Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Doctor visit

When I moved in March, I kept right on seeing my old doctor, despite him now being 15 miles in the wrong direction. But now he's closing his practice in the area, and I figure if I am going to get used to someone new, it should be someone I don't have to schedule an extra hour of travel time to see.

The new doc is a friend of the old one, so I am hoping he will have some person skills in common, since I like the old one. The new patient visit was yesterday. Summary:

Office is cramped. I don't know how they get people in wheelchairs or scooters to the back. Maybe they move furniture. The scale is inconveniently right in front of the doorway to the hall. Speaking of which, I've lost 10 pounds since this summer. I've also lost .75 of an inch since the last time I was measured, way back in my twenties.

Dr. M. is nice. He listened to me describe my current condition and past things that I thought he should know about that weren't asked on the new patient form. He said that the scar on my nose from the basal cell surgery was well done and acted like he could hardly see it, which either means he is extremely polite or in need of glasses.

He also prescribed blood pressure medication for me upon the one reading, and directed me to buy a blood pressure cuff. It seems a bit much to me to prescribe blood pressure medication off a reading at a new patient visit, but maybe there is something else he noticed or something in his notes from my previous doctor. We'll see. He will find I am a reluctant meds user, so he'd better keep the number of prescriptions low. Already, I misplaced the bottle and had to go on a safari to find it, and I hadn't even taken any yet.

I told him that my cholesterol was high the last time it was measured, but that I didn't want statins because of the associated muscle weakness, and that I couldn't afford any more muscle weakness than what I have. He promptly tested my muscle strength, which revealed itself to pretty much not exist. Ah, the old "squeeze my fingers" trick. Try to break them off, he said. Bwa-ha-ha! Hey, I'm just happy that I can complete a grip. Then he tested my arms and legs, with similarly sad results. Unless he can pull a magic potion out of his bag that will instruct my muscles to actually build, there is not going to be any useful change. (I can see it in his eyes, the question forming for next time. Would physical therapy help? No. No, it won't. But it will be exhausting and painful. Thank you.)

And he renewed my pain pill script, which is good, because we are coming to the time at work where we are standing most of the day. Except when we are bending.

And he wants me to keep a migraine diary, because he thinks maybe I should be taking a preventative. Oh, this will be hard, remembering to keep it. And knowing what to say.

OK, so I begin with that today. Woke up. Left side of head, behind and to the side of eye, hurts. Treatment: Ignore it. Breakfast: cup of coffee with cream, gluten-free waffle with butter. Head still hurts.

Oh, one more thing. I bought that blood pressure cuff right after the visit, since I needed to go to the pharmacy anyways. Checked blood pressure last night at the close of work. Also checked my vegetarian boss's. We have the same blood pressure.


Evil Transport Lady said...

So how did he respond to all your problems?? Did he just smile and nod? Or did he act like it was a challange? We usualy know right away if a doctor will work out for my daughter. A dealer sealer is if they run to their laptop and look up EDS, that makes us smile:)

Good luck with this guy, maybe he's "the one".

Drake said...

Sounds like you are still "sussing" the new doctor out ;D.

Honestly, I prefer a doctor that is honest and to the point rather than a polite...or even worse, blind one!

Cramped halls...cringe... With my last dislocation, the orderly was banging my leg against every second door frame, trying to get me into the specialists office. I can't see how a doctor...and even more so a specialist...would have worse accessibility than a shopping mall Sheesh!

Hmmm... My GP of 29 years, never picked up that I have an MVP...yet my cardiologist identified it with a sthetescope even before doing a sonagram. I guess some doctors just know what to listen for...yet, even my cardiologist missed a second prolapse untill my next visit. Could have been the beta-blockers stabalising things...making it easier to hear the second one...but who knows.

Mehehe... The last time I did the finger squeeze, my fingers "cracked" and "popped" and the doctor said "Hey! I told you to brake MY fingers, not yours!"

* Shudder * Standing all day...good luck!

Oh gees...diaries... I hate them! I had to do one of my rapid cycling...grrr...mumble, grumble.

And physical theraphy? Don't even get me started!

* Clasps neck in nervous gesture *

william Peace said...

Establishing a rapport with a new MD is very hard. This reinforces my belief that medicine is a science and an art. Many doctors are good at the science part of the job and struggle with the art of medicine.
We seem to have two medical issues in common 1. High blood pressure as you know is a silent killer. The medication is benign and the blood pressure cuff a good idea. This is an easily maintained condition. 2. So you had a basil removed from your nose. I had one removed from my lower eye lid. I asked the MD if there was a difference between a basil cell on the nose and eye lid. His reply: "Yes, about $1,800.

OneSick said...

Aren't new doctors FUN? I particularly like the ones who try and "prove" I don't have EDS by trying to bend my fingers backwards. That hurts because mine don't GO backwards. (So then I dislocate a wrist or a shoulder and they shut up.)

