Monday, August 3, 2009

New Doctor

As you know, I have decided to try a new doctor. What a disaster.

I met with Dr. G last Wednesday and he seemed very nice, understanding, and determined to get to the bottom of things. He said the first step would be scopes, which didn't surprise me. He happened to have an opening on Friday, so I grabbed it, thinking the less time I had to anticipate it, the better off I would be.

After three sticks, they got an IV in me. That was the easy part.

They use propofol for scopes, which knocks you out. I've never been asleep for scopes before, but they seemed to know what they were doing, and so they did it.

When I woke up, I told them my neck hurt. I remember a nurse laughingly saying I have sleep apnea. Celeste, who was with me, said the anesthesiologist, as he was leaving the room, said "by the way, you have sleep apnea. You might want to get it checked out." That was the whole discussion.

By Saturday morning, I had fingerprint bruises on my neck. It looked like someone strangled me. I faxed the doctor a note, but since it was Saturday, I didn't think I'd get an answer, so I called the doctor on call. I told him about the bruises. Then I told him someone mentioned sleep apnea. He proceeded to give me a long explanation for the need to move my head so that my airway would remain clear. Frankly, in my book, that doesn't justify bruises. You can handle someone without injuring them, I'm sure.

It's now almost noon on Monday. I've been waiting for a call back from the doctor this whole time. In my mind, bruises around one's neck is the kind of thing they should really care about. They did call to ask where I had my prior surgeries because they want to get copies of the operative reports. I told my doctor's secretary that I'm waiting for a call from him. That was about 2 hours ago. She said she was going to track him down and tell him.

This is SO not okay.

And now I don't know what to do. At least Dr. S responded to me, usually in a reasonable amount of time. But to have had a problem with my airway and not tell me after the scopes is outrageous! They sent me home with reports of the scopes and nowhere mentioned a problem with the airway. The anesthesiologist told me in passing, quickly, when I was still on drugs from the scopes, and that was the only mention of it. The gastroenterologist didn't mention it at all.

And yesterday, I was in complete agony at my hernia site. I was literally writhing in pain, sweat dripping off me -- the whole deal. Since I have nobody to call, I tried to resolve it and finally took a vicodin so I could sleep.

Here I am, as educated a patient as a patient can be, and this stuff can happen even to me. What kind of doctor ignores bruises around the neck? And in a lawyer? He must be out of his mind. How am I ever going to trust him again?

He better have something really good to say when he calls because I'm getting angrier by the minute. This is not the level of communication I expect, especially when I'm injured at his hands. Jennifer


  1. Jennifer,

    I'm sorry you had such an awful experience. You are right. What they did was NOT ok. I hope your new doctor fully acknowledges his mistake. And even if he does, whether you stay with him or find someone new is up to you.

    I have a suggestion for what you can do while you're waiting for him to call that's better for you than getting angrier by the minute: give yourself lots and lots of compassion for the ordeal you've just gone through. You were mistreated and badly hurt, and you now know about another health challenge to you need to deal with in addition to the ones you already have. If I were there I would give you a big hug. Since I'm not there, I hope you'll give yourself that big hug. You deserve it.

  2. This is horrible!!! I feel awful for your expirience. As I am catching up on the last two months of posts, I am so impressed and inspired by your tenacity. I have lost so much to my illness and I want to find a way to do something to help people, but I am so tired all the time. Okay, enough whining.... I am lucky to have all that I do.. So I will continue to advocate for myself with you as an example.