Monday, March 25, 2013

When You Don’t Trust Your Doctor

 Recently I went to the OBGYN for a procedure; an invasive, painful procedure that after some research I found that I didn’t need. Actually, the doctor said I didn’t need it, but wanted to do it just to be safe. I won’t go into details of what happened, but let’s just say, “How Many Dull Blades Must You Cut The Patient With Until You Find the Sharpest One?” was not fun. In fact it was carless on the doctor’s part. I left the hospital upset. I cried in the car because I knew what I went through was bullshit. When I did more research at home, and saw it unnecessary for my case, I was really angry. I was angry at myself for trusting some doctor, who I’ll call Dr. DB (for Dull Blade) that made me feel like a 2nd-year med school experiment. I was upset because I didn’t know if the nicks with the dull blades would cause an infection. Being in pain didn’t help either. This all got me to thinking about trusting medical professionals with your body. There are good doctors. And there are some who barely made it out of med school or got their degree at a drive through window. Just because they have those letters behind their name, doesn’t mean they have your best interest. Nor does it mean they know what’s best for you. 

This wasn’t my first encounter with a foolish physician. Around the age of 3 or 4 I was accidentally given adult medication at my grandparent’s home. My mother found me under the dining room table, curled up in a deep sleep. I was on some Lil’ Wayne, sizzurp OD sleep. My mother rushed me to the hospital. We get to the hospital and the doctor tells my mother that I need more drugs. Does that make any damn sense? Thank God my mother’s a smart woman and thought pumping my little borderline OD body with more drugs would probably kill me. She called my pediatrician and he said no more drugs for me. Luckily I have lived to tell this story. What my mother did was great. She could’ve easily listened to that idiot doctor out of panic. But she was skeptical and got a second opinion. Those two actions saved my life.

Sometimes you have to bring in a supporter with you to the doctor. They’ll step up their game if they know their patient has someone keeping an eye on them. I don’t know any doctor who wants a witness to their mistakes. I wish my grandfather had done this early on during his bout with cancer. When he began to lose his voice, the quack doctor he was going to gave him antibiotics and said it was some kind of infection. Even I, the B biology student knew that didn’t make any sense. My grandfather kept getting worse. But he wouldn’t allow any of us to go with him to the doctor. Well, after convincing him to switch doctors they ran proper tests on him and found it was throat cancer. Sometimes I wonder if would he still be around had he allowed someone with him early on to his hospital visits.

I can tell you other horror stories. My sorority sister is a doctor and she always tells me, “Don’t get sick,” because of the dumb, careless things some doctors and nurses do in hospitals. Working in mental health advocacy, I’ve heard stories about psychiatric hospitals that will seriously make you cry. I’m lucky that I have a great general med doctor. And even if I didn’t agree with her 100%, I’d get a second opinion.

I learned a tough lesson from Dr. DB. A  white coat, or h “Dr” in front of their name, doesn’t always equate to solid expert. I’ve heard stories of doctors who like to perform surgeries and recommend them to patients for the heck of it. Despite researching what to possibly expect during the appointment, despite Dr. DB saying I didn’t need the procedure, I let my guard down a bit when Dr. DB said they wanted to take a sample “just to be safe.” And the doctor telling me twice I was fine before performing the procedure should’ve been a red flag. But I’m not going to beat myself up for Dr. DB’s bad call. I’ll just use it as a reminder for the next time I visit the doctor, dentist, etc.

And there have been times when a doctor suggested a certain treatment or drug for me that I knew was ludicrous and I told them no. But what happened last week to my body, to me, will not happen again.

I encourage you to do your research before going to a doctor if you can. If they want to do a procedure, research it before saying yes. The web is not always accurate when it comes to health. But forums can be really helpful because there are others on there with the same experience or symptoms as you and can talk about it. And get a 2nd, 3rd opinion. Also follow your gut. If the doctor is a poor communicator, doesn’t make sense, seems like an idiot or just comes off as if he/she could care less, than you may want to think about hopping off of that exam table quick.  

Take care of your body. Love your body. Protect your body.

