Monday, February 23, 2009

The Doctors Office Called...

About 9:30 am today, my PCP called with results of my blood tests that she ordered on Friday. She was very alarmed by my TSH levels and wondered why I had not been on thyroid medication before this. I explained that she is the first medical professional in my life who has taken an active interest in my health and actually listened to me. She actually did the tests that I requested, plus a few more! Imagine that. I have attempted to tell others in her profession that I have all the classic symptoms of hypothyroidism, as well as a sister with thyroid issues, but they all have just waved off my concerns.

All my life I have had the feeling that the medical profession believes that I deserve to suffer because I let myself get this fat. "Perhaps if we just don't help her, she will finally start jogging and stop eating." Hellooooooooo...I have to use a walker to get to the bathroom and back. They never hear me when I tell them that just walking to the car and getting into it can cause so much pain that by the time I am at the gym I can't do anything and when I get back home, my mother will have to lift my legs out of the car for me.

Most of these doctors, who are being paid to diagnose and treat me, just preach to me about self control and motivation, but never listen to me. They don't even touch me. It's like I might be contagious. My last PCP was a nurse practitioner who, in the 1.5 years that I went there, never once laid a hand, a stethoscope, or any other instrument on me. When I asked how often she wanted me to schedule appointments or blood level tests, she said that I could just call when I want something. She was my pusher. I just called to get prescriptions refilled. She couldn't even be bothered to preach at me.

Now, I have a PCP who listens. She actually listened to my lungs, heart, and...well, she just interacted with me and listened to my concerns. I was stunned. It was like she cared about what I am going through and that I have a plan to get my health back. She wants to help. She asked meaningful questions and listened to my response. I know that she listened, because her responses or follow up questions, made sense with what I said.

So, now I am excited to see how many of my symptoms are relieved by this new medication. I will keep you posted. I have my next appointment in 4 weeks to recheck my levels. Wish me luck!


Anonymous said...

I am so glad you found a PCP that listens to you. So many times they treat patients like they are crazy or just after drugs. Good luck with the new meds

Venka said...

Finding someone who will partner with you in your health is so important. I've walked this road myself, so I truly appreciate the frustration and isolation is brings.

Leslie said...

Congrats on finding a pcp who will do something other than overbill and over book. I wish you luck and will be following your progress :)

Anonymous said...

BEVERLY!! I know EXACTLY where you are...I've been there.

First, about finding a practitioner who listens to you and helps you get better - you go girl!!! Think of yoour body as your car, if you took your car to a mechanic at a garage and he/she didn't explain to you what you needed to do to make it run after you said, "it makes this funny noise..." or "the engine won't start when I put the key in the ignition," you would take your car to a different mechanic until they solved your problem OR you'd get a new car.

YOU MUST BE THE SAME TYPE OF CONSUMER OR CUSTOMER WITH YOUR HEALTH. You have every right to expect answers after telling that provider what the problem is. Yes, you sometimes have to do the research (thank goodness for the internet) and lead the provider to what you think the problem might be, but if that provider doesn't listen your problems will never be addressed. You have the right to describe your problems and have that provider help you figure out the problem. If you don't like what that provider does, how he/she does it or if they just aren't even wearing a color that you like - you have the RIGHT to change. You must shop around. In the U.S., it is all about money. YOU MUST MAKE IT ABOUT YOUR HEALTH. You are on the right road. I am so proud of you!!!

"FAT" is a word you MUST eliminate from your vocabulary. It is a prejudicial, perjorative word that has come to be synonymous with "lazy," "un-motivated," "unloveable," and the like. You can say "overweight," or "height-challenged" (as in, I'm not tall enough for my weight - ha ha)...but don't say "fat." You are not fat.

I am so glad that you have found a good provider who is listening and addressing problems proactively!

I had gastric bypass surgery five years ago. I have lost 100 pounds. As you know from the ObesityHelp website (which is awesome!!), surgery is one tool to help you improve your health. I would weigh even more if I had not had the surgery (more than I did at the time of surgery). Food is my medicine when my emotions are down. I eat when I'm happy but ESPECIALLY when I am sad. I eat when I feel "empty" but not when I am hungry. The surgery has changed my life and my health. I am so deeply grateful for it!

Your blog is awesome and I found it through plurk. I am "IfPigsFly" on Plurk.

You are doing great!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Bev,

I just discovered my messages on OH, so I sent you a response. I am SOOOOO in tune with your comments in this post. For me, my WLS surgeon is the first doctor with whom I feel there is a genuine interest in ME! (and she knits as well!). ANyway, see my msg to you on OH and be sure to "friend" me on Ravelry (I tried to find you there, but no luck)