Wednesday, May 16, 2012

First Do No Harm

This post is a bit longer than usual because of all the dialogue (hehehehehe) and because I just had to stop editing; the subject makes my blood boil and I couldn’t read it one more time.

So you have high blood pressure and low pressure
Excuse me
That’s what you circled

I had noted that historically my blood pressure has been normal or low but on my last clinic visit it was high; I tried to explain that to him

Would you like to see the meds they gave me?
No response
I sat there holding out the med bottle; finally I shook it at him and he took it
He barely looked at it and then he threw it on the examining table that was between us

And so began the appointment with the primary care physician I have been waiting for since February

He stood at a little shelf near the door, his body mostly turned away from me
There was a chair and writing desk right next to me
He rifled through the medical history booklet I had filled out as if he were handling explosives wrapped in garbage

You’ve had an arthritis work-up
Nothing was ever posed as a question but as an accusation
No, I’ve tried to tell you twice now that I have not had any medical care other than the emergency clinic in five years. Did I circle yes to arthritis? I don’t think I did
You circled muscle and joint pain and mobility limits
And that can only be from arthritis?
No answer

The visit had started on a positive note. The medical assistant was pleasant and professional. We talked about how I had cut down on how much I smoke and had still been able to lose a few pounds as well. I told her that I wished I could walk more but the pain got in the way as did my balance issues. She said I should ask the doctor for a walker prescription as other patients used them for exercise and found them helpful. She was encouraging.

You need to lose weight and stop smoking
I know, I ….
I was about to ask him about the walker but he interrupted me once again

I don’t treat smokers
Excuse me?
I don’t treat smokers

Then why am I going through all of this. I indicated how much I smoke on the survey. I told your assistant I smoked. Why would you spend all this time being so rude and abrupt when you had no intention of treating me?

I think you’re overlaying your negative attitude onto me

Really. My negative attitude. This dick had just spent 15 minutes being abusive and I was the negative one.

I had hoped to be able to put up with him long enough to get an orthopedic referral but now I did what I had wanted to do about two minutes in …

Up out of the chair, grasping my cane to keep from throwing something at his face, I told him what a piece of shit he was. My face felt hot and I imagine my blood pressure was real high. I got that whirring sound in my head that indicates rage.

You fucking piece of shit. Look at you. With your short sleeved dress shirt buttoned all the way up. You’re a pussy boy. You get off on judging people. I imagine you really hate your patients. They must get in the way of the time you spend with internet porn and role playing games. Bet you’re a wizard in some chat room somewhere you miserable sack of crap.

By this time I have flung open the examining room door and I’m desperately trying to keep my balance – literally and emotionally.

I see the exit sign and as I head for it I see this woman in a nurse’s uniform charging down the hall and reaching out for the doctor’s arm. Swear, she had to be 100 years old.

As I kicked open the back exit to the parking lot I heard a voice that sounded like mine

There ya go pussy boy, momma nurse will protect you from the big fat smoking monster. Go bury your head in her tits you fucking asshole.

I was parked right there by the door and I have no recollection of leaving the lot. I had to pull over a few moments later when I realized my seat belt beeper was screaming. I sat there shaking and crying for a bit and then I took a deep breath and drove home.

I wonder if I need to look for another doctor.

This was last Thursday. Today I found another doctor and will be seeing her next week. I told her receptionist what had happened with the first doctor and was assured that this doctor treats everyone.


I'm With Stupid said...

I think a little quality time with Dr. Jay is what you really need. Just sayin'. ;-)

I can't believe he refused to treat smokers. Seems like he would have many chances to pad his bill with all kinds of fun tests and all that stuff.

What an asshole. He's probably a Romney supporter. ha!

Anonymous said...

He is an ass and I would have kicked him in the nuts if he had any!

You go girl! I too am in search of some new at top of list for a $2500 mistake last week.

Hang in there Dianne.

Jay Simser said...

