Is my doctor a jerk or am I?

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mwellsg
mwellsg Member Posts: 66
edited March 2014 in Head and Neck Cancer #1
mwellsg here. Found out Friday over the phone I have a fairly serious lump in the throat that has spread to my lymph nodes and who knows where else. You guys were a lot of help getting me focused and ready to fight this thing. But I have yet to talk to or see my doctor; and after 3 attempts, I can't reach him. I admit we are having an ice storm in Atlanta and getting around isn't easy, but the phones work.

In fact, when we (he) thought it was a sinus infection and I went through the first round of steroids, I called to say I had a wicked sore throat and that the steroids didn't work - I couldn't reach him then either. His partner had to call me back. I went to him originally concerned about lymph node swelling, he sent me for a CAT scan of my sinuses. When I went to the appointment after that first CAT scan, he said I had a deviated septum - I said dude, what about the lymph nodes. Then he sent me back for another scan, this time of my throat and a needle biopsy of the lymph node.. When I called for those results, guess who was once again not available. So, once again, I talked to his partner.

The rub is that his partner is the guy I would really like to get. My daughter is a nurse at the hospital and the doctors she knows told her that if I could get him that he is the best. But I know he's an older guy and have heard he's not taking on new patients. So after all this rambling, help me out here:

Am I pressing to hard? I would think the dude would have called me to at least see if we could hook up.
What would you do?
How do you make sure you get the right doctor's on your team? Who do you ask?

mwellsg sitting tight, waiting and frustrated
«1

Comments

  • MarineE5
    MarineE5 Member Posts: 1,031 Member
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    mwellsg,

    First, I'm sorry to hear that you are getting the run around. Seems to me that your Doctor could at least call you, even if it were after hours as some Doctors do call late at night after their rounds.

    Did you get the results of the Biopsy? If your daughter works at the hospital, can't she talk with the Doctor that you really want working with you? It appears to me that you would be uncomfortable with this current Doctor after his delays in returning your calls and not even speaking with you, his partner is the one handling his business, so you might as well deal with the Doctor that has stepped up. If that isn't possible, I'd look around for another ENT Specialist.

    You have to be comfortable with your Doctors, if you aren't, the road is rougher.

    My Best to You and Everyone Here
  • soccerfreaks
    soccerfreaks Member Posts: 2,788 Member
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    Choices
    My wife is a nurse and it was her choices of doctors, from beginning to end, and with respect to each and every aspect of treatment, that almost certainly saved my life.

    If you are unhappy with your current care, do the most obvious thing, first, and let your doctor know. Perhaps he can change his behavior if aware of your concern, or at least explain why he is acting as he is. If your daughter prefers the other guy, she probably knows best, given where she works. If she doesn't have the pull to get this guy you think you want, perhaps she knows someone who does.

    Just be careful what you wish for. If the guy is no longer taking patients, there is probably a good reason for that.

    In the meantime, I would caution that cancer, oddly enough, typically requires patience, even as we want it to hurry up and go away.

    Best wishes.

    Take care,

    Joe
  • mwellsg
    mwellsg Member Posts: 66
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    Choices
    My wife is a nurse and it was her choices of doctors, from beginning to end, and with respect to each and every aspect of treatment, that almost certainly saved my life.

    If you are unhappy with your current care, do the most obvious thing, first, and let your doctor know. Perhaps he can change his behavior if aware of your concern, or at least explain why he is acting as he is. If your daughter prefers the other guy, she probably knows best, given where she works. If she doesn't have the pull to get this guy you think you want, perhaps she knows someone who does.

    Just be careful what you wish for. If the guy is no longer taking patients, there is probably a good reason for that.

    In the meantime, I would caution that cancer, oddly enough, typically requires patience, even as we want it to hurry up and go away.

    Best wishes.

    Take care,

    Joe

    Good advice guys and better new
    I finally reached the doctor I wanted, the one recommended by my daughter. He agreed to take me on. Cool. Can't get into see him until next Tuesday. But he is scheduling me for a procedure at the hospital on Wednesday of next week to see if he can find the primary and to see if the metastasis has gone beyond my lymph nodes. Then I guess we'll know what we're up against

    He passed the acid test. I asked him if we could beat this thing, and without hesitation he said yes. So, I think I have the right guy.

