Friday, September 4, 2009

Burning Bridges

Burning Bridges….?

Well yesterday was a very interesting day to say the least.

I did something I have never done before and never in a million years thought I would actually do.

In the middle of a Doctor’s appointment I walked out. I stood up interrupting my Doctor’s toddler like tirade, told him I did not appreciate him talking and acting that way towards me, and left.

Yep, you read that right. The above is not a typo.

And to make it even worse I left my poor mother behind sitting there in the office. (to be fair to me though I thought she would follow, you will see in a minute why she did not)

I know what you are thinking right now… Oh no she didn’t !!!!!!

Oh yes I did.

Here is what happened.

I went to see the Neurologist that I have seen numerous times in the past (technically I am still his patient) and he is actually the one that diagnosed me with Intracranial Hypertension. Throughout the past nine plus months he has said numerous times that he in not an expert when it comes to Intracranial Hypertension and has limited knowledge on it. Okay fair enough. He was also thrilled when I found Dr. Williams (the Dr. in Baltimore)

You keeping up so far?…Good let’s keep going

Well….Since my shunt is no longer, and that is what controlled the spinal fluid, and the spinal fluid is what causes the horrible head pain…well bingo…the horrible, gorilla type searing head pain is back. This is not good. I am having, at times, uncontrollable headache/migraines. Because I am still dealing with the Meningitis and on I.V. antibiotics, I have to wait until that infection is cleared before I can have another shunt placed. It probably will be mid to late October before that happens for various reasons.

Being that Dr. Williams is in Baltimore he felt it would be best if someone locally to me dealt with and controlled the pain aspect of things. Seems logical right? Ummm apparently wrong, wrong, wrong.

No Doctor wants to have anything to do with the level of pain management care that I need and let’s just say that my Neurologist here (NC) was not thrilled with being told I needed pain management care done locally. Hmmm, truth be told he just really did not like being told anything by another Doctor and that’s why this whole ugly matter of me walking out of his office with him in mid sentence happened.

The office visit started out “normal” enough. I met with his P.A. and went over what had recently gone on with me and blah, blah, blah. Like always she went to confer with said Neurologist and Mom and I waited.

He walked in after I had talked with his P.A and shit hit the fan, so to speak from the get go. He felt “Put Down” and did not appreciate some “Baltimore Doctor” telling him how to treat a patient and that “Doctor did not even have the courtesy to call him to confer or anything!!!” He was “Not going to prescribe ------ medication just because some other Doctor said so” and on and on. It was like a four year old having a tantrum. The breaking point for me was when wonder boy jerk Doctor said that “those Doctors in Baltimore are treating me like and Intern” and that he had “already done his internship”

It was like the man had slapped me at that point. I was done. I stood up, tears running down my face, voice shaking and told him “I don’t appreciate you talking to me that way, you have no right”

Whew……got all that.

Needless to say after walking out of there I was a complete mess crying and shaking.

So let’s all take a minute and breathe and assess the situation…

Basically my jerky Neurologist (that’s what we will call him, I won’t name names) felt put down by Dr. Williams. He did not like being told what to do and he felt like he was being treated like a student/intern. I think he felt like Dr. Williams was treating him like a “seconded” class Neurologist without ever once speaking to him.

Well fine and dandy but as a professional he should have dealt with his feelings of anger and frustration before he ever walked into the exam room where I was. He had no right to act like he did towards me, let alone talk to me the way he did. There is no excuse for that. Doctors are not Gods. Plain and simple. I think they sometimes forget that they are working and doing a service for us. Now, don’t get me wrong I am very, very thankful for all the wonderful Doctors that are out there. Without them I would be in a heap of trouble. But some like him need to be taken down a notch or two.

Ok… Now my little four year old tantrum is over now.

So you’re probably wondering what my Mom did when I left her sitting there. Like I said before I really thought she was going to follow me.

After I left she voiced all the frustrations I had but just didn’t have the energy to say.

She calmly and assertively reminded him that I was still his patient and what was I suppose to do from here? How was I suppose to handle the pain aspect of things and mange until my next shunt surgery if everyone (Doctors) continually wanted to treat me like a ping pong ball and never truly take action and responsibility towards the problem?

From the start of this whole mess it has been a battle of Doctor vs. Doctor and Neurosurgeon vs. Neurologist. Huh? You say… Well… The Neurologist says that all my issues need to be handled as a surgical problem and then the Neurosurgeon says that they need to be handled as a Neurological problem. Frankly I don’t give a damm and just want someone to handle them.

Anyway, back to the battle of the Neurologist and Mom

He hemmed, he hawed, and he continued to be a jerk.

Mom held her ground. She said over and over to him “What is she suppose to do?”

She never raised her voice, she never got ugly.

She told him that we had not left his practice because we did not like him or thought he was a bad Doctor, we simply sought additional resources because he had even said that as far as the Intracranial Hypertension aspect of things he was just at a loss of what to do.

This is when he calmed down. I think he finally remembered that he had said that.

He apologized.

Good for him…..

He apologized for acting that way to me. He said that he just was a little floored that the Doctors in Baltimore would just send me back into him without calling him, sending records, notes, ect…. and just expect him to do “whatever” without some form of consultation.

In all fairness, yes I can be fair; I can see his point on that.

However and a big, huge, gigantic however is the fact of how he handled the situation. It was uncalled for, unprofessional, and in my eyes unforgiving.

He had his panties in a bunch over his pride. He felt put “off” by another Doctor. Simply put…..he handled the given situation before him poorly.

So, did we walk away with any pain management care…..nope.

But what did happen might surprise you, heck it even surprised me.

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