I think that (in light of his attitude and asshat behavior) that you were too gentle with him. Doctors sometimes get to thinking that it is all about them when it is really all about the patient. I think he needs a lesson in how to treat a lady. Perhaps along some dark road at night. I would be glad to help. Hugs.

Illegitimi non carborundum

Kay Dennison said...

Damn, Dianne!!!! I was soooo hoping that you would get a really good doctor like my dear Internal Medicine Dr. Maria who handles the small stuff and keeps track of the six (yikes!)excellent specialists who help her take such good care of me!!!!

I'm crossing my fingers that the new doc will be better!!

If I can help, let me know!!

Mike said...

What a prick. You need to send your large son back to have a talk with him.

Granny Annie said...

I recently complained about my PCP but after reading this I need to give her a big hug. Compared to this one you had, mine is a saint. However I still might hire you to go have a talk with mine. You seem to say it all quite well!

Sylvia K said...

What a prick indeed!! Jeez!!! Guess I've been really fortunate. I did stop seeing my first doctor who was a woman and she drove me friggin' nuts with wanting to see how many fatal diseases I probably had and how much medication she could give me etc etc etc. I switched doctors then and he's cool. Thank God I am remarkably healthy except for bad knees for an old broad who will be 80 next year!

LL Cool Joe said...

Wow, I need you around next time someone pisses me off! What a twat. I really hope the new doctor works okay.

ellen abbott said...

I hate doctors. they are arrogant and treat you like you don't have one ounce of common sense much less any kind of intellect or knowledge about your own body and act like they are doing you a big fucking favor by spending 5 minutes with you and then charging you a whopping fee. That said, there are some good ones out there who will listen to you and engage you in intelligent conversation. Mine is one of the good ones and I don't know what I am going to do when he retires. In fact, once I found him I had to track him down several times after he changed clinics. Now he's got his own office.

ellen abbott said...

Oh yeah, and I hope the comments you made to him were out loud and not just in your head. and I hope you don't pay his bill.

Betty said...

What a nightmare! That said, I am in awe of your vocabulary. I, too, hope you said all that out loud, and I hope it shriveled his balls. You should go a step farther and report him to your state medical association. If enough people report him about his attitude, he'll hear from them. Glad you found another doctor, a real one this time, I hope.

Life As I Know It Now said...

I've had a fair number of horrible doctors as well but this is just crap he gave you plain and simple. I am so glad you were able to give him some of that crap he dishes out back at him. :)

Hope the next doctor is much better to you!

Cherie said...

I hate doctors. There are exceptions to every rule, but this guy takes the freaking cake. I am so sorry that you had to go through that. I'm glad that you have an appointment next week. I pray that she'll be an exception (and exceptional).

DJan said...

Whoa! I just sent this to my sister because she had an appointment with her PCP, who had given her a drug three months before than raised her blood sugar, then gave her another drug to lower that number, etc. Sister decided to stop them ALL and take her health into her own hands. I too hope you said that stuff out loud, he deserved it, for sure. My own heart rate is still high after reading all this, in outrage for all of us.

Cherie said...

To quote Red Foreman from That 70s Show, "He's going to look awfully funny when he's wearing his ass for a hat."

Ron said...

Dianne...I was getting so pissed off reading this from the manner in which he was speaking to you.

"I think you’re overlaying your negative attitude onto me."

OMG...if I had been you, I honestly don't think I could have controlled myself from picking a chair and smashing it over his head, if he said that to me.

This sounds a lot like the SHIT my mother is going through with her primary doctor. And as I shared in my post, she finally got so mad, she picked up a pencil and THREW it across the room.

Two years ago, I had a slightly similar experience with an oral surgeon - he was a TOTAL ASS WIPE!

Thankfully, he retired. And I sincerely think it was because he had so many complaints about his bedside manner!

Hopefully this new doctor will treat you much better!

(((( You ))))


P.S. love the photos you used in this post!

Jo said...

I've missed so much that's going on with you. I'm sorry you're hurting.

