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I am furious with my new primary care doctor!

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1358
Joined: Oct 2015

I hate having to find a new primary care physician! Especially with us moving from Wisconsin to Florida where you don't have a lot of friends and family to give you recommendations.

I started seeing a doctor near our home here when we switched insurance last April. The first time my husband and I went together to meet him and have baseline blood tests. I was a little concerned with his office. Files were all over the place and hanging haphazardly from an open filing system. The place seems a little dirty AND they took our blood in a supply/storage room. Today I went to review my blood tests and the place looked WORSE. I went in and told him how tired I was all the time but since chemo and the stroke, I realize I'll never be the same. He told me in no uncertain terms that it was almost four years since then and I should be fully recovered and not to use that as an excuse!!

I asked him to raise my levothyroxine for my thyroid to get back to the same dosage I was prior to cancer. He told me I tested in the normal range but I explained to him I did better if it was higher. I told him I needed a doctor who not only looked at test results but looked at how I was doing and even with the higher dosage I'd still be in that wide "normal" range. He finally agreed but refused to write out a new prescription. He told me to take the old dosage all week and then on Sunday to break one in half and take that in addition to the regular pill as a "catch-up" dosage. I told him that isn't how it works! My endocrinologist back in Wisconsin said to take the pill on an empty stomach about the same time each morning and it was important not to skip a pill or accidentally double up. 

Then we discussed my higher than normal A1c reading. I told him I hadn't been sleeping very well at all and when that happens my A1c jumps. I also told him that my blood glucose level rises overnight - last night when I went to bed after a snack of non-fat yogurt and blueberries it was 174 an hour after the snack but when I work up at 9:30, it was 202! He told me that was impossible. The only thing that causes blood glucose to rise was eating too much sugar! I told him I'd been diagnosed with the Somogyl effect - I was diagnosed with T2 diabetes even though my A1c was 5.2 (high levels in the morning after dropping low overnight and waking up soaking wet and confused during the middle of the night). He said there was no such thing!!! I know it's controversial but this dope just dismissed it totally.

He asked me if my mind raced when it was bedtime. I told him it didn't but the pain from the neuropathy kept me awake. He asked if I had ever tried sleeping pills and I told him I hadn't. He gave me a prescription and when I looked it up, it's an antidepressant!! I'm going to try it for a few days but I have no faith this will work. As a matter-of-fact, if I had known it was an antidepressant, I would have told him I've had problems with them in the past.

Needless to say, I did not have a good day! I was just looking online and found a young woman doctor - American (not foreign like this doctor today) who has either four or five stars. My friend here who worked in a medical office for years sees her and loves her. I'm going to call there tomorrow to get my follow-up appointment with her (the doctor today wants to see me in three weeks to see how the "sleeping" pills are working) and have my medical records transferred. 

I thought after that Romanian doctor who I went to before my cancer diagnosis when I KNEW something was wrong dismissed me with, "You get old!", I had see it all....but I guess not!

Thanks for letting me vent!! That doctor's dismissal of me when I shared my concern about the aftermath of cancer and chemo, infuriated me! How dare he assume he knew my life and what I have been through - what any of us have been through!

Love,

Eldri

ConnieSW's picture
ConnieSW
Posts: 1456
Joined: Jun 2012

Run, don't walk to another doctor. Take your husband too. 

Forherself's picture
Forherself
Posts: 223
Joined: Jan 2019

Its no fun having to argue with your family physician.  But if the medication he gave you is Trazodone, it is an antidepressant but it is a better sleeping pill.   And it doesn't carry the risk of habituation like others.  You can safely take it every night.   Still I know what you mean about communicating with foreign doctors.  My surgical on cologist had a fellow from Egypt.   This person called me over the phone and said my diagnosis had been changed to cancer (and without hardly a breath) proceeded to tell me I needed to make an appointment for scans in my city as she couldn't and call me back if you can't.  Wow was I mad.  Not even a pause with her bad news.  I reported her as a. matter of fact.   I felt like I had been slugged in the chest and then the person just kept talking and I was supposed to be listening.  

