Wednesday, October 08, 2008

High Dudgeon

Today was another round of musical doctors at the Air Force Base. New chick. New dumbass chick. Hadn't cracked my medical records before she walked in the room. I started talking about nerve damage in my hand (hello, massive scar, lists of medications for nerve damage, MENTION OF IT ALL THROUGH MY MEDICAL RECORDS FOR THE LAST TEN YEARS) and she made me back up and explain why I had nerve damage. Major red flag.

Then I ask about taking Midrin (my migraine medication, related to old-fashioned knock-out drops, chloral hydrate) for said nerve damage, and for helping me sleep at night. Basically I wanted to know if doing that would make my liver rot out, or if there was some other, better, related drug for it. She about had a stroke that I was taking a medication for a use not listed in the Physician's Desk Reference (puhleeze), and told me I was to never, ever do that. Know how many drugs there are, officially, available for the treatment of chronic pain in the US? I think three. Maybe. It's been changing lately, they've actually made some research progress and some drugs used for chronic pain have actually been tested for it and so there may be more than that now. But ten years ago? When I broke my hand? There was one drug listed in the PDR for chronic pain. One. Everything was for something else (Neurontin, a major drug used to treat nerve damage, was developed for epilepsy). Major red flag number two.

Then she tells me my thyroid levels in my blood stream are too high and wants me to cut back. Well, yes. They're high. They're SUPPOSED TO BE HIGH. As a kid I was hyper-thyroid (always cold, skinny, never sat still) and technically my thyroid levels never dropped below what is considered 'normal' before they put me on medication. We tried it anyway because I had all the symptoms of a thyroid problem even if the numbers weren't 'right'. So now I've got this dumbass who I am betting barely looked at my CURRENT blood levels, let alone my three year history of them, to make this statement that the levels are too high. Do I believe her? With everything else she fucked up, misinterpreted, or blew off? Red flag number three.

So, anyway. After MY appointment with dumbass, I had another appointment with the pediatrician for the Goober (mostly stopped into say hi and get some minor stuff in her medical records; she'd turned three, seemed like a good idea and we're never there otherwise). Then a stop at the pharmacy, and anyway, it was at least an hour after I saw my doctor, before I left the facility.

An hour after THAT, I'm sitting at home, trying to decide just how irritated I am by that doctor, I get a phone call. It came up as 'private' on the caller ID, so - thankfully - I let the answering machine pick up. It was Doctor Dumbass, telling me she had JUST NOTICED (two hours after she saw me) that my blood pressure was high when I was in there, and could I GO BACK FOR ANOTHER BP TEST. Mind you, if she had, again, been paying attention, she'd have noticed where the nurse wrote down that I'd forgotten to take my blood pressure meds this morning and the Goober was running me ragged, so my BP was going to be high. I bet it got higher after that phone call. Major red flag #4. (No. I am not going back for another bloody BP test. I walk in that building and annoyance alone will put it up into stroke levels and they'll freak out and be assholes about it. Then I'll get REALLY mad, and the BP will go higher, and... fuck it. However, I did take my medication when I got home.)

I'm going to give in and demand a chronic pain specialist. It's bullshit, because my problem is minor and COULD be managed by a regular GP. Unfortunately, we can't seem to FIND A GP who has 2/3 of a brain. So I'll discuss this with the neurologist (if they want to run another EEG on me, I am hunting this doctor down, taping a ground wire to HER elbow, sticking needles all through her hand, and running an electric current and let her see how SHE likes it). And then I get to go to some specialist who will roll their eyes at me and think I'm over reacting and just need some anti-inflammatories and a goddamn tranquilizer and left alone. No shit.

Now I really want a martini.

In other news, I am on round 110 of That Big Octagonal Thing, and chugging along. I will be posting again, separately, about apple jack. I got a question about it in e-mail and figured you crazy guys would get a kick out of the info too. In a nutshell, low-tech home distilling, just in time for apple cider season. Anyway, it'll be separate for ease of sidebar linking, later.

I bet one martini wouldn't kill me. A small one. With fruit juice, so I can pretend it's healthy.


Alwen said...

Oh. Argh.

You know, I once entered the records of a pediatrician's office into their first computer database, and I'll bet back in the paper days you were what we called a "thick file". (We loved 'em because thick files took up a lot of space in the records but all we had to enter was name and address, etc.)

One disadvantage of things getting computerized is that the doctors don't get that physical reminder, via the thick heavy file, that this is a person who has gone through a lot, and maybe they ought to flip through that file a bit.

In theory, it's nice to have the records all centralized so they can follow you around.

In practice, it "works" like it just did on you.

Amy Lane said...

I hate dumbass doctors. (Okay--I'm still bitter from delivering Arwyn. "And after four days of labor, what made you decide to come in?" "I was tired of this shit!") Seriously--H.A.T.E. them. I'm hoping my last dumbass doctor was wrong about the whole family getting the Cave Troll plague, but I don't have high hopes.

Roz said...

God. Do incompetent people breed with each other on purpose so that we have to deal with their offspring?