Friday, January 20, 2012

You're Fired!

Donald Trump isn't the only one who is allowed to say "you're fired". Never be afraid to fire a doctor that truly isn't helping you or that isn't treating you with respect. Finally after three years of bouncing around to different places, I think I have my ideal medical team in place for a while: a uro, a regular gyn with Vulvodynia knowledge, a pain management doctor and a physical therapist who specializes in the pelvic floor. I would not have this team if I didn't work up the courage to fire my vaginal specialist and replace that specialist with my new gyn.

The vaginal specialist that I fired was actually part of the initial duo at a hospital that diagnosed my V. I already knew I had V from extensive research, but the bone head gyn I had at the time didn't believe me and didn't want to deal with me so she let me suffer for 3 months while I waited for an appointment with this advanced vaginal specialist. Even when you correctly self-diagnose yourself, you need a doctor to write out scripts for the treatments.

You're fired!!

The first time I went to this vaginal specialist, I was just so grateful that someone agreed that I had Vulvodynia that I wanted to kiss the sky. I was new to the world of under discussed women's health conditions. I didn't have the wealth of knowledge I do know. The NP I saw prescribed me a low grade antidepressant with nerve pain blocking qualities, it helped lower the pain at first which is always a miracle when you have been suffering for 3 months in 10 pain alone and laughed at by ER staff. Her bedside manner was not very good, but I didn't think much of it.

Eventually, my health got worse as I was diagnosed by a urologist with IC which causes my pelvic pain to be worse. I also could not tolerate some of the side effects of this very old school medicine she had me on. She was very nasty to me when I wanted to switch medications. She gave me a new antidepressant with nerve pain blocking qualities but was not happy about it. She thought her original prescription was the be all and end all of meds (even though the psych community no longer uses it b/c it is such a sucky medication). 

As time went on this woman got meaner and meaner to me. She made fun of every well researched suggestion I had for my treatment. She also would lie to me about the existence of medications and treatments that I knew were real b/c I am very active in the IC and V community and I have friends who take them. One day, I had to reschedule my appointment and the receptionist told me there was an opening with the doctor instead of the NP. I thought I hit the lotto. I could be free of this mean woman. The doctor prescribed me something that helped for a while, but since V as well as IC can both be diseases of progression I eventually needed additional help. 

I am a very educated patient at this time. I read up frequently on treatments new and old. I am in support groups and forums and I of course write this blog. I know of maybe 15 possible treatments for V. This closed minded doctor only offers FOUR. If those four don't work for you it's like too bad, too sad. When I went in there crying in pain one day, the doctor prescribed me a compounded cream even though a similar cream did not work in the past. I reluctantly ordered it even though it was $50. Well, I should have listened to my gut instinct b/c the cream lit my girl zone on fire. It impacted my V and IC symptoms for 2 days and I was very, very sick.

I called the office to complain. Even though I was a patient of the doctor, the NP called me back. She showed no sympathy, did not apologize and even tried to blame me since the cream "works on other patients" ( two V patients are the same you fool). I asked her if I could just take the oral version of the active ingredient in the cream that was supposed to help my nerve pain (it was non-narcotic and did not have an interaction with any of my other meds). She yelled at me and accused me of being on too many medications. A few other harsh convos were had between me, the NP, the receptionist and more. I don't want to get into it but I was treated terribly.  

That's when I decided I was DONE. I deserved to be treated better. There was a non-narcotic medication I knew could give me some relief and she denied me. Animals are treated better than this. I saw my kind uro a couple of weeks later and he was happy to prescribe me the medication. He thought it was a great idea. Two weeks later I found a new gyn someone recommended to me. She is kind and open minded and wants to help me and work closely with my other doctors.

Cancelling my last appointment with the mean practice was awesome. I called and told them I needed to cancel. The receptionist asked when I wanted to reschedule and I said "NEVER".

You deserve proper medical care. Don't let someone leave you in pain or make fun of you. I stayed in the wrong place way too long b/c I was nervous to branch out. Know your body, research treatments. If there are treatments you want to try and they are non-narcotic and the doctor flat out makes fun of you, get a second opinion. Some doctors can't prescribe narcotic treatments or other certain controversial treatments, but a good doctor would  refer you to pain management to discuss those treatments with a doctor who is allowed to order those treatments. If a doctor won't send you to pain management and you are in pain, it is also time to get a new doctor. It took me a while to learn this as well. 

You are a person. These illnesses are very personal and you deserve a kind doctor who will treat you with respect. You also deserve treatments that can help you to live your life as comfortably as possible based on your personal symptoms and diagnosis. IC, V and related conditions have no cure. The medical community can not leave us hanging forever. They need to help us.

If a doctor treats you like crap, never be afraid to say "You're fired!!".


Sarah R. said...

Your comments about the NP and doctor sounded too familiar...then I looked on facebook and saw that you live in my hometown! I don't know if you go to the practice across the street now, but that's who I see. Hope you are having a better time with the new doctor.

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