I went to a doctor a couple weeks ago and really got nowhere in terms of pain relief. I left wondering “What the heck was I thinking going to this guy?” But how would I have known he was a jerk, since I had never met him before? Now I know.
My records actually made it from the orthopedic doc’s office to “jerk” doc’s office. I didn’t have too long of a wait before being called back or before the doc actually came in. I was surprised about that! The nurse took down all my vital information before telling me the doc looked like Santa Claus and that he was easy to talk to. Then she left the room.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I didn’t DISagree with everything this doc told me. I just don’t like his bedside manner and his knowledge, or lack of knowledge would be more accurate. He first told me I needed to lose weight. I know this. I’ve been struggling with my weight since my first child was born and wasn’t diagnosed with hypothyroidism until my youngest child was 3. I’ve been on meds for all this time and granted sometimes I don’t eat right, but even when I have consciously made an effort to lose weight, nothing happens. I had lost some weight recently though and I am still working on it. Doc proceeded to tell me I need more exercise. REALLY? And how does he think I’m going to do that when I am in extreme pain 24/7? He told me I need to eat a low fat diet. He asked me what do I eat for breakfast? I told him I normally don’t have breakfast. He snipped at me, “You really should eat breakfast; even if it’s just a piece of sausage or bacon!” WAIT. WHAT? Didn’t he just tell me to eat a low fat diet?
Because of my response to the exercise suggestion, he next asked me what I was taking for pain. I told him I had tried all the OTC pain relievers and the only one that helped a little was Aleve (Naproxen Sodium). I told him I didn’t like taking it all the time. He asked me why and I told him I didn’t like the Increased Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke that accompanies this drug. I could hear in his voice how shocked he was at my statement. He said to me in a tone that I didn’t like, “Where the heck did you hear that?” I told him since I had found out I had arthritis I’ve been doing research and all my sources said the same thing. He said he had never heard that. He said that Naproxen Sodium was the drug of choice for arthritis pain. He looked me straight in the eye and told me I was WRONG. Then he told me that I must have it confused with Avandia, which is a medication for diabetes type 2. He said that Avandia may be pulled from the market for the same thing. I knew it wasn’t Avandia because I wasn’t researching diabetes medications. I was researching arthritis and arthritis pain relievers. I told him that ALL of the NSAIDS have the same warning. He sat there and flat out told me I was wrong, again, and that I must have Avandia and Aleve confused, after all they start with the same letter. Give me a break! Ok, I’m not the most intelligent person in the world but I am not stupid and I was very resentful of his tone as well as his assumption that I must be stupid. Now, I don’t mind a few side effects. I know I may not have all the side effects, heck, I may not have any of them. However, I DO mind life threatening warnings.
Now, even though I was uncomfortable taking this medication, he prescribed it anyway! At this point I was just fed up and wanted out of there. But before I left I decided to test him. In my research I had learned that the only way to rule out rheumatoid arthritis is to run a specific test. I asked him, “What kind of arthritis do I have?” He proceeded to tell me the difference between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. I was fuming. I already know the difference because I researched it. I told him very sternly, “You didn’t answer my question. What kind of arthritis do I have?” Then he told me it was osteoarthritis. I asked, “How can you tell that just by looking at me and my records?” He told me it was because I don’t have the typical curling deformity of the fingers that accompany rheumatoid arthritis. Can’t people have RA without having it advanced to that degree? I’m disgusted at this point and I really want to kick him in the balls. He didn’t run any tests, nor did the orthopedic doctor. He could be absolutely right in saying that I have osteoarthritis but his bedside manner leaves a lot to be desired. IMHO, he is making an assumption without doing tests. Experience? Perhaps. Laziness? Perhaps. Arrogance? Perhaps. Probably all three.
Here’s the icing on the cake: I was desperate for pain relief so I got the prescription filled. Along with the medication comes a few pages worth of drug information; side effects, how to take the medication, what to report to doctor, etc., etc. But the very first line of one page reads WARNING: MAY INCREASE RISK OF HEART ATTACK & STROKE.
So Doc, I was wrong huh? Maybe you’d better do some research of your own. I am sending a copy of this drug information page to him in hopes that he will do just that.