What Brings Me Down: Doctors

2014 Diabetes Blog Week

Today’s topic for Diabetes Blog Week is What Brings Me Down:

Click for the What Brings Me Down – Wednesday 5/14 Link List. May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope? (Thanks go out to Scott of Strangely Diabetic for coordinating this topic.)

I had to really stop and think about this one because for me, it is not truly diabetes that brings me down.  It isn’t even the complications from it that bring me down.  And yes, I have had some days that I cried because of both of them but those are few and far in between. 

For me, the most frustrating thing is having to deal with doctors.  These past two years, I have been dealing with a foot wound that got infected and the infection set into my bone.  Everyone says we need to be informed patients but doctors hate it when we are and certainly don’t like it when you have an opinion about things you do or don’t want to do.  The times I have spent in tears this last year weren’t because of my wound but because of frustrations with doctors. 

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Some Good, Some Bad and Letter to Doctor

I am participating in Wego Health’s National Health Blog Post Month. I am not using the prompts again today. Today is the last day! Not sure how I mad it with all the crap stuff going on, but somehow I made it.

I have an appointment to go back to the wound center in Pittsburgh. I wasn’t sure if I had burned my bridges there by sending the letter with all the mistakes in my records. I called the person at the hospital that I had talked to and referred to TuDiabetes. I won’t quote her response, but she was glad that I wanted to come back. She told me that I made her day so that certainly made me feel good. The errors weren’t medical errors, they were errors in my records but the electronic records concern me that someone will see those and they spread.

Doctors carrying computerShe told me that they were finished with the corrections but one doctor forgot to sign his so she had sent it back to get his signature on. She said both doctors agreed with everything I stated except the one that called me old. He would not change one thing. My gut tells me that it is the old comment but I will wait to see the report. They had on there that I was allergic to Xanax and I never used that drug. Apparently, he dictated latex but the transcriptionist heard Latex. I haven’t looked too deep into the correction process yet to know if I am allowed to “disagree” with his refusal to correct something.

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Doctors and Trust: Learning the Hard Way

Today’s prompt for Day 17 of the Wego Health Activist Writer’s Challenge is, “Learned the Hard Way. What’s a lesson you learned the hard way? Write about it for 15 today.”

DoctorI grew up believing that you should trust your doctor. A doctor was someone that you should respect. I learned the hard way that a doctor needs to earn that trust. When I was going thru my foot wound, the doctor at the local wound center did another culture followed by an MRI. He told me that the infection was gone. I believed him.

He placed a wound VAC on my foot to help close the wound. A wound VAC is not supposed to be used with osteomyelitis (an infection in the bone). My infection was “gone” so that shouldn’t be a problem.

After the wound VAC was placed on my foot, things started going downhill. After an almost fall, I was having a lot of pain in my foot. The wound become macerated and we thought it was because one of the home nurses put the wound VAC on wrong. The doctor performed surgery on my foot to clean out the wound. Although it was done at the hospital in the OR, I was only given a local and remained awake for the surgery. The doctor was going to do another culture but forgot to do it until after he had put something in my foot that would have invalidated the culture. He felt that it wasn’t really necessary to do the culture. He also told me that the bone was fine. That was on a Friday.

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Best Doctor’s Visit

Today’s prompt for Day 6 of the Wego Health Activist Writer’s Challenge was to write a haiku.  I decided to use one of the early bird prompts instead.  The prompt that I picked is, “Best Doctor’s Visit or Hospital Stay. What made it the best? The news you got? The nurse/doctor/surgeon you saw? The results?”

DoctorThat is easy!  That doctor’s visit was in March of 2007.   Two years prior to that visit, I developed a diabetic foot ulcer.  About six months into that ulcer, I landed in the hospital and found out that I had osteomyelitis.  Osteomyelitis is an infection that has set into the bone.  While in the hospital, I picked up MRSA.  About another six months after that, I did not feel like my wound was getting any better and I was extremely frustrated with the wound center I was going to locally.  I decided to switch to doctors in Pittsburgh.

On March 10, 2006, I lived thru the scariest day of my life.  I had surgery on my foot.  Prior to the surgery, the surgeon called me a challenge.  My bone had turned to mush and I also broke it about a month before.  He did not know how much, if any, of my foot he would be able to save.

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Second Opinions: They Can Save Your Life

Doctor gifLast year I wrote Why You Should Always Get Copies of Lab Reports and talked about several things that happened to me with doctors doing/saying the opposite of what was on my lab reports. I talked about what happened with my foot in that article and I have also mentioned it several other times. Back when I was dealing with the infection in my foot, I had a culture and an MRI that both stated I still had an infection in my foot. The doctor treating me proceeded to tell me that the infection was gone and placed a wound vac on my foot that should not have been placed there with the infection. My bone turned to mush. Had I not decided to get another opinion and gone to Pittsburgh, I wouldn’t have my leg today. If I had requested copies of the culture and MRI when they are done instead of waiting until I decided to change doctors, I would have questioned what was being done (or not being done in the case of not receiving antibiotics for an infection) and I would still have the bone in my heel today.

I had an appointment to get my hair cut last week. I was originally scheduled for the week before, but the woman that cuts my hair called me about a week and a half before the original appointment and said she needed to reschedule it. She said that her father was in the hospital and they needed to do some tests. She wasn’t sure what was going to happen so was trying to clear her schedule for awhile.
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Doctors, X-rays and a Little Frustration

Kelly Booth foot x-rayWhen I wrote about falling down the stairs, I said that I had gone to get x-rays of my foot. A couple weeks after I fell, my foot was bothering me a little bit so I thought I would get the x-rays to show Dr. N, the doctor that I see for my foot. I didn’t really think anything was wrong, but since that was the foot that I had the bone graft in, I just wanted to have him look at the x-rays. My regularly scheduled appointment was yesterday and I didn’t think it was necessary to move my appointment up. In fact, my foot has not been bothering me since I picked up the x-rays. When I was getting my stuff together yesterday, I felt stupid even taking the x-rays and even thought about not taking them.

I first met Dr. N in August, 2006 when I was doing HBO at the wound center I went to in Pittsburgh. Although he was not my doctor as far as my wound went, I was under his care in HBO. I knew from my experience with him in HBO and talking to some of his wound care patients in the waiting room, he was a very good doctor. His patients had a lot of respect for him. I started seeing him a little over 2 years ago at his office. He really cares about his patients and will go out of his way to help them. If you have a question about something, he takes his time to explain things. If you think differently about something than he does, he doesn’t belittle you because you have a different opinion. He is very knowledgeable. I wish everyone could have a doctor like him! His staff is just as helpful and caring as he is.

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