Friday, March 23, 2012

A little medical rant

Currently I am riding down to a meeting on site in Eugene. When I was invited to this meeting, I was conveniently not told it would be outside... In the snow. Maybe if I had known, I wouldn't have worn my nude pumps. Oh well. Who needs to feel their toes anyway?

My RAI got scheduled for April 17th. Getting it scheduled was nothing short of a saga. I am not too surprised as almost every step of this process has been a challenge. Not all of it, but most. I really can't complain about my surgeries since they went off without a hitch. Except for the fact that my surgeon tried to get me to not have either surgery. Ok that counts as challenging I think.

This entire process has really pointed out to me just how messed up healthcare really is. And I am not talking insurance (although that is definitely a problem). I am talking about medical professionals. I can not believe how hard it has been to see doctors, get appointments, get people to call me back, heck... Get the nurse to give me anti-nausea medication at the hospital (I thought my mom was going to go primal on her). And I know it isn't just me because my father in law has had some interesting experiences lately as well.

You would think all medical professionals would be supportive and helpful when you are scared and have cancer. But some of them either have forgotten what it is like or have never actually gone through a health crisis themselves because the complete lack of understanding is ridiculous.

For example, I was supposed to find out of my RAI was scheduled in April last week. As I mentioned earlier, RAI involves going off my thyroid hormones and going on a low iodine diet. It isn't exactly something you can just walk into. Well the hospital didn't have the schedule done because the ONE person who does the schedule was on his honeymoon so they couldn't do it.

You mean to tell me there is only one person qualified to put a schedule together? And since he knew he was going to be gone, wouldnt it be a good idea to do it BEFORE he left?

So the scheduler for my endocrinologist laid the smack down. She let them know that wasn't acceptable. Long story short, the ONLY reason I even found out this week that I NEEDED to be on my diet is because I called everyday and asked. Finally the hospital got so tired of hearing from the scheduler, they got it figured out.

I was under the delusion that once you found out you had cancer, your doctors would rally around you and make sure you at least FELT like you were being taken care of. I have found that to be a rarity (not that it hasn't kind of happened but it took a while to get there). Heck... It took me 6 months and 4 tries to even get my nodules biopsied. If I hadn't pushed and done my own research and been my own advocate, I would be sitting at the fertility clinic, probably still not able to get pregnant because my thyroid was all weird, with cancer growing in my neck.

So here is the point of this whole rant: if you work in the health care industry and you have forgotten that the purpose of your job is to take care of your patients, it is time for you to get a new job.

And here is the last point: as a patient, don't ever assume your doctors are on top of things. Don't ever stop being your own advocate. If you are sick and your doctor can't handle taking the time to take care of you, it is time for a new doctor.

And here I thought this post was going to be about the low iodine bread I made last night.




Love, Mrs. Janney

4 comments:

  1. Being in the medical field myself I know how hard it can be to be treated like that. Heck I went to a doctor and he told me something I was diagnosed with when I was fourteen didn't exist and it was an excuse. I could have slapped him in the face right then and there. I found a new doctor who knew about it and has me doing some nifty stuff to help. I'm sorry about your lame-o doctors keep your head up and don't ever stop fighting. Make yourself a drama queen because those are the patients that get in fast and get done fast! :)

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    1. I figure the squeaky wheel gets the oil, but sometimes I feel bad about having to be pushy. I do my best to be nice to who I am dealing with, but there have been a few times lately where I just want to seriously ask people why they work in the medical field if they aren't willing to be helpful to patients.

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  2. Amen! I have felt the exact same way. You really have to be your own advocate and not feel bad about it. You have to do your own research (thank goodness for the internet) and be pushy. I've had problems the last 18 months with a saliva gland infections, a saliva gland stone, and TMJ (bite disorder) that have resulted in hypersensitive taste and a total aversion to anything sweet. and well as fried and fatty foods (pain, bad taste or upset stomach is the result). It has been hard but the worst part was getting medical people to take me seriously and not just tell me to give it 6 weeks. Hang in there and keep being pushy. Your quality of life depends on it!!

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  3. I actually left my endocrinologist's group practice when she announced she was retiring because the nurses and the front desk staff were so scattered and incompetent. I only stayed because she was a fantastic doctor, but dealing with her staff to get appointments, to get appointments right, to have them actually show up on time when they scheduled me for first-thing-in-the-morning appointments was more headache than I needed to deal with.

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