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JLeslie's avatar

I wonder if the collective can make me feel better?

Asked by JLeslie (56386points) March 14th, 2011

I have to go to the doctor, a specialist, it’s not good, but I prefer not to go into details.

Anyway, I made a pain of myself, wanting a specific doctor, when they set my first appointment; giving me first available rather than a doctor who might be best suited. I am a nervous reck about having pushed for the change. I just think that office probably already thinks I am an annoying problem patient.

Add to it, my aunt is dying. She went into the hospital 3 weeks ago, 78 pounds and almost 5’3”. She is one of my favorite people. My mom, her sister, went to her immediately, and several days later I flew in, and my mom left. My sister, who lives near my aunt, has carried most of the burden organizing everything that needs to be done for her, I won’t bother you with details.

Also, I am taking a medication, that I hate taking and want to stop as soon as possible, but need to be taking it for my doctor’s appointment, and having insisted on the other doctor, the appointment was pushed farther out. I agreed to the later date, but it interferes with a trip my husband and I were taking. He will still be going on the trip, I can meet him two days late, but he is not happy I won’t be with him, neither am I for that matter, and I will be alone at the doctor. I am likely to have a painful biopsy done, that most likely will cause pain for more than just a few hours,

My husband just called the doctor for me to see if there is anyway to make my appoinment sooner, which will interfere with helping my aunt. There is no good solution. I will have to fly directly from where my aunt lives to Vanderbilt for the appointment, never coming home inbetween.

Now, I think I should have stayed with the first appointment and the other doctor, but would be terrified to even ask to go back to it.

I am totally a mess thinking the staff at the doctors office has labelled me a pain. It is a big deal to me, because it is likely I will need ongoing care, and as I said surgery. Some health professionals do punish patients. They get annoyed and treat you with less courtesy, and less patience. I can’t have that with what I am facing.

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26 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@JLeslie Here’s a prayer for you. I hope it goes ok, but don’t worry about the staff’s attitude. They’re used to dealing with people facing tough issues, so I think they’ll understand you’re stressed.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

It doesn’t matter what the staff thinks.You are paying them.
You have to do what is best for you at this time and tough shit if they don’t like it.
You can just say that you are sorry for the inconvenience but…
Good luck and stay strong! :))

aprilsimnel's avatar

Have you (or your husband) explained what’s happening to a counselor or some sort of patient liaison at the facility where you’ll be treated? I would hope that they are trained to understand that patients are undergoing a lot of stress, and that at times it’s not just solely about their own illnesses, as in your situation.

More communication, and not less, is needed now.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, as @Adirondackwannabe said, any ‘professional’ healthcare worker should have lots of empathy and insight into your emotional state and make allowances for extra questions, inquiries etc.

Don’t get hung up on what others think, but, by the same token, treat others well and don’t expect ‘special’ treatment.

By that I mean, of course you deserve good care, but, keep things in perspective and realize that you and your situation is not any more or less important than anyone else facing a health issue.

Be assertive but not obnoxious.

The best to you!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I hope the Dr. you insisted on appreciates that you insisted on him/her.

It’ll all shake out @JLeslie. The thinking about it all is probably harder and more over-whelming, in the end, than the actual doing, which just takes one step at a time.

My thoughts are with you. Please let us know.

blueiiznh's avatar

This is about your health. This is a priority.
Like the airlines say “Put the mask on yourself first…before you assist others”
You’re no good to your kid/spouse/employer/community if you don’t take care of yourself. Sure, sure, you should be kind to yourself–and it will allow you to better help others, but please take care of numero uno!
Don’t worry about the Dr office, it is their job to help you when you need it. Change provider if they do not treat you with the care and respect you need.
Prayers and best wishes your way.
And, and , and you are loved

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I never keep track of who’s “religious” and who’s not, but I’ll keep you in my prayers anyway, and offer you this ((((HUG)))) and my sympathies. <3

cak's avatar

You know what I’ve learned, be that patient that isn’t afraid to speak up and ask for things – including better dates for an appointment. Ask if they have a cancellation list, a lot of offices have these, ask to be listed on it for a better date. Continue to call and ask for that date, yourself. (or your husband) Sometimes, you catch them at the right time.

You have so much on your plate. I am sorry that you have all of this going on, and am very sorry about your Aunt’s condition. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Cruiser's avatar

Was it the doctor or the scheduling nurse who gave you flak? My doctor told me he wants to know when the front door “Gestapo” as he called her is rude or uncooperative.

I hope all gets straightened out as you are dealing with a ton of highly charge and suffocating emotions! Stay strong and good luck with everything.

marinelife's avatar

It sounds like a very difficult set of circumstances. Now wonder that you are a nervous wreck. The doctor’s office will probably take it that way especially if you smile and apologize when you go in.

Don’t worry about your level of care. They are not that focused on you.