Quilter_1's picture
Quilter_1
Posts: 48
Joined: Mar 2019

You are absolutely right to find a new doctor, this guy sounds like an idiot.

Linda

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1358
Joined: Oct 2015

The thing is, I tried to tell him I sleep just fine when my neuropathy isn't bothering me. But, it's hard to sleep when you feel like somebody just stuck a knife in your foot and you can even feel the blood running down. Sometimes my feet hurt so bad, I have to walk - I walk around the house, up and down the hall; around the dining room table and back and forth through the kitchen. I've used CBD oil and although it worked for a while, it's losing its effectiveness. I could understand using it if I had trouble falling asleep or waking up but when my feet don't hurt, I sleep like I'm dead. 

But, I'm going to try one tonight and pray it will knock me out so hard I won't wake up when the knife stabs me - LOL!

Love,

Eldri

Anonymous user (not verified)

so sorry to read this mess that you entailed.  However, I just went through this about 4 weeks ago.  I left crying.  the man was horrible!  He told me to call the mental health clinic where I live because my mother just died 5 months ago and I was taking tranquilizers given to me by my gynecologist.

He said I needed a shrink!Foot in Mouth  His office was dirty too.  He didn't even have a nurse.  the office girl took me into the room!  He came in and was so fat, he had to undo his pants just to sit down.  Looked like he never brushed his teeth and it grossed me out.  then he had a computer in the corner but didn't know how to operate it, so he wrote everything down on paper.

He told me to get on the scale and I got on this Walmart $10 scale in the room.  He said I was too skinny and told me I needed a high carbohydrate diet!  I told him I had Graves' disease and it made me hungry so I ate a lot but he didn't seem to care.

Told him I had uterine cancer 2017 and he kept saying "cervical" cancer.  I don't think he knows which part is which if you ask me.  then he told me repeatedly that my life is a mess and I need a shrink to get put on anti-depressants because of my cancer and my mother dying.

He also photographed me and I don't know why because I don't plan on returning.  He said I didn't need anymore female testing because my cancer doesn't warrant a checkup?  He doesn't know anything.  He also said I had to stop the tranquilizers and that maybe needed rehab.  I felt like amy winehouse.Cool  I said "No, No, No."  (sorry have to have some humor about this)

When I left, he gave me a paper saying that he was adding a "finance charge" if I didn't pay my bill on time.  thank god I did.  what is he?  capital one?

these doctors!  Grrrrwl.

Sorry for the rant.

I hope we both find someone caring and not all about the almighty $$$$$

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1358
Joined: Oct 2015

I don't blame you for ranting. Did you find a new doctor?? I called a new one today to switch. Hopefully, she will be more professional and understanding. I always think when I get a "bad" doctor, "Well, somebody had to graduate at the bottom of their class." Right?? LOL

Love,

Eldri

Anonymous user (not verified)

Nope not yet, eldri.  I recently went to the dentist, neurologist and this jerk and now I'm taking a break.  I am all "doctored" out.   Have colonoscopy next month on Halloween.  there goes my candy....Frown

CheeseQueen57's picture
CheeseQueen57
Posts: 814
Joined: Feb 2016

Do not tolerate this kind of care. Your life is in his hands. You need an excellent PCP. There’s got to be one in your area. Search until you find him/her. 

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1358
Joined: Oct 2015

My quest starts tomorrow!! Love you, CQ and hope you're feeling fly (and nobody thinks I'm hip).

Love,

Eldri

zsazsa1
Posts: 344
Joined: Oct 2018

This is what I tell parents moving to a new city, looking for a pediatrician.  I don't know how well it would work for adults.  I told them to call up the chief resident at the local pediatric residency program, and ask him/her to recommend someone who was good, and who would have room in their practice.  You see, the residents see the patients who are admitted, so they see all the mistakes, and also the well-cared for but unfortunate, so they really know the quality of the physicians in the area.  Theoretically, the same process should work for finding any type of doctor.  The only people who really know how good a doctor or surgeon is, is the people who train under them.

