A Tall Order

If you’ve been around since the inception of my documentation of disaster, then you probably notice how often I come up with creative pet names for some of my doctors who were unfortunate enough to be tasked with my care.  You would also be lead to believe I hate doctors, because doctors suck.  Most doctors suck, and some I strongly dislike, but hate is reserved for only the douchiest of the douchstors.  There has only been one of those, and he’s fired.  Soon.

When you’re a chronic illness noob, it takes a while to figure out that going to the doctor doesn’t mean you’ll get better.  That’s how it’s supposed to work, but it isn’t chronic illness without chronicity.  It’s like getting a case of the flu that never fucking ends.  So, not only is your affliction incurable, but sometimes even amid regular follow-ups and good intentions, you get worse.  Now whose fucking fault is that?  You have to blame someone, right?  Doctors did it!  Evil doctors!  It seems logical enough when everything about your predicament defies logic.  You spend years bawling your eyes out after appointments because of the insensitive things emotionally stunted healthcare professionals have said to you.  You begin to resent them.  The anger and frustration builds, until like a tea kettle, you blow your fucking lid and lose your shit in front of the very person you were trying to prove your psychological fitness to.

Just think of all of the pain and suffering I could have avoided had I been cognizant of all of the bullshit one with a chronic disease endures.  I would have said, “Eh, it happens to everyone.  It’s not me, it’s them.  Whatever.”  It’s true.  It’s not me, and it is them, but the fault falls on the system and the training the doctors go through.  They are just doing what they were taught, which is to treat acute illness.  One of my Residents, Squeaky, told me a few of her collegues refuse to treat patients with chronic illness because we can’t be fixed.  There’s very little gratification.  We show up month after month, and complain of whatever the hell happens to be bugging us at the time.  And there’s also the assumption that we’re all insane.  I can say with confidence that at least 80% of my situational depression and anxiety was caused by those very same doctors.

It’s a really rough road to go down alone while constantly fighting with those who are supposed to be seeing to your wellbeing.  My advice is to find a doctor who is fascinated by the complexities of your illness, not irritated by them.  This doctor should be willing to bulldog for you when needed.  When a doctor is willing to take 5 minutes to make a phone call to tell another doctor to quit being a fuckface, it’ll save you two weeks of getting the run around and spare you the very real possibility of going postal.  He will also compliment your Jimi Hendrix t-shirt and note your excellent taste in music.  Who’s in charge of your healthcare team?  You are.  You’re Jean-Luc Picard, and awesome-doc is #1.  Did I just go Star Trek?  I did.  Yuuuup.

162834_slide

Different era, same old Khan.

The point here is twofold.  I don’t hate doctors.  I’m immensely frustrated by them at times, as I’m sure they are by me.  Second; don’t hate the player.  Hate the game.  The medical model needs some serious work.  Like, burn the house down, bulldoze the foundation, nuke the land it once stood on, fill it in with marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers, and then begin again from scratch while enjoying some radioactive s’mores.  The need to treat illness BEFORE it becomes disease is paramount.  I’m not talking about overmedicating the walking sick with pharmaceuticals.  I mean the illnesses should be treated naturally with whole ingredients that work synergistically with the immune system and body.  This will lead to a huge reduction in overall medical costs, happier healthcare providers, and healthier patients.  How can this be accomplished?  Talk to any doctor who practices functional and integrative medicine.  They can tell you, because I haven’t the foggiest, beyond taking the power away from big pharma.  Minds need to be pried open with the jaws of life.

What do you think?  What changes would you like to see?

11 thoughts on “A Tall Order

  1. “Good intentions” like you said are usually what I try to focus on after any disappointing or frustrating doctors trip. I find that it takes a lot of patient knowledge and not the doctors medical knowledge that helps integrate lifestyle remedies and/or non pharmaceutical approaches. That in itself is insanely backwards. If doctors in general were more informed on all treatment options and not just the ones the drug reps promote, I think patients wouldn’t feel so isolated and at the very least, we’d loathe the medical system a little less.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with that completely, or at least a willingness to listen to the patients who have way more time to research their conditions would be a good start. I pull stuff straight from the NIH library and NJM/BJM that I think might have relevance, and I get nope’d by them when I share it.

      I used to take branched chain aminos since I have a difficult time digesting proteins, and it really made a difference with my energy. I was told to stop taking it because my liver enzymes just happened to be elevated at the time along with an acute kidney injury, so they blamed the supplement. I looked at the guy like he was nuts…there’s no way, but “since it’s not regulated by the FDA, it’s not safe.” Give me a freakin’ break.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh I totally know what you mean. God forbid you claim that a prescription medication is giving horrid side effects, but any new health complications are blamed on any sort of supplement or natural treatment that you’re taking ‘against doctors orders’.

