I’m so grumpy about this today. I’ve complained about my Gastroenterologist before, but here I go again!
Since my sister has moved to Raleigh, she switched her PCM and specialist doctor for her Crohn’s disease. My mom has been attending these doctor appointments with her since she has been put new medication and there’s a lot of other new things going on, and whatnot. My mom has since been talking to this doctor about my situation as well, and the care I’ve been receiving with my doctor, to which he responded negatively to. I honestly can’t say I’m surprised.
Apparently I’m not on the correct medication to manage my disease. Cool. I’m taking a sort of “chemo drug” that metabolizes in my liver and I have to have blood work done regularly to make sure my blood cell count stays stable.. and it’s not the right medication? It sounds to me like this doctor took my sisters treatment and just threw it at me since it seemed to be working well for her, regardless of the fact that we have two completely different sets of symptoms and issues going on inside us. WHO DOES THIS? How can a medical doctor, a gastroenterology specialist, care so little about the individual disease management of his patients? To just prescribe the same medication across the board, even though the complaints are totally different, just because we’re related? It blows my mind that people like this can legally make life-altering medical decisions for their patients. We look at doctors for their expertise, advice, and guidance and I’ve been screwed into settling for a mediocre treatment plan that isn’t doing anything to help me get my disease into remission – because I didn’t know better. My complaints have been brushed off like they hold no importance, and I’ve been disrespected and devalued by the office staff at this God-forsaken “medical office”.
I just switched over my primary care manager to a doctor closer to where I live now so I could get a referral to a different GI; it was quite an experience. I’ve never had to handle this on my own before, but I had a lot of help from my mom, thank God. She gave me a list of doctors from the tricare site that were listed as being providers for tricare prime. I had to call them all to make sure they were, because apparently the website isn’t updated. Several of the doctors had switched locations, they don’t take tricare, or the person who answered the phone was an asshole.
The way the staff of a medical office speaks to me over the phone when I have questions, or want to make an appointment is the deciding factor for whether or not I go to that doctor to begin with. The attitude of the person on the other line obviously has nothing to do with the doctor, but you deal with office staff more than the actual doctor, and no part of me wants to deal with shitty people when it comes to my health and care. Especially if they’re going to be responsible for answering my questions, helping me, managing my records and making sure things are together, organized, and taken care of. I get way too emotional over my care and how people treat me because it’s already a stressful thing to deal with, and I just need people to be nice. Or I will cry. And walk out. And then blog about you, leave mean voice mails, and bad health grade reviews. No one needs that.
My advice to anyone having to choose a new doctor, be wise. Do research. Read reviews. Call them, ask questions, and feel out their staff. And when it comes to managing your disease, be active in the related forums online. Do your research, and know your options and risks when it comes to your treatment. Look for second opinions before plaguing your body with unnecessary medications.