    Mike
  • DJG1
    DJG1 Member Posts: 121
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    mwellsg said:

    Good advice guys and better new
    I finally reached the doctor I wanted, the one recommended by my daughter. He agreed to take me on. Cool. Can't get into see him until next Tuesday. But he is scheduling me for a procedure at the hospital on Wednesday of next week to see if he can find the primary and to see if the metastasis has gone beyond my lymph nodes. Then I guess we'll know what we're up against

    He passed the acid test. I asked him if we could beat this thing, and without hesitation he said yes. So, I think I have the right guy.

    Mike

    Keep Pushing
    Mike, Push when you feel you need to. Great News in seeing the doctor of your choice. Sounds like he is stepping up things, which is good. You will find through this journey that not all the doctors are the same, even if their speciality is the same. You may find this if and when the time comes to get into rad/chemo treatment. It is important that you are comfortable with all your doctors. If not, keep looking and move one till you find the right team. You will find that many here have been in the shoes you speak about and found a better docotor for them. Best of luck to you and keep us posted. Great group of people here to help you will everything. Deb
  • adventurebob
    adventurebob Member Posts: 691
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    mwellsg said:

    Good advice guys and better new
    I finally reached the doctor I wanted, the one recommended by my daughter. He agreed to take me on. Cool. Can't get into see him until next Tuesday. But he is scheduling me for a procedure at the hospital on Wednesday of next week to see if he can find the primary and to see if the metastasis has gone beyond my lymph nodes. Then I guess we'll know what we're up against

    He passed the acid test. I asked him if we could beat this thing, and without hesitation he said yes. So, I think I have the right guy.

    Mike

    Nice
    Sounds like you're in good hands now. I don't understand the problems that people seem to have with their docs. If I call my doc at 2am and leave a message I get a call back from him at 2:30am. When he goes away on vacation he introduces me to the doc that is covering for him and I call that guy at 2am and get a call back at 2:30. This is cancer. These docs knew when they signed up for it that it was 24/7. Do not settle for anything less than the best. Your doc should always call you back within a short amount of time. And when they do; make sure to let them know how much you appreciate them. Their jobs are more difficult than I can imagine and often thankless. I've noticed how much a kind word or a card can just light up my doc (and the nurses and the front desk staff and the techs) and really seem to make his day.
    Glad you got the doc you wanted. Good wishes going forward.

    Bob
  • dennis318
    dennis318 Member Posts: 349 Member
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    Same episode you are having
    Please seek atlernative Doctor and opinion, I usedd a Doctor similar, and didn't know what he was doing, after using my insursance, biopsy's, dye's MRI's, and found nothing, My Larnyx went dead on the Left Side, Instead of Sending me somewhere with more knowledge, the smaller hospital where he worked thought it was an implant fix, WRONG!!!!, I have half a voice and been miserable, and was sent to Vanderbilt after he cut in to my vocals, and the tumor, it was a Squamous 4 sitting there, even I saw it threw a scope at Vanderbilt, The smaller Doctor took a scope everytime I went to him and nothing, you go figure, I am glad you seeked another Doctor. I might have been able to speak correct if this quack wouldn't have took it on himself as being a nose and throat surgeon, Keep us posted, or I'll give you my email. Thanks Dennis
  • Hal61
    Hal61 Member Posts: 655
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    Who's the jerk
    Hi Mike, great subject line. I often question whether my needs and expectations are unreasonable, or is the dr being a jerk. I think it's normal and healthy to do so on a regular basis.

    Glad you got a doctor that you like. My experience is that doctors who are no longer taking patients have simply filled up their available doctoring time, which is better than overbooking. I rarely called my docs. I was lucky in that most of my procedures were scheduled in a timely way. When doctors returned non emergency type calls, it was at the end of their work day.