        Like

    • Oh, yes! The Unicorn of doctors. When I was younger, our family doctor/internist took care of everything. My parents didn’t start seeing specialists until they were in their late 50’s. I would LOVE that. As my husband says, “too many specialists, too few good doctors”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Seems like some medical minds are just stuck in one way of thinking & that’s what they learnt is all they need to know, & close off to new ideas.
    I met one specialist who was renowned for discovering a new bowel infectious disease, so you would think he would be quite open to things, but nope said I had ibs, did tests then agreed adhesions & discharged me with the “I can’t do anything for you” mantra.
    I count myself incredably lucky that my doctor I see regularly helps (to the extent she can) with anything I think will help, she will ask the toxicology depts if there would be interactions with the normal meds I’m on. Some just seem to think their education in medicine finished when they qualified.

    Liked by 2 people

    • My primary care doctor is wonderful, and goes above and beyond. He waited around after hours while I had some labs rechecked and didn’t leave the hospital until I was checked into the ER and my inpatient transfer was complete. 9pm on a Friday, and he was still there. Poor guy.

      I know a lot of them do genuinely care about their patients, but they’re stretched so thin in order to meet insurance/hospital quotas, they can’t perform the way that’s best for themselves or their patients. I do feel bad for them, even if I rage on them. I’m sure some would like to see a healthcare overhaul just as much as us!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. There’s only room for one boss in a relationship, and the patient should be the boss. I want to be the boss. I want to be in control. Right now, doctors, insurance companies, and the government are in control.

    I’m basically paying a professional for access to regulated drugs, because I can get all the medical advice I want for free on the internet. Sure, it’s hard to trust information on the internet, even from reputable sources. But for me, it’s just as hard to trust people face-to-face. I’ve had my share of doctors who were nice and supportive of me in person, only to find the notes made in my file told a different story.

    Just like with reproductive rights, for the treatment of chronic pain: My body. My pain. My choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right on!

      They tell you you’re entitled to a second opinion (or third, fourth, fifth…), but then you get labeled as a doctor shopper which I guess is a bad thing?

      Are we as patients not consumers? We’re paying for a product or a service. If I don’t like the fries at a certain restaurant and decide to go to a different one, a record of all of the restaurants I’ve been to isn’t handed over to the new restaurant, and I’m not asked to explain what I didn’t like about the fries, and it doesn’t have an effect of the quality of the fries I order from the new restaurant. People are encouraged to ‘shop around’ to find the best deals, yet when it comes to healthcare, it’s treachery.

      Healthcare is a bit different, yet the stakes are much much higher for the patient making it an important option to have without being penalized.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Great french fry analogy. My favorite kind. 🙂

        Some pain patients don’t want to consider themselves healthcare consumers, as if that’s a bad thing. If you believe that healthcare is a right, then consumerism is a sign that our health is just another commodity on the stock exchange. Duh, that’s already happened.

        Seems to me that for patients to have more rights, we have to become consumers. Unfortunately, the DEA, medical industry, and many others don’t want that to happen. Also unfortunately, when I compare patient rights in countries with national healthcare systems to ours here in the U.S., I’m not sure I see any difference. Seems like all of us are screwed by something or another, all involving money, of course, with discrimination thrown in as an after-thought.

        “Doctor shopping” is the medical industry’s term for drug seeking. Of course, doctors don’t consider themselves drug dealers, but if patients are drug seeking, then where do they go? To their dealers. (I mean, doctors.) Doctors and pharmacies, all regulated by the government, which makes them safer (usually), but more expensive than the underground market.

        When it comes to cannabis, the underground market is as good as the legal one. Even after all the regulations are put in place, for which pesticides can be used, etc., I don’t think the underground market for cannabis will ever look as bad as the one for opioids (heroin) or stimulants (meth). That’s some messed up shit right there.

        And when the government and Big Pharma create more cannabis products, they won’t be as good or as varied as what’s available in the current markets, both legal and underground. Sometimes I’m not sure which is worse, private corporations or government corporations… now one and the same, all after every last penny in our pockets. Please don’t tell anyone that I still have some dust in my pockets… one day it might be worth something. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • I wonder, are there any regulations that prevent people affiliated with pharmaceutical companies to serve as government officials? It’s a huge conflict of interest for those being governed, and somehow, even without researching I assume the answer is no. Mansanto had ties to the Dept of Justice, Dept of Defense, Dept of Agriculture, and donates significant sums of money to members of congress during elections so they can keep on poisoning food, water, and earth’s inhabitants.

          If drug companies spent just as much money on actual, beneficial medical research as they do on lobbying, I imagine we could wipe out diseases. But where’s the money in that? Shit makes me sick. I need my own planet. No douchebags invited! Or I need to stop reading the news and rejoin the herd of lemmings peacefully walking off of a cliff.

          Liked by 1 person

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