Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Rat's Ass

Why is it so hard to find a doctor who gives a rat ass about you?

I went to go see the neurologist, the one who prescribed the Amerge Nightmare for me. I had decided to give her one more chance, which was a huge mistake.

The first thing that tipped me off that this wasn’t going to go well was when she came into the examination room without my chart. She asked me why I was there. I explained the history about my migraines again, repeated the story about the Amerge and told her that I had tried the Midrin three times, but it had done nothing more than make my dizzy.

She said the only thing left was anti-inflammatorys. Huh. At My Migraine Connection says there are over a hundred different possible combinations of drugs to try. Telling her that those had never really helped me, I pressed her further. She brought up Topamax, which I had already told her gave me bad side effects in the previous visit.

She asked me what else I was doing for my migraines. I told her that I’ve been taking Inderal, and I used cooling patches for my forehead, and I take a Tramadol sometimes when it gets really bad. Mostly I end up in my bedroom in the dark, crying into my pillow because the pain is so bad.

This is when she shrugged. I had just told her that I was crying into my pillow and she shrugged.

“Are you taking any supplements?” she asked.

Having given up on the magnesium, I told her that I was taking soy for my hot flashes. She got all wide eyed and exclaimed, “Soy is plant estrogen, and it will give you cancer.”

What? I thought. I have researched soy because I’m a vegetarian and I’ve never seen anything about it giving you cancer. What about all those Asian countries where people eat tofu everyday? Are they all going to get cancer?

“See your primary doctor about that,” she told me.

“Is there anything else I can try?” I asked.

Begrudgingly, she wrote me a prescription for Fiorcet, told me to let her know how I was doing in a month, and she left the room.

I glanced at my watch. She had spent six minutes with me. I think a pet rat at a vet’s office probably would have gotten more time.


How to Cope with Pain said...

I'm thinking about doing a post on arrogance in doctors. What do you think??

As a doctor myself, I wish doctors were better. Or at least that the doctors that aren't good were better! I think practitioners should only treat chronic pain if you're interested in the field and don't mind treating people who might not get better easily. Sorry for your experience!!

Migraineur said...

Doctors are arrogant. Mine isn't nearly as bad as some of the ones you've blogged about, MC, but she still makes me nuts sometimes.

I don't think there's a firmly established link between soy and cancer, but there were some studies a while back that suggested a correlation that other studies failed to confirm. However, if you consume large amounts of soy, you should be aware that soy is not universally recognized to be a health food. There are some people who think that soy might be bad for you. Here's one example: (I wish the authors of this site had listed their sources, though. I only bring it up so you'll know that soy is controversial.)

But it is absolutely unacceptable for a doctor to say, "That will give you cancer!" A more appropriate and professional statement would be, "Some researchers have found a correlation between consumption of soy and cancer. Perhaps you should discuss this with your primary care doctor or a nutritionist."

And her reaction to your crying into your pillow is appalling!

You gave her two chances. It's time to fire her.

Emily said...

grr. i'm sorry you had such a rotten experience. i think (and this is just my opinion based on limited experiences) that sometimes doctors go into the field of chronic pain or neurology wanting to do good and help ppl. "like us", but eventually become somewhat immune to the things they hear day after day.

i think it just loses the emotional impact. my husband and i agree that my doctors would get a better idea of my pain and its impact on my life by spending one day with me than they will ever get by my telling them about it.

i know it's frustrating sometimes. keep fighting the good fight.

Diana said...

I'm so sorry that doctor wasted your time and gave you the brush off.

I truly hope you can find someone who will take your situation seriously and do his/her job! You deserve better.

deborah said...

ouch, it may be time to just find someone who may spend a bit more quality time on and for you.

Diana said...

I wonder if maybe you could get some recommendations from other headache patients in your area. It's frustrating to basically go into an appointment blind and have no idea whether the doctor will be right for you.

You might try posting in the LJ migraine community and see if anyone can help. There are so many members there!

Debbishoe Two said...

So sorry you had that horrid experience. It might be a good idea
to find a neurologist who is connected to a teaching hospital. That probably means a clinic, but in my experience, that's where you get the best care.
In a teaching hospital, the physician usually have students following them around, so they can't misbehave and are thorough and current.
Good luck and POO on her!

MyChronicLife said...

Is this the same neuro that sent in the strange man in the white coat who didn't do squat for you? If so I agree she's not worth the paper her medical degree is printed on. If it's not her, she still is awful. Sorry hun. How do these doctors continue to practice?

My Chronic Life

Migraine Chick said...

This isn't the same doctor who sent in the man in the white coat. That was my primary doc. I'm truly starting to think I'm a magnet for bad doctors. I don't think I'm going to give doctors more than one chance anymore. After reading all this wonderful advice, I'm going with the one strike and you are out approach to future docs!