A new doctor, a new expression...

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by ForeverFlaring, Apr 9, 2003.

  1. ForeverFlaring

    ForeverFlaring New Member

    A day at a new Doc brings promise of hope for you

    You come in for the meet and greet. You are weighed, blood pressure is taken. The medical assistant has her all to perfect plastic smile attached to her face the whole time. You are ushered into a room with such bright flourescent lights that you wish you had brought your sunglasses. Plastic Smile asks your age, your past pregnancies, last period, history of all family members who have had illnesses. Then we get to "why are you here"?

    Plastic Smile becomes Hesitant Smile as you open your notebook and assault her with your alphabetized and categorized 100 symptom list in which you have made copies in triplicate.

    Hesitant Smile rapidly turns into Doctor WillSeeYouSoon Smile and dashes out of the room faster than a rabbit caught in your garden.

    You sit in the examination room in a paper gown on a paper sheet. You are shaking, praying this doctor will be "THE ONE". You are as cold as a featherless penguin in Alaska but the backs of your legs begin to sweat. You wince in pain at the blinding lights as you try to hear the doctor in the next room. He sounds nice and you strain to hear the sweet old lady talking about her bowels and bursitis. He seems patient with her, yet informative. Finally you hear him tell her that the nurse will be in with her and he would like to see her in 3 months.

    "Yes!It's my turn!" you think as you hear the door shut. You hear another door open and close as you listen to the doc introduce himself to another patient. Well, maybe you are next.

    You review your symptoms for the millionth time as you wait.

    You have your list of questions in one hand and your list of symptoms in another.

    You begin to second guess yourself and start thinking of questions you forgot to write down. As you begin to get more and more frazzled that you have forgotten to write so many things down, you hear the door across from you open and listen to the doctors booming voice saying he will see that patient in 3 weeks.

    You hear the chart come out of the box on the other side of the door and you know you are next. You quickly put the papers aside as the doc enters the room. He extends his hand to greet you with a smile on his face. Wow he is a cute one! You stand up to shake his hand, and realize that the paper sheet that you have been sweating on is now stuck to your butt and legs. You shake his hand with one hand while the other hand is trying to pry wet paper off your bottom that has stuck to it like wallpaper. He seems nice enough. Inside you know he is laughing at the paperbuttitis you seem to be afflicted with, but he has a genuine smile on his face.

    Genuine Smile is cute. His hair is messed up just a touch to let you know he has had a huge patient load and has run his hands through his hair to relieve stress, but wow he is a looker! Genuine smile sits down and looks at your history. You nervously grab your armor, your lists, and flap them in the air trying to act nonchalant, even though your heart is racing. Genuine Smile looks at you sweetly. You could melt looking into those eyes if you were 20 years younger. Genuine Smile sets the stage. "So, what seems to be the problem today?" Heart pounding..you smile feebly back and say, "I have fibromyalgia and cfs, and have had it for the last 5 years."

    In a nanosecond you see a flash of emotion cross his face as Genuine Smile subtly becomes Blank Stare.

    You never stop to take a breath as you spit out your symptoms speaking faster than an auctioneer on a Saturday night.

    Blank stare watches you as blankly as a Blank man can do. He thinks about lunch and wonders if the office girls will be ordering in today. He thinks about his last patient with the colitis and wonders if it could be diverticulitis.

    He already knows what medications you need but allows you to ramble.

    You give him your list of symptoms. He glances at your list as he decides on pizza from Dominos.

    You begin your list of questions, knowing he is only half listening to you. "Auto-immune? No, fibromyalgia is caused by lack of sleep and exercise."

    You continue to read off your questions one by one and get short three word answers as he crosses his arms in front of him. You have worked yourself into a frenzy at this point, knowing everything you say is in one ear and out the other but you will not stop. "Fibromyalgia is caused by lack of sleep and exercise",he states for the 15th time. You can't take it anymore! Your frenzied state and his arms crossed in front of him in a nonverbal message of defiance are the crashing point for you. You explode into a flood of tears.

    Blank Stare turns into DeerCaughtInTheHeadlights Stare. Now you did it! DeerCaughtInTheHeadlights Stare hands you some tissues and decides you definately are needing antidepressants. You promised yourself you would NOT CRY!!!
    DeerCaughtInTheHeadlights Stare clears his throat,gains control of the situation and becomes Blank Stare again. He has not even done an examination and this overweight, undertoned, depressed woman just will not stop crying.