But, I'm really glad you have enough spine for ten people. Maybe his wife dumped him for a chain-smoker with an actual personality who treats people like they're worth something.

HermanTurnip said...

Jeezy creazy! You serious? That's some serious unprofessional behavior from that doctor. I would have been out the door in the first few minutes. Doctors are a dime a dozen, and I can only hope that this piece of garbage loses his license. Good on you for leaving, and bonus style points for your creative use of language :-)

Grayquill said...

I suppose I should feel all sad and sorry for you but by the end of that story I kind of felt sorry for the poor doc. It seems you pretty much kick the crap out of him. I don't think you need to see another doctor. From that display of passion, I am pretty sure you are perfectly healthy.
YOu're the best!

Linda Reeder said...

OMG! I can't imagine such an experience! That was just awful.
I certainly hope this new Doc works out for you. You have waited so long.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE---In Every Way!!!! How dare this so cslled "doctor" treat you with such disdain????
I hate the Medical Profession---I really do. One wonders how he ever got to be a "doctor" with such judgemental attitudes....OY VEY!!!!!

I dearly hope this new woman doctor turns out to be a opposed to that Robot....!

HUGS to You my dear, and to Dear Dear HOPE, too!

Daryl Edelstein said...

I'd now sit down and calmly, if possible, write a letter to the AMA and to the (Aetna? Blue Cross?) medical group his practice is part of. What a total moron he is.

Jeni said...

Some doctors just seem to get to full of themselves that it makes you wonder how they have any patients at all, doesn't it? Although, the local cardiac doctor in this area, the first time I had to see him, was a bit on the uppity side towards me -mainly with respect to the smoking. When I had to go back to him again last year one time, I noticed he was a tad mellower then. Maybe someone had given him a dose of comeuppance prior to my return visit. To go to a doctor and then have to pay to be treated like that is the final insult too.

Reb said...

Good for you! I think that the medical schools these days are leaving out the training for bed/chair-side manners (goes for dentists and ophthalmologists too). My GP is a humorless, uptight fellow, he told me if this (drug) didn't help me quit smoking, he would have to transfer me to another Dr in the clinic. Sounds like your fellow was a few steps beyond even that. They seem to think that because they spent so much time in school they can treat the rest of the population like crap. Fingers crossed for this new GP.

Hilary said...

Holy crap. I can't fathom a person treating another human being this way, much less a doctor and potential patient. I hate this for you, Dianne. I sure hope next week's doc will be .. human.

I'm sorry you're going through this. Hugs to you, dear one.

Knight said...

Alright what's his name? I'm going to go back and smack the shit out of him. I'm so glad we don't have to worry about you sticking up for yourself. You'll find a smart doctor who will listen to you and really want to do their job to help you. They are out there.

Sallie ( said...

ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh --- I hope the new Dr works for you; what an awful experience with this guy.

I hope you said those things out loud.

Rambling Woods said...

what a fuck head..dick wad..cretin.. asshole..etc...Look for someone else.. they aren't all like that..I am so

Jackie said...

Oh what a dick! Here's hoping the next one has a modicum of a bedside manner.

And they wonder why us Brits are proud of the NHS. Raving socialists we might be (we're not!) but no doctor would ever get away with this.


Halcyon said...

Are you sure you're not in Canada? ;)

CrystalChick said...

What a horrible experience! I'm so sorry you had to go through that. Can a doctor refuse to treat someone... and just because they smoke? Ass.
Oh how I hope that the new doc will take good care of you.

Vol-E said...


Good for you! I'm glad you let him have it, even though the rage probably didn't do much for your physical health. Your mental health needed it, though!! Maybe, maybe deep in the dark night of his soul (which is probably all he gets anyway), he'll play back the tape of what you said and realize you were right. Then he'll either change his ways or change careers. i think you'll find someone decent sooner or later, but be kind to yourself meanwhile.


Vol-E said...

P.S. Is it a coincidence that the next blog I read after yours has a similar story about neglectful doctors and anger?