With adult medicine, it really is tough to find someone good.  There are terrible "American" doctors and some fantastic "FMGs" (foreign medical graduates), but overall, the quality of US trained physicians is much better than those from the 3rd world (but there are some exceptions).  I have NEVER met a South African doctor who wasn't incredibly well-trained - if you get the opportunity to go to one of those, grab it.  I don't know how it would be now, but 25 yrs ago, my God, they put everyone else to shame - every single one of them that I ever met.

Eldri, I am SO sorry for the neuropathy pain you are living with!  I actually declined the 6th dose of Taxol, because after the 5th, I had 3 stabbing pains in a row in my big toe, exactly as if I were being stabbed with an ice pick.  I figured, especially after what I had read on this website, that if it set up as permanent after the 6th dose, I'd never sleep again.  I don't know how anyone could sleep through that.  And you are dealing with it every night!

He probably gave you trazodone, 50 mg.  It's a very low dose of an old fashioned tricyclic antidepressant that is nowadays used more for its welcome side effect of making a person sleepy.  It WORKS, and has no other side effects for most people.  Patients can use it for years, and it doesn't stop working for most.  But I don't think that anything could help anyone to sleep through that ice-pick stabbing neuropathic pain.  But try it- maybe it will help you.

About the synthroid.  I have a pill that is a double dose, and I cut it in half.  I forget to take it, sometimes for a few days I am ashamed to admit.  And it doesn't seem to make any difference, clinically, for me.  When I am going to get tested, I make sure to take it every day, so that at least I can know that the dose is correct.  Beware - too high a dose of synthroid makes your thigh muscles get weak, and makes your whole system run too fast - diarrhea, fast heart rate, etc.  It's not a good idea to raise your dose of synthroid unless your TSH is climbing.

But from what you described, it sounds as if the doctor were overwhelmed, and disorganized.  I completely agree with your decision to go elsewhere.  Hope you find someone who is competent, conscientious, and a good match for you.

MoeKay
Posts: 215
Joined: Feb 2004

Eldri, the messy, dirty office would have been a deal-breaker for me!  As others have said, run, don't walk, to a primary care doctor with higher standards.  If he can't take care of his own office, how is he going to take care of you? 

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2593
Joined: Mar 2013

RUN!

MAbound
Posts: 871
Joined: Jun 2016

Short and to the point!

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1554
Joined: Jun 2015

Yep, both of you need to run!

I moved to North Florida (from Central Florida) last year. Had to reestablish all doctors and so far so good for me. I actually feel like I was able to get some better ones and I was happy with my originals so I feel VERY fortunate. Especially after reading your posts.

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

CheeseQueen57's picture
CheeseQueen57
Posts: 814
Joined: Feb 2016

Trot!

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1358
Joined: Oct 2015

How about walk fast with an attitude?? LOL

Love,

Eldri

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2593
Joined: Mar 2013

I need a "LIKE" button here...

cmb's picture
cmb
Posts: 377
Joined: Jan 2018

My PCP is about 3 years older than me, so I expect she'll be announcing her retirement soon. Although I can switch to the doctor my sisters see, I will miss her. Her personality and approach suit me very well. I hope you find a doctor that meets your needs very soon. It's hard to believe that the one you saw has any patients at all.

My sister is like you – she's very particular about her Synthroid dosage to feel her best, even when the "numbers" fall within the normal range. Fortunately she's been able to find doctors to work with her on this over the years.

A doctor story on a lighter note - when my three close girlfriends and I started college we all decided that we should get a prescription for the pill to be "prepared" for what we anticipated would be our exciting college life. We went to different universities in Chicago, so when one of my friends found a gynecologist she liked we all went to him, versus visiting the clinics that were probably available at our schools.

I don't remember all that much about the appointment, except that his first words to me when reading "my" chart were: "Well, you're certainly not 72 years old!" Apparently the nurse had given him the wrong file. I have to admit that I felt some trepidation going through the rest of the appointment with him after that, but I guess it all worked out as I did get my prescription. I didn't, however, go back to him again!

