was smart enough not to go to that one many years ago, sticking with mine and now his son. I have a urologist that I was friends with and THEN went to him. I got treated well from the beginning. It's nice to be treated as a person!

      Delete
  4. "Can you imagine that?--me not expressing myself effectively."

    I have all of the same frustrations you do. Years ago, I got so tired of doctors asking me for the very information that I had JUST provided, that I started taking them letters I had written to them because I figured that if they couldn't listen, they could read, but, nope, most of them don't read either. I hate doctors to the point that I wonder why mass murderers don't show up at medical conventions. They price gouge their patients even while acting as if they're doing them a favor by treating them at all. Etc. I shouldn't get wound up. Anyway, something I do is to take someone with me to the doctor to think of questions and remember what was said. I also leave my anger at them at the door because I'll be damned if I'm going to pay them $30 a minute to hear what fuck-ups they are.

    Peggy thinks that she's treated worse by doctors because she's a woman. I don't know if this is true. I just know that, given what assholes they are, I figure I'm treated about as well as can be expected.

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    1. Snowbrush,
      Peggy is right. Thirty-five-years later, I am still telling doctors all my symptoms that they finally say is my gall bladder. Before, they just listened and passed it off as hypochondria or something.

      They ask me about my children, ask where they live, see that I am single and anxious. They just assume I am lonely and need attention. The doctor is making me anxious. handed a nurse a sheet of paper with all orthopedic problems and upcoming surgeries and all sorts of information that a doctor usually asks. She said, "Oh, I only need this," wrote allergies, and handed it back. The doctor came in, talked harsh, and told me to walk a half mile every day. I never went back. That was last year, and now I feel I get good treatment from the doctors I have now.

      I just have no one to take unless I am going under anesthesia. Exbf went one time, said not a word the whole time, but did remember what was said. He never, ever has complained about a doctor he has gone to because he just trusts them all.

      Trust Peggy, She is right about how some doctors treat women.

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    2. BTW, Peggy is a hospital RN who deals with doctors all the time, and she still thinks she's less likely to be taken seriously than I REGARDLESS of the doctor's gender. I remember when it was thought that women doctors would humanize medicine, and if that were true in my experience, I wouldn't even go to a man doctor, but I've found them no better, and Peggy hasn't either. However, the way nurses are treated by doctors IS better, by far. She thinks it's because the old sexists have died out and that the younger doctors have a different attitude toward gender. Yet, she doesn't think this fairness extends to their treatment of women patients. In the old days, whatever her complaint, they just wanted to put her on tranquilizers.

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    3. Snowbrush,
      I remembered she was an RN, but did not know where she worked. I have a male friend who will only go to women doctors. He does not like the men doctors, saying the women doctors hear him out when he has a complaint.

      I think she is right about the older sexist doctors being replaced by a more thoughtful generation.

      At all times I am in much pain. Pain meds in the form of antidepressants is the answer all doctors give me. Okay, not all doctors. I want to treat conditions, not symptoms...if that makes sense.

      An educational research showed that little boys get more attention and more positive than little girls. The teachers were stunned because they were young enough to know the problems girls can have when they are made secondary to boys. So, the problem of males getting attention starts early in education.

      Maybe in medicine and education, both jobs filled with educated people who should know better, true equality has not been reached.

      The only woman who performed a pap smear on me left the instrument in me, pinching me, and left the room with the door open as she went down the hall for something. She was a nurse at the Health Dept where the pap smear was free. I decided right then that I would find a way to pay for a pap smear before I would have a female nurse again. Of course, I know it is unfair to avoid all women, but that experience was traumatizing.

      At leas with Peggy with you, she can have the knowledge and you have the penis, the one instrument you have that can get you treated with respect. So, you should take it to Peggy's doctor appointments so she will get respect. I am not kidding.

      How are you? I have to check your blog to see if you are okay.

      Delete
  5. Most of the doctors I have seen just don't listen. And I agree with Snow's Peggy. I had been telling my neurologist about pain for a loooong time. He dismissed it - each and every time. My partner came with me to a consultation, and agreed with me on the pain front, mentioning that I regularly woke him up shrieking. Pain medication prescribed immediately.
    And I am in the process of changing doctors - but it will mean a drive of over 200 kilometres to see them. Not good.
    I hope the antibiotics help, and that there less desirable other effects are short lived.

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    1. EC,
      The doctors just think you want pain meds. it is a shame you had to take a penis with you before they could hear you! WOW, that 's a long drive. I now feel bloated, so I hope the antibiotics help, also. Keeping fingers crossed against these horrendous pains in other parts of my body. Thanks.

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  6. So sorry. I have never had a d&c, but I have been sick for years while the doctors told me I was fine. It was horrible.
    I also ruptured an achilles tendon as a result of levaquin use, so you need to do some research on that...maybe try a different antibiotic if you can. This kind of side effect is fairly common with that med.
    I hope and pray you can find a doctor who can help you.

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    1. patti,
      I mentioned the problem to him, and he said it was very strong, what I needed. How did they fix the tendon? Are you okay now, tendonwise? I am still happy with this doctor since I suppose he did not give me a uterine infection looking for cancer.

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  7. It's taken me a long time, but I *think* I've finally put together a band of doctors I like, trust, and respect.

    I recently left my primary care physician of 6 years (when I moved here) because of the distance to get there & how "pill happy" they all seemed. I also found a new gyno (also recommended by another friend).. a woman, late to early 40s, very chatty & intelligent. I absolutely love my dentist. I even pay a little extra since he's out-of-network, but him and his entire staff are incredible.. personable (even friends on Facebook!), intelligent, and gentle. They recently helped me find a (what I hope will be great) periodontist for some work I have to have done thanks to grinding :-/ So far her personality & gentle approach have won me over. And my psychologist (no shame here, I lost my Mom and got divorced in one year's time) is absolutely incredible. If she wasn't my doctor, I'd want her as a friend in everyday life. My podiatrist (prior foot surgeries) isn't as outstanding as the last four, but he does his job well and is nice. Good enough for the issues I visit him for. Lastly, I'm on the hunt for a kickass cardiologist (family history). I visited my Mom's this past summer and although he wasn't BAD, I just didn't connect.

    Wow.. I listed a lot of doctors lol. It's funny, because many of my friends don't even have a primary care physician or see the dentist, and here I have arsenal of skilled doctors at my disposal at the tender age of 26. I don't visit many of them very often (sometimes just 1x/year), but I like to have them in the wings if I have concerns.

    A big obstacle I face is my size. I am VERY petite. Albeit naturally, but it concerns doctors. Luckily I inherited my Mom's strong personality so I'm learning to be more confident when doctors argue with me.

    I NEED doctors who stay informed/up-to-date on current studies and trends, GOOD bedside manner (I'm chatty, I want someone to talk things out with me), & implements a whole-body approach when practicing medicine. I'll take medicine as needed, but prefer to start with a more natural approach. And most importantly, doctors who truly listen. I understand physicians have the education & experience, but I know my body better than anyone and will treat myself as I see fit.

    P.S. On a different note, I posted a new blog entry I'd love to hear your thoughts on. It relates to an email exchange we had recently.

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  8. Hi tlc,
    I do understand wanting to talk things over. okay, I suppose I am chatty, too. At 53 I had my first surgery, just a torn meniscus repair. Until then, I just went to urologist infrequently and gyno yearly, plus a family doctor infrequently. All this doctor stuff is unusual for me, but at 67 and considering nothing has been serious, I suppose having more doctors is not unusual. I will go to your blog. Thanks for telling me where it is...again.

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