    Like Marine, I'm wondering if the results of the needle biopsy was given to you by your original doc's partner. Is anyone talking to you about a treatment regimen yet, or are they still searching for a primary?

    Sounds like you're being patient enough, do keep things rolling toward treatment. Like many, I went through treatment with no care giver, and it's important that you make sure the very busy process you're in keeps you in the loop.

    best, Hal
  • abbimom
    abbimom Member Posts: 87 Member
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    get him
    if you want him get him. Talk to him about your concerns and how the other doctor is never available. I've switched doctors in the same office before and you know what you have to do what is best for you. Good luck,
    linda
  • mwellsg
    mwellsg Member Posts: 66
    Options
    DJG1 said:

    Keep Pushing
    Mike, Push when you feel you need to. Great News in seeing the doctor of your choice. Sounds like he is stepping up things, which is good. You will find through this journey that not all the doctors are the same, even if their speciality is the same. You may find this if and when the time comes to get into rad/chemo treatment. It is important that you are comfortable with all your doctors. If not, keep looking and move one till you find the right team. You will find that many here have been in the shoes you speak about and found a better docotor for them. Best of luck to you and keep us posted. Great group of people here to help you will everything. Deb

    Thanks
    Cool dog.
  • mwellsg
    mwellsg Member Posts: 66
    Options
    DJG1 said:

    Keep Pushing
    Mike, Push when you feel you need to. Great News in seeing the doctor of your choice. Sounds like he is stepping up things, which is good. You will find through this journey that not all the doctors are the same, even if their speciality is the same. You may find this if and when the time comes to get into rad/chemo treatment. It is important that you are comfortable with all your doctors. If not, keep looking and move one till you find the right team. You will find that many here have been in the shoes you speak about and found a better docotor for them. Best of luck to you and keep us posted. Great group of people here to help you will everything. Deb

    Thanks
    Cool dog.
  • mwellsg
    mwellsg Member Posts: 66
    Options
    dennis318 said:

    Same episode you are having
    Please seek atlernative Doctor and opinion, I usedd a Doctor similar, and didn't know what he was doing, after using my insursance, biopsy's, dye's MRI's, and found nothing, My Larnyx went dead on the Left Side, Instead of Sending me somewhere with more knowledge, the smaller hospital where he worked thought it was an implant fix, WRONG!!!!, I have half a voice and been miserable, and was sent to Vanderbilt after he cut in to my vocals, and the tumor, it was a Squamous 4 sitting there, even I saw it threw a scope at Vanderbilt, The smaller Doctor took a scope everytime I went to him and nothing, you go figure, I am glad you seeked another Doctor. I might have been able to speak correct if this quack wouldn't have took it on himself as being a nose and throat surgeon, Keep us posted, or I'll give you my email. Thanks Dennis

    I hate it
    ...that happened to you. I could tell this guy was headed down that path. Oh, boy I get to sharpen my knife and cut into this none. I think I was lucky. Farmer, the doc I wanted and got, told me today that surgery in my throat is (he hopes) the last resort. He wants to treat it, cure it and keep me in one piece. I like that approach. Hope you do well and live a long and rewarding life.
  • mwellsg
    mwellsg Member Posts: 66
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    Hal61 said:

    Who's the jerk
    Hi Mike, great subject line. I often question whether my needs and expectations are unreasonable, or is the dr being a jerk. I think it's normal and healthy to do so on a regular basis.

    Glad you got a doctor that you like. My experience is that doctors who are no longer taking patients have simply filled up their available doctoring time, which is better than overbooking. I rarely called my docs. I was lucky in that most of my procedures were scheduled in a timely way. When doctors returned non emergency type calls, it was at the end of their work day.

    Like Marine, I'm wondering if the results of the needle biopsy was given to you by your original doc's partner. Is anyone talking to you about a treatment regimen yet, or are they still searching for a primary?