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2593
Joined: Mar 2013

Thank you, cmb.  Your story made me smile. 

I fall in the "ya gotta love your doc" column

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1976
Joined: Nov 2009

Oh my Eldri!

ive been there.  We used to say 3 strikes you’re out but it got to the point if I didn’t connect with the doctor I sought a different one.   I had to change doctors when my first one retired.  My next favorite one left for Texas. In between I had several doctor.  It’s so frustrating.  I just had this conversation with my husband today as his favorite doctor had also left for Texas.  the new doctor just doesn’t fit.   

 

As as we discussed, we may find a new doctor who may give us the same advice or diagnosis as the other but it’s how it’s delivered that matters.   We want a doctor who will treat us as a person 

 

eldri I hope you find a good doctor 

 

Kathy

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1358
Joined: Oct 2015

I have a new doctor and am set up to see her October 10th!!! I took the 50 mg of trazodone - OMG, I was up eight times to pee about every 1 1/2 hours - just my luck it's a rare side effect and I get it. I took it at 10:30 p.m. and finally was able to wake up fully at 11:15 a.m. but I felt like I had a bad hangover. I talked to my friend who is a retired NP and she asked if I told the doctor I am sensitive to medication and how I've had trouble waking up from the anesthetic. I told her I did but I don't think he listened (or believed) anything I told him. She said if she wasn't retired and I was her patient, she would have told me to start at 12.5 mg. and if that didn't have any effect, go up to 25 (I take a quarter of my oxycodone table when the label says take one to two). 

So...tonight I'm going to take a quarter tablet and see what happens. I'm hoping for the best because I have a luncheon tomorrow with friends and I don't want to miss it!

Love,

Eldri

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1976
Joined: Nov 2009

I’m glad you have a new doc!  The constant peeing is a pain.  From my surgery last year I still have to wear bladder pads.  You really have to be your own advocate and even then it’s hard!   

I hope you get to enjoy your luncheon tomorrow!!!

hugs!

Kathy

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1358
Joined: Oct 2015

Thanks, Kathy! It's good to see you posting again. I wear the bladder pads too. After my hysterectomy, I started "leaking." I can deal with it but have to be careful when I sneeze or laugh too much - LOL! Or, maybe it's just old age? 

Love,

Eldri

Quilter_1's picture
Quilter_1
Posts: 48
Joined: Mar 2019

Dearest Eldri,  I hope that you and your new doctor click.  But on the bladder pad issue, I just had to chuckle.  I have a group of lifelong girlfriends, we get together for lunch about once a month.  Hardly a lunchtime goes by when the conversation doesn’t turn to the ways our aging bodies are betraying us, panty liners and pads come up almost every time.  We laugh about sneezing, jumping, running, coughing so much until someone usually says “oops”.  We all miss our young, flexible and beautiful teenage bodies.  We have a 50 year high school reunion October 5, it should be interesting, but fun. Some of the girls laugh about trying to lose a few or 50 pounds before, I laugh and say my goal is to try and go wigless .  I have an appointment with my dear friend and hairdresser October 2 to color my hair and try to come up with a style for my crazy short super curly hair.  Oh well,  I stil have a great wig as backup.  

Fridays Child
Posts: 72
Joined: Jul 2019

This thread is very interesting to me as I'm in the market for a new primary care doctor. Mine moved away. There's essentially only one practice in town so I need to choose someone from there.  (There are a couple of individual practices but let's just say I don't want to pick a doctor close to my age because then they're likely to retire and I'll have to find another!)  If I pick one in this practice and don't really click with him/her, I'm afraid it will be awkward to make a change.  Have any of you had to change doctors within a practice and how uncomfortable was it?

It does occur to me that if I choose a man, it might be less awkward if I tell them I've decided I want to switch to a woman doctor.

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1976
Joined: Nov 2009

i dint care for my PCP whatsoever.  However I do like his PA.  So anytime I need something  I will always ask for her.  I can email her too with questions and she listens.  If I request certain blood work (I sometimes get pancreatitis) She will fax me an order for blood work

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