    "Pepperoni and extra cheese", he thinks as he touches your back, neck, and arms. The tears have stopped. Your body jerks as your lungs attempt to gasp enough air to calm you down. You wince in pain at some points he presses and jump at others. Blank Stare sits back down. He then proceeds to tell you what medications he will be prescribing as if he is opening Pandora's box of treasures. You have taken all of these before but you have no fight left in you to tell him this. You are exhausted. You just want to go home and lay down. Blank Stare hands you prescriptions and you numbly thank him. You have gotten so accustomed to reading medications that you notice he has spelled cyclobenzaprine incorrectly. Blank Stare stands up and walks toward the door, "We will work on this.... together, I want to see you again in 8 weeks." Blank Stare becomes Genuine Smile as he walks out of the room.

    You are alone once again.

    [This Message was Edited on 04/09/2003]
  2. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    you have said, so well, what we all have felt. Bless you.
  3. gardengrow

    gardengrow New Member

    That was said so so well! Just change a few words to Chronic Fatigue syndrome and its fits me to a tee. When I first got sick was sent to a Neuroligist and when I started to tell her all my symptoms since I didnt know if they were interrelated or not she gave me that look also. The smile was replaced with a stare and then she acted mad. She told me to only bring up one symptom per visit! That was my first in a long road of the same type of visits to other types of doctors. It feels good to know that others know what this is like and how humiliating it is. It is good for us to be able to laugh together about it!

  4. lilwren

    lilwren New Member

    It was like reliving the nightmares all over again! I have been through the exact situation so many times I have lost count. Okay, maybe not the paper gown stuck to my butt, but everything else. :)

    It is so painful to be treated that way - on top of everything we are already dealing with. I hope and pray that one day something will change for us.

    Sharon L
  5. ForeverFlaring

    ForeverFlaring New Member

    I cannot believe ANY doctor would have the nerve to say bring one symptom per visit!! I think she was seeing dollar signs rather than a sick, wounded individual in front of her. Can you imagine a patient going to the Emergency room with abdominal pain, constipation, and a fever of 102 and being told only one symptom per visit? The poor patient's appendix would burst by the time the second visit came around. Ridiculous!!
  6. nancyw

    nancyw New Member

    Boy, you said everything PERFECTLY!!!! I just had the most horrible doc appt yesterday (see my post - Should I call AMA about this doc?). I get so mad at these doctors that I just start crying and then I lose the ability to argue/discuss/talk to them at all. You nailed the expressions, the second-guessing yourself, and everything on the head. It's so sad, but I sure am glad I found this board to relieve some of the horrible embarrassment that we all suffer because we're so stressed out. My new doc yesterday actually said I should have "quadrupled" my Noritriptalyene dosage because 25mgs "was just not enough and of course you're crying all the time!!!". Correct me if I'm wrong, but somehow I don't think thats a good idea for us PATIENTS to be fiddling with the DOSAGE of our prescriptions. Apparently, this doc thinks I'm stupid because I didn't. Well, don't get me started again! Thanks for saying this frustrating and embarrassing experience so perfectly. You should get that published!
  7. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    Sorry for your experience, thank you for sharing with us. I felt as though I was there with you. Fondly, June
  8. starstella

    starstella New Member

    about the sad but true situation we often find ourselves in. you are a talented writer. i appreciated the laugh i got from reading your post. thanks.
  9. ForeverFlaring

    ForeverFlaring New Member

    Thank you for the compliments. After going through this situation time and time again, it is nice to try to keep a sense of humor about it. :)
  10. gcalex

    gcalex New Member

    he didn't tell you it was all psychosomatic. Or did he? How awful, even if not. We've all been there I suspect. Speaking of which, when is the last time anyone had a "conventional" doctor ask them about their diet or their sleep?
  11. Susan07

    Susan07 New Member

    Foreverflaring, please send your very true tale to: Oprah, Dr. Phil, Montel whoever may listen - it's great. And so, so true!

    My doctor wouldn't even come in to see me after I bawled for 10 minutes to his PA - she RAN to get him and he still wouldn't come. I ended up in the ER the next night.