I am sorry about your aunt. I will be thinking of you.

sakura's avatar

Thinking of you at this difficult time. I hope all works out for you.
I would try to explain your situation as best as possible to the person who is in charge of making the appointments, if this doesn’t work then try making a regular appointment with your doctor and have a chat with them about how you are feeling and what is going on with your life at the moment, they may be able to dosomthing abot the scheduling of appointments for you
GOOD LUCK and caring thoughts be with you xxxxx

flutherother's avatar

You are under too much stress and you have to focus and concentrate on what is most important and that is you and your health. The best way of dealing with this is to be very open and honest with your doctor about what is worrying you and to work out between you what is best in the situation. I would simply be honest and wouldn’t start arguing with the doctors as this will only create more stress for you. Doctors deal with these issues every day, you are not being a pain but you have to respect their judgment. For the doctors also your health is the priority. Best wishes at this difficult time.

JLeslie's avatar

Thanks everyone. All your answers have been helpful.

@coloma Assertive not obnoxious. Trying.

@Cruiser No one has given me flak there. But, it has happened in other offices. I worked in a hospital, and my sister is a nurse, I know what some health workers say, and how they are. It’s like crying wolf too often, they stop listening to you. I am just paranoid maybe. They have been very nice to me so far. Everyone going to that office is sick and scared, so maybe they are more empathetic than a typical doctors office?

@cak that makes me feel a lot better.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Keep in mind that YOU are profit and THEY are overhead. It’s your medical problem, your decision on what to do about it, your money and your life, so you have every right to insist on what you need and want. It sounds as if you have a good marriage, so it will weather this storm as I’m sure it has weathered others. So… what’s important? Your health, your relationship with your husband, your care for your mother… making nice with the “overhead” is dead last.

cak's avatar

@JLeslie—Just remember, it’s something that an oncology nurse taught me: you are your own best advocate. It’s hard to do, at times. I did worry about being considered the bossy patient or the PITA patient. (Pain in the *^%)

Jude's avatar

“you are your own best advocate.”

I couldn’t agree more. I have to push.. Don’t feel bad about that.

JLeslie's avatar

@CaptainHarley It’s just they have the scalpels and the needles and the appointment scheduler. I once had to make a stink while my husband was hospitalized because the nurses were not listening to how badly my husband was doing. We figured out it was after he took a particular medication, and two nurses replied, “we never have problems with that med.” I finally insisted they call a doctor, and we got it changed, and he got better. The next time he needed a new IV line put in they sent in a nurse who seemed to have Parkinson’s she shook so much. He refused to get stuck by her. I believe it was on purpose. A joke to them.

Side note: my mother worked for the FDA in the department that receives reports of bad reactions to meds, and the drug my husband was taking has many bad side effects, similar to what he reported. Sometimes with that class of drugs some problems stay permanently, like double vision. It is still a minority of people who get such severe reactions, but the people who don’t tolerate the med well, can have big consequences.

CaptainHarley's avatar

It sounds to me as if you guys need to find a better hospital.

JLeslie's avatar

That was a long time ago, different state.

My dad recently had a procedure, he told them the drug he cannot use for sedation, they used it, and never got to the procedure, but instead wheeled him over to the ER because his heart rate dropped to 30 something. They weren’t mean, just poisoned him. Ignored his request, ignored his knowledge of his own body. I can’t believe you have not witnessed times when medical staff don’t take you or a loved one seriously? Or, fail to be understanding?

One of my favorite doctors said he had a dramatic change in how he cares for patients when his dad became sick with brain cancer and had to be hospitalized several times.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Hon, I stand 6’2” and weigh about 230 lbs. I’ve spent most of my life as a US Army Infantry Officer. When the need presents itself, I can be VERY persuasive. Hell! Give me the address of the hospital and I’II come over and make sure they do their damned jobs right, and I’ll bring my son the nurse over with me as technical advisor! : D

JLeslie's avatar

@CaptainHarley Awww. Thanks :). It is more that I am being paranoid due to past experience I guess. Hopefully, they will be understanding and competitent.

janbb's avatar

There is a difference between being assertive and being a bitch. I’m sure you are not at the bitchy end of the spectrum and that the office doesn’t have you marked out for nasty treatment. Decide what you really want to do in terms of the appointment, call them and politely explain, and get what you need. Don’t add irrational fears on top of the rational ones. Also, is it possible that the trip can be postponed for both you and S? It sounds like it might be good to have him there with you.

CaptainHarley's avatar


Ok. Just don’t say I never offered! LOL! : D

BarnacleBill's avatar

Your health comes first, before helping your aunt and taking a trip with your husband. Like they say on the airplane when the oxygen mask comes down, put your own on first then help others.

As for being a pain with the office staff, send a gift of food, like a cookie bouquet, with a note that’s a sincere apology. Acknowledge that you realize you’ve been difficult and that being sick is new to you, and you’re not quite sure how to do it well. It’s the South. Good manners, food and a good tale will take you far, “bless your little pea-pickin’ heart.”

I’m sorry you’re not well.

JLeslie's avatar

@BarnacleBill I was just thinking of sending or walking in with a gift. I agree food is always appreciated. I always feel weird sending bad for you cookies and candy to medical personnel? I guess it does not really matter what it is in the end. I’ll give it some thought. Thanks.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I wouldn’t send candy, but the cookie bouquets have the cross-over between flowers and cute. They attract positive attention when it comes, it’s not something people buy themselves, and it gets talked about. Send beforehand, don’t take. I go through periods where I think about having my middle name changed to “Gaffe”

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