**I am not a medical expert. Consult your doctors before making any changes to medical care and/or routines.  







7 comments:

  1. I recommend, at the very least, letting your insurance company and whomever the person was that recommended the doctor know. I'm all about word of mouth when it comes to doctors. I go to doctors referred by someone I know and trust or one of my primary physicians. Fortunately, the only time I had an issue with a medical professional was when I was in college and used the on-campus clinic. After that, I found a doctor off-campus and let my college know I was never going back and why. I think it's very important to let people know when you do have a bad experience. These are paid professionals who make money off of you so don't let it slide. There are many sites which you can post your review of the doctor as well like ratemds.com and yelp.com.

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    Replies
    1. You're absolutely right. I'm already in the process of making contact. I didn't like how the doctor handled the situation, and the hospital I visited should have sharp blades. Dr. DB even told me that they had encountered dull blades with another patient. I'm not letting it slide.

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    2. Hello, I just want to say first thanks for sharing, bringing up traumatising things can be really hard. I just had a really invasive procedure at the gyno and I thought, is it supposed to be this way? I felt the bed side manner was not there, I felt that because I am First Nations I was treated differently. My heart told me this was wrong. I am a 37 year old woman who is trying to have a baby and the first thing this Dr said was, If I didnt know you wanted to have a baby I would say have a hysterectomy. This is because i have a fibroid in my uterous. I have done some research and there are lots of options to getting rid of fibroids in the uterous without affecting the uterous. This dr seemed to be all about slicing and dicing. My spirit warned me against this dr and I just wnat to know if any other women have felt a Dr treat them in this manner? thanks Bon

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    3. Hi Bon,
      I'm sorry that you had such a horrible experience with your OBGYN. When I had my encounter with the idiot doctor, I wondered too if it was because I was black and she held prejudices about my body and sexuality based on my race. And unfortunately, some doctors can be prejudice against others because of race and culture.

      I'm not a medical expert or a doctor. But get other doctors' opinions. If you felt the bedside manner was wrong, than it was. The idiot doctor I had was heartless as well. If something inside is seriously warning you against this doctor, listen to it. We're born with instincts.

      I wish you luck in having a baby. I'll post your question on my Facebook page ( http://www.facebook.com/cocoafly ) to see if anyone else has been in your shoes. I'm sorry again about what happened to you. It makes me angry that we trust these doctors with our bodies and some of them just treat it like a lab experiment in medical school. But I'm thankful for the good doctors out there.

      Delete
  2. Hi Bon,
    I'm sorry that you had such a horrible experience with your OBGYN. When I had my encounter with the idiot doctor, I wondered too if it was because I was black and she held prejudices about my body and sexuality based on my race. And unfortunately, some doctors can be prejudice against others because of race and culture.

    I'm not a medical expert or a doctor. But get other doctors' opinions. If you felt the bedside manner was wrong, than it was. The idiot doctor I had was heartless as well. If something inside is seriously warning you against this doctor, listen to it. We're born with instincts.

    I wish you luck in having a baby. I'll post your question on my Facebook page ( http://www.facebook.com/cocoafly ) to see if anyone else has been in your shoes. I'm sorry again about what happened to you. It makes me angry that we trust these doctors with our bodies and some of them just treat it like a lab experiment in medical school. But I'm thankful for the good doctors out there.

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  3. Hi Jenee, My late wife was a medical professional. As an R.N. she always watched her doctors carefully when her regular G.P was nit around. More often times or not, I had heard her tell the Dr.'s first you wash your hands. They always gave her a dirty look on that.

    Her regular Dr tried to not make appointments for her when he was not available, but after she became ill sometimes there was no choice. I really would get upset when under the "privacy laws" they would ask me to leave while they questioned her if I abused her. My wife was black, I'm white. Other couples told me they ask those same questions in front if both of them. Some of the doctors that saw her after she became ill, should be arrested for incompetency. I never thought the medical community was in such bad shape. Most of her doctors during her stays in the hospital couldn't even understand English. How can you diagnose somebody, If you can't even speak the language. Chef bob.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow sorry to hear that. And she had to remind them to wash their hands? SMH. Their insensitivity must've been hard on both of you.

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