    Sounds like you're being patient enough, do keep things rolling toward treatment. Like many, I went through treatment with no care giver, and it's important that you make sure the very busy process you're in keeps you in the loop.

    best, Hal

    Hal
    I'll know next week. What I know is that their are squamous cells in my lymph nodes and they think the primary is in my throat at the base of my tongue. Wednesday (a week from tomorrow) I go into the hospital, they knock me out and see if they are right. I think they are also going to scan me to see if the cancer went beyond the lymph node into my body.

    I am lucky in that I have a caregiver. My wife. And she has proven herself in this regard once before. I lost a leg in a motorcycle accident in 1998 and she nursed me for a year. Today, unless you know me, you would never know I am an amputee. Funny, I thought that was my life's test. I guess it was a warm up.
  • mwellsg
    mwellsg Member Posts: 66
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    abbimom said:

    get him
    if you want him get him. Talk to him about your concerns and how the other doctor is never available. I've switched doctors in the same office before and you know what you have to do what is best for you. Good luck,
    linda

    Thanks
    Cute baby. My fifth grandchild is due in February.
  • MarineE5
    MarineE5 Member Posts: 1,031 Member
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    Good news
    Mike,

    Glad to hear that you have the Doctor that you wanted now and things will start to move along. I completed my treatments 6 years ago for Base of Tongue cancer. The Surgeon was able to see the tumor on the base of my tongue by doing a scope thru the nose after numbing the nose and throat. I also had a biopsy done on a swollen lymphnode which turn out to be cancer.

    As your Doctor stated, this can be beat.

    My Best to You and Everyone Here
  • Hondo
    Hondo Member Posts: 6,636 Member
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    Sounds familiar
    I am going through 6 ENT’s now just trying to get one of them to look at my Mastoid infection problems and not the cancer that is no longer there. ENT number 7 will be next week at MD Anderson, so hopping I can get some real help there

    If I were you I would start looking for another doctor and don’t wait as you need a doctor help right now.

    Wishing you the best
    Hondo
  • BrianKrashpad
    BrianKrashpad Member Posts: 188
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    Congrats
    On the new doc.

    Patients are people, docs are people, and no matter how hard both try, we live in an imperfect world that puts plenty of "systems" (road systems, phone systems, office systems, hospital protocols, insurance systems, conflicting work and vacation schedules) between us, so the less time spent on assessing jerkitude the better! (And yes, there's no such word as jerkitude, but that's never stopped me.) Figuring out the best way to go for each individual is what everyone hopefully wants. It looks like you've found that, so kudos!

    Be well!
  • Netracer61
    Netracer61 Member Posts: 14
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    Remember, you are number one, not the doctor, if there is a doctor you want, then ask, if they can't get a referal. You need to be comfortable and be able to put your full trust in your doctors.
  • mwellsg
    mwellsg Member Posts: 66
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    MarineE5 said:

    Good news
    Mike,

    Glad to hear that you have the Doctor that you wanted now and things will start to move along. I completed my treatments 6 years ago for Base of Tongue cancer. The Surgeon was able to see the tumor on the base of my tongue by doing a scope thru the nose after numbing the nose and throat. I also had a biopsy done on a swollen lymphnode which turn out to be cancer.

    As your Doctor stated, this can be beat.

    My Best to You and Everyone Here

    Cool - thanks
    You sound Very similar to what I'm piecing together for me.
  • mwellsg
    mwellsg Member Posts: 66
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    Congrats
    On the new doc.

    Patients are people, docs are people, and no matter how hard both try, we live in an imperfect world that puts plenty of "systems" (road systems, phone systems, office systems, hospital protocols, insurance systems, conflicting work and vacation schedules) between us, so the less time spent on assessing jerkitude the better! (And yes, there's no such word as jerkitude, but that's never stopped me.) Figuring out the best way to go for each individual is what everyone hopefully wants. It looks like you've found that, so kudos!

    Be well!

    Jerkitude
    Love it - dude
  • Hondo
    Hondo Member Posts: 6,636 Member
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    Remember, you are number one, not the doctor, if there is a doctor you want, then ask, if they can't get a referal. You need to be comfortable and be able to put your full trust in your doctors.

    Hi Netracer
    Welcome to CSN, glad to have you here with us.

    Hondo