September 20, 2006

A pre-appointment rant

I usually rant about my endo appts AFTER I have them. I thought I'd rant beforehand this time. I already have a feeling that it's going to be a same old crap with my endo.

I'll arrive.
I'll wait in the waiting area for a few minutes.
My name will be called and I'll go back the little hallway to step on my enemy - the ruiner of most appointments - the scale.
The nurse will take me to my room, and I'll wait there for about 30 minutes.

Dr. C FINALLY arrives and spends the first five minutes mumbling to himself as he looks over my charts.

"Laura? (Yes - it should be on my chart). "Okay.... so... last time your A1C was 7.4... this time it is ______ "(I didn't call to find out yet - I figured bad news can wait)... "Hmm... my pump patients usually get their's to below 6.5" (in a disappointed tone - as if I don't feel bad enough about my A1C...)

"You're using a pump, correct?" (Nope, I'm just wearing it because I love to accessorize.)

"You're still using Humalog?" (You filled out the script - you tell me!)

Then he'll look at my Excel spreadsheets...

"My, my; someone likes Excel!" (I do, thank you; in fact, you'd better appreciate those charts. I spent 4 hours last night playing "catch up" on my logging)

He'll pause - look through the charts and - without a doubt - zero in on my WORST DAY - one with lows of 50 and/or highs above 300

"Wow, what a mess this day was. Were you being bad???" (He gives me the "hairy eyeball" and then laughs and grabs his pot-bellyish stomach) "I can't really criticize though, can I - ha ha ha ho ho ho" (he amuses himself while I stare at him with a blank expression)

The appointment continues in such a manner. His nurse assistant interrupts approximately 3.5 times throughout my entire appointment. He writes in my file a list of things I should work on, but never gives ME the list, and then mumbles a few words about basal testing and the "graham cracker test" as he backs out the door and disappears down the hall. His nurse hands me an appointment card for my next appointment, and I leave.

I leave the appointment without much hope that things will get better...
... without a sense of what exactly I'm doing wrong...
... or how I can get my morning blood sugars nearer to my goal..
... or why I can't seem to lose weight...
... or why I'm hungry every evening...
... or how I could better use the features of my pump

I leave the appointment and wonder why I wasted his time and my time.

I'd be better off on my own.

Despite knowing full well how this appointment will go, I'll go in with a tinge of optimism that maybe - just maybe - it will be different this time. Maybe he'll have constructive advice; perhaps even a helpful suggestion on how I should change my basal rates, or correction factors, or carb/insulin ratios.

I'll go because no other doctor in a 50 mile radius seems to be accepting new patients.

I'll go because he signs for my prescriptions.

I'll go, but I know how it's all going to play out.

8 Comments:

Blogger mel said...

Surprisingly your dr. sounds better than my last endo. Thankfully, he stopped seeing his difficult patients (read: those of us that cry during appts or never used to log, call with blood sugars or care really; read: me) and we got to see his Nurse Practitioners--God's gift to diabetics, I'm convinced. :) My last appt was at his practice and my next appt will not be at his practice.

Anywho, you should keep trying to change doctors, at some point someone needs to take a new patient. Be persistent! Goodluck!

4:15 PM  
Blogger George said...

I truly hope your next post is about how different your appointment was but I will not hld my breath. My endo is a smidge better then yours but I wonder why i go sometimes. I think it's pescriptions.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

A "Pre-Appointment Rant" eh? Boy - you're just bucking the system all around aren't you?! :-)

I feel you on this one. Your doc sounds kind of weird, but I can totally understand the logistical challenges in finding anything different.

I hope you'll feel up to posting an update after the appointment...

5:19 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I would definitely consider switching Endos... yourdoctor is supposed to be helping you and it doesn't sound like yours is doing much more than criticize you.

Plus, if things haven't changed at all and moved in a positive direction then that's another sign that your Medical team may need to be changed.

I know it's frustrating, but if anything, I hope that this next appointment motivates you to find another, better doctor.

Keep us posted :)

11:20 PM  
Blogger soso said...

Hahaha... I know it's not really funny, but you did make me laugh...It so reminded me of a pyschiatrist I went to once, an old english duffer and he actually spent my first appt telling me about him and his wife's trip to China! I did go to one more (hell they were free...) but came away with the idea that he thought I was the trick cyclist........
Good luck anyway...
ss

2:18 AM  
Blogger soso said...

Hahaha... I know it's not really funny, but you did make me laugh...It so reminded me of a pyschiatrist I went to once, an old english duffer and he actually spent my first appt telling me about him and his wife's trip to China! I did go to one more (hell they were free...) but came away with the idea that he thought I was the trick cyclist........
Good luck anyway...
ss

2:18 AM  
Blogger soso said...

Hahaha... I know it's not really funny, but you did make me laugh...It so reminded me of a pyschiatrist I went to once, an old english duffer and he actually spent my first appt telling me about him and his wife's trip to China! I did go to one more (hell they were free...) but came away with the idea that he thought I was the trick cyclist........
Good luck anyway...
ss

2:19 AM  
Blogger Jane said...

What about writing down that list of questions you have and either handing it or reading it to him?
I can't promise you any good answers 'cos I have had my fair share of bozo docs (more than) but at least you'll feel you've done everything you can to get those answers.
As for the scales -1 extra pound makes me freak so much my BP goes through the roof. I was scaring the nurse so much that my new(ish) endo decreed Blood Pressure first, scale second.
I long to find an endo who I can think of as a partner in my diabetes care. I'm sure they exist somewhere.

3:18 PM  

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