Sunday, May 30, 2010

Doctors suck

I have no more patience for the health care system, we have no choice but to learn to take care of our own health issues.  When it comes to treating just about any ongoing health problem, in my experience, doctors have been completely useless and for the most part very uninformed.

For years I've had various symptoms that nobody has been able to really find an explanation for.  Migraines, chest pain/heart palpitations, anxiety, fatigue, digestive problems with weight loss, and very poor concentration.   Tests are always coming back normal.

This weekend I felt the pressure in my chest becoming more uncomfortable.  This feeling has come and gone for years, but nobody can tell me what it is.  Twice I went for an ECG which was apparently normal.  Now this doctor seemed to question why I was even coming to see him today if I had the problem for so long.  I explained that it came and went and that other tests were normal.  Then he questioned why I was seeing him instead of my family doctor, to which I explained that my doctor was usually at the clinic on that day so I was expecting to see him, but he was not there for whatever reason.  So already I'm basically a burden to this man who seems to think I'm going there for the fun of it on a Friday evening because of I have nothing better to do.  He checks my heart rate and all that and it seems normal.  "I think the problem may be coming from here", he said, pointing to his head.  Thanks, doc.

I asked him about thyroid issues potentially causing this and he said that my thyroid results were completely normal.  Through my reading I've found that TSH lab tests are not exactly a great way of assessing thyroid function, but he replied that it is the standard and there was no problem with it.  So there goes any potential thyroid discussion.

Next I asked about my adrenals.  He looked amused and asked to see my armpits, apparently if you grow hair in that area then your adrenals are fine.   I googled this to find out, I assume that this would be a symptom of Addison's disease rather than more moderate adrenal weakness, but doctors do not recognize that this exists.  There goes any potential adrenal discussion.  At least I know my armpit hair is not lacking.

Finally I asked to be tested for food allergies.  He says did not want to send me to get tested for this because he was not my family doctor, which I suppose is reasonable.  This means I get the opportunity to come another day and wait another hour or two to get a paper that he could easily write for me.  But I think the real reason he didn't want to send me is that I asked him too many questions and he thinks I'm some sort of hypochondriac that doesn't have any real problem.  I should just cut out foods to see what I'm allergic to, he said.   Thanks again, doc.

I did not feel I was taken seriously at all.  I spend a huge amount of time reading about health problems trying to figure out why I don't feel right, but doctors are not open to discussion about anything that they were not taught in medical school.  I'm not a thyroid expert, but even after reading a book or two is enough to learn that typical thyroid tests are inadequate and do not pick up most cases of hypothyroidism.  I can't say that this is part of my problem or not, but it would be nice to be able to discuss it with a health professional.

So the search continues....

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