Twenty years ago, someone hurt me, we have been all through this and I am not going to bore you with the details. Twenty years ago, my body suffered a significant amount of damage that has cascaded into more damage over the years. Twenty years ago I had surgery to repair some of the most egregious of that damage and provide me with some relief, my spine from T2 to T5 were fused, we used human material, my choice. At the time, I thought the doctor was a miracle worker and the surgery a true miracle, my pain went from a nine on a scale of 1-10 to an average of three immediately, I was in heaven on earth.
That was twenty years ago, this is today.
I have been pondering my reaction to recent events with my doctor and his referral to ‘the best neurosurgeon’ in Dallas. Really, this clinic and this surgeon treats members of the Cowboys!
Let me tell you why this is my Red Hat of the year, my friends.
This has been a hard year for me pain wise. Last year it started to escalate. I know what is wrong; my regular doctors know what is wrong too. We have all been down this road for a very long time now. This time though everyone said, ‘no more injections it is too much and too far-gone, time for something else, time for an expert to take a look at the damage and determine next steps.’
Not really what I wanted to hear, but I didn’t disagree. My last MRI’s were 14 months ago, so when the new clinic called to make the appointment they said, ‘no the DOCTOR will want new film, don’t bother to bring what you have.’ I thought this was odd, but I did what they said and I didn’t throw all of my Cervical and Lumbar MRI film into my purse. On the phone, I asked did my doctor explain the referral was for both my Cervical and Lumbar; the nice young lady happily responded in the affirmative and explained I should set aside enough time for x-rays, MRI and a consultation.
I did just that, I took the entire day off to make certain I had the time blocked. Well that isn’t quite what happened, indeed that is nowhere near what happened.……..
There are eighteen doctors at The Clinic. They are apparently very proud of themselves, very proud of the fact they treat professional athletes and others of wealth and influence. Their clinic is a model of efficiency when it comes to your sign-in, making certain they have all your financial information that is.
Perhaps those with a great deal of money, or those who wear professional football jerseys don’t care how they are treated by their medical providers. Perhaps, they accept a lack of courtesy as part of the game.
On the other hand, I have a standard, even for professionals considered to be at the top of their field. Part of this standard is do not under any circumstance treat me as if I am stupid, unaware, beneath your contempt or not worthy of your time. Despite your years of education, the accolades of your peers and the worship of those professional athletes you have treated I am still paying you! Between me and my insurance cold hard cash is leaving our pockets and entering yours.
I am not a charity case; you aren’t climbing down off your effing ego mountain, wading through the muck to treat me. Indeed not, I drove to your clinic after spending the better part of an hour filling out reams of paperwork, providing you not only with my insurance information but also with my personal financial information and then waiting for you for 45 minutes after my appointment time because your time is clearly more valuable than mine is. After all that, you Herr Doktor had the unmitigated gall to act as if I wasn’t well enough informed, smart enough or perhaps interesting enough to be sitting in your treatment room.
First, you had not bothered to read the Referral sent over by the doctor who has been treating me for eight years.
Then you callously observed my throat and arms had been sliced open and demand an explanation. Frankly, Doctor, none of your business but since you must know my ex-husband tied me to a bed and took a straight razor to me.
When you finally got around to looking at the x-ray you couldn’t figure out what those strange ‘pathways’ in my neck and into my spine were. Had you read the referral you would have known they were bullet entrance and exit wounds, but you couldn’t be bothered so I had to explain it. Your comment to this, oh yeah; “I healed up nicely.”
This was the first ten minutes; we spent another five exercising my right arm, which is periodically numb, periodically paralyzed, and periodically so painful I wish I could cut it off. You my good doctor, your diagnosis? I have arthritis in my shoulder and need a better painkiller and some physical therapy. When I explained I try to avoid painkillers so I can live a full life, you suggested I simply take more Motrin and handed me a ‘prescription’ for physical therapy, told me to go wherever I wanted and come back to see you in March. Are you even aware the damage 2400 milligrams of Motrin will do taken daily?
Mind you, I have never had arthritis. There is not a damned thing wrong with my shoulder and never has been, movement hurts because my cervical spine hurts and I have nerve damage you numbnut. Did I fail to mention, he didn’t have time in the first consult to deal with both the Cervical and the Lumbar, I would have needed to make two appointments for that. He didn’t order MRI’s. What he did say to me as he left the room…..
“You win for the best story of 2012.”
Well, Dr. Andrew Dossett of The Carrell Clinic wins for the worst bedside manner, least compassionate, worst listener and most egotistic medical provider it has been my experience to run into in many years.
Was this a bit incoherent? My apologies. I am between terribly peeved and in pain, have been for weeks now. I am also between a rock and a hard spot, so is my regular doctor, we will work it out but in the meantime I am stuck with how do I get through the day.
I don’t often call out names in my Red Hats, but in this case well I just thought it was worthy. How does a Doctor, a person who takes an oath to ‘do no harm’ act in such a callous and uncaring manner. Wasn’t I in a big enough puddle on the floor? Did I not show enough abject misery?
Sorry Doctor, it isn’t my way to weep and gnash my teeth. But it should be your way to show compassion and treat the patient in front of you not your effing assumptions.