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Day 3: Doctor Conversations

In response to WEGO’s daily prompt, “Write a post about a conversation with your doctor,” I thought about my memorable medical moments, but I couldn’t decide on a great chat to write about. I rely on a notebook to retain most information from these chats, because I am usually experiencing some combination of exhaustion, dehydration, anxiety, and dopiness. I have cried in more doctors’ offices than I care to admit, and I used a lot of foul language behind closed doors when my least favorite doctors failed at their jobs.

The following are a few of those moments that made me wonder what the hell just happened.

1. The first year I went off to school, I met with a local GI doc that told me to “Go back to Chicago where they have good doctors.” He also didn’t want to take me on as a patient because I was too transient as a college student, and I was interested in biologic medications. His response to my questions about Humira and Cimzia: “We don’t do those here.”

2. “Eat whatever you want. Diet does not affect disease symptoms.”

3. One doctor refused to test me for vitamin deficiencies and told me the only thing I needed to take was calcium. (False. I already knew I was malnourished.)

4. Same guy as 3 refused to test an infected feeding tube wound (G-tube). It was constantly oozing blood and pus, and never healed properly. When I insisted it was a problem, he sniffed it. It apparently didn’t smell foul enough to merit medical attention. The lovely ladies at my health center had to help me out!

5. “If you don’t go into anaphylactic shock, you’re not technically allergic to that feeding tube formula.” My reaction a few minutes after a tube feeding began: hives, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, dizziness, and nausea. I just wanted to feel less sick. Seems reasonable, right?

6. Cardiologist: Persistent tachycardia would concern me more if you were older, but since you’re young, I’m hesitant to take any action.

7. Psychiatrist: “I don’t like anti-anxiety medications, so I don’t prescribe them to my patients.”

I think we’ve all had our share of bad experiences. I hope you have all found help and medical professionals you trust. My health isn’t perfect, but after all the physical and emotional damage caused by lousy doctors, I can confidently say I have a good team caring for me. I appreciate them more because of the frustrations I’ve encountered.

Thank goodness for the doctors at The University of Chicago, who care about me and know what they’re doing! I am lucky to know these awesome folks who go above and beyond the minimum requirements of their jobs. The most memorable sentiment I’ve heard there has been expressed by more than one wonderful person:

“We will do what it takes to help you feel better.”

Ah, music to my ears.


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