    Alone - again...
  12. FibroNan

    FibroNan New Member

    Every doctor should HAVE to read that. It is so true for most all FMS patients. Thanks for the excellent description.
  13. nancyw

    nancyw New Member

    Bumping. I think you should send this to the talk shows, too. That is a great idea.
  14. donna13210

    donna13210 Member

    You have such a way with words!

    What particularly struck me was what a WASTE OF TIME that doctor visit was, as is many of our doctor visits. It is so frustrating! You wait weeks to see this doctor, then, it's like you've never been there!

    The only thing I have started doing different with my PCP is to be more demanding. If I want to try a particular medication, I insist on trying it. Gently at first, stronger if needed. If I've been on a med before and it didn't help, I gently refuse the prescription. If my doctor doesn't want to go with my suggestion on a particular visit, I keep trying. Usually 2 or 3 visits later, she gives up and says "sure". It's not that I know more than she does, it just that what she's giving me isn't really helping!

    Thanks for such a great essay. I loved it!
    Take care

  15. goingslowlycrazy

    goingslowlycrazy New Member

    Foreverflaring - that was a beautiful piece! I am so glad to have read it cos it is exactly how I have felt too many times!!!
    I am so glad you included the bit about bursting into tears. That is the one that drives me nuts!!!! I sit here for weeks on end, half dead and never shed a tear...and then, like a pavlovian response...see Doctor = big fat hot tears sliding down pathetic face. As you say - the one thing we DON'T want to do for fear of simply being labelled depressive.
    I had a full afternoon of balance testing done a few months back. Halfway through, the tests were making me feel so lousy that I thought I was gonna pass out. And as she completed each test, the 'twinset and pearls' lady said 'Fine' or 'that's ok'. After half a dozen of these, I couldn't stand it any more and burst into real screwed-up-face-swollen-eyes-gasping-for-breath crying and said 'HOW can it all be normal when I feel so dreadful????'
    Cue embarrassed back-pedalling and hasty shove of tissues into hand.
    When I finally got the test results - they were NOT normal. They showed that my balance system has been damaged and is not functioning as it should (Consultants 'best guess' was that a virus had caused it....ya think??????????????????????).
    So - all that 'normal' 'ok' 'fine' monologue from twinset had done was to further convince me that
    a) nobody believed me
    b) they all thought I was depressed
    c) I was never going to get any help

    Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Sorry - your post just unleashed a vent there - but hey, better out than in eh? LOL
  16. joannie1

    joannie1 New Member

    You expressed yourself so well on how all of us feel it seems all the time. I think this should be printed and sent out to every single Doctor who treats our illnesses. I may just do that for the Rheumo.
    Thanks for this, it was really great and exactly how I feel and what I have done a million times.
    Take care,
  17. ForeverFlaring

    ForeverFlaring New Member

    Thank you all for the compliments. :)

    I sent a copy of this to my mother. She is always my sounding board, so I sent it to her to ask if she thought I should send it to Montel etc.

    I never created it for that reason, I just was thinking about how horrible all doctors visits are and how much heck we have to deal with everytime we go to a new one.

    I am dreading going to a new one yet again next Monday. At least it's a woman so I won't melt looking into her eyes. LOL
  18. ForeverFlaring

    ForeverFlaring New Member

    After sending this to my mother and a few friends who would be objective, they all urged me to send this to Montel. I didn't send it for me personally to go on the show, but for all of us, so we might find an advocate.

    Thanks all for your support.
  19. robin

    robin New Member

    To foreverflare! Oh my gawd! I laughed SO HARD when
    I read your post!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! It is so true
    AND funny as you wrote it! Thanks so much for the only
    laugh I have had today!! You did a MARVELOUS job of
    describing how doctors and their nurses talk and the
    plastic smiles and everything else! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!
    aND IT IS THAT WAY! And what a dumb question. You sit
    in an RA office, yet doctor asks what are you here for?
    someday I may respond with "I've had a heart attack" or
    I think my bowels are in trouble"....well, they would
    deserve a stupid answer to their stupid question!
    I think, maybe, "How can I help you today?" or "where
    are you hurting today?" would be more accurate.

    Thank you for giving me my big laugh for today!
    Robin :>D
  20. marta

    marta New Member

    This should be included with the bios and sent everywhere they are sent.

    By the time I finished reading it my palms were almost as sweaty as they are every time I go through this!

    Great job! Thanks for being our candid camera.