Usually, you can tell instantly if new doc is a total waste of your time. However, the real keepers can take a few visits to decide. Some apathetic and incurious wee MD souls can pose as "keepers" for a short time, but they cannot sustain the subterfuge, getting irritated and frustrated when asked intelligent questions.

On the BP thing, a lot of EDS-ers can have fluctuating BP, (hello POTS), so I would take it at different times during the day.

Also take it if you feel a bit "off" to see if it changes then.


yanub said...

ETL, so far he seems OK. It's so hard to know, but at this stage of the game of life, I'm pretty happy if I just don't want my time wasted. Or my experiences ignored. When I say PT isn't going to help, that's because I know from experience PT isn't going to help. OT, maybe. I'm glad to have help figuring out how to compensate for my body's declines. But doing more exercise isn't going to do anything but make me too tired to earn a living. And then where would I be?

Drake, I too am shocked at the poor accessibility of so many doctor's offices. Do they not expect that sick and injured people will show up? It's baffling.

I think I would like an actually blind doctor. You know, they'd have to listen, and touch. I think too many doctors rely on their eyes and ignore the evidence of their other senses. I know that isn't what you meant by "blind," and I agree that a doctor who ignores what is right in front of him is worse than useless because he becomes an active impediment to getting necessary care.

And I'm glad to know I'm not the only diary hater. I haven't written anything today, and didn't finish yesterday's entry. I can't hardly be bothered to take account of my work hours, so this is really asking a lot.

William, I like your doctor's answer about the basal cell cancer. I've had two growths removed from my right eyelid (neither turned out to be cancerous, fortunately) as well as the surgery on the tip of my nose. I'm OK with the blood pressure med, though I'm having trouble remembering to take it. My daughter takes a different one, as a preventative for her migraines, so I am hoping for such a fortuitous side effect.

OSM, my blood pressure used to fluctuate a lot more than it has lately, and bending over then standing up is a good way to end up on the ground. But I just don't have time during the day to futz with the blood pressure cuff. If I can do it twice a day, I'll be pleased.

My previous doctor, who is also Carapace's doctor, after examining when I was complaining about my feet and had somehow ended up crouched on the floor, exclaimed, "they say you will never see two!" He never did a Beighton's or Brighton's score on me, which is just as well, I think. But he did other sort of unnecessary testing for things which could be easily explained if he knew a bit more about EDS. But, you know, if they get worried there's something else wrong, they will fret over that until you demonstrate that you aren't about to keel over and die. The nerve conduction test was a pretty nasty hurdle on the way to ring splints, though. But now that I have charts and graphs demonstrating that I do not have either MS or Lupus or a brain tumor, maybe I can do less hoop jumping even with a new doctor.

Elizabeth McClung said...

I find the whole "new doctor" thing very terrifing becuase like you say, you can't tell if he is extremely skilled at his job in prescibing blood pressure pills or simply makes assumptions and is lazy. And every doctor has some sort of quirk - at least this one fills your prescriptions, which is a big plus. I hope that he is able to help you maintain you current quality of life and find a better one. Becuase isn't that the point of medicine?

Donimo said...

I am betwixt doctors right now because my regular one retired and the woman who took over her practice is not very skilled as a diagnostician and is also very emotionally manipulative. I had hopes because she is fairly young and looks hip and has a lotus flower tattoo. Silly me. I should have noticed sooner that she bites her nails right around and her fingers are raw. Anyway, I think it's a good sign he gave you pain meds without a fuss. Maybe he is capable of believing you right from the start. I mean, you are the expert, after all.

yanub said...

Hi, Beth! (Waving excitedly to see you out and about in Blogland)

Yes, filling my prescriptions without quibbling about it is very important to me. As is not pushing something on me that I would rather not have. I am thinking that, since he is gung ho to see me again in November, that I will ask him to refer me to someone for further bracing. I am feeling lately like I am about to fall through my knees and hips. So, the test will be, do I get braces without a fuss, or is he going to want pointless testing?

Aarghh! Donimo, I hate that when a doctor leaves their practice to someone you don't care for and can't develop a rapport with. That happened to me with my regular dentist 20 years ago, and I haven't had one since. I just go to one after the other, always dissatisfied. I am so hoping that things will go well with this doctor, because not being able to find a trustworthy doctor is even worse than not being able to find a dentist. Do you have any candidates lined up?

Lisa Moon said...

Oooh, the new doctor thing; I agree, can be completely terrifying. I live in a city/area where there are far too few doctors for the amount of people and, of the very, very few that will accept new patients (most must be new to the city or pregnant - can I fake that?!) are often... well, let's just say there's often a *reason* why they're willing/able to accept new patients into their practice!
Personally, at one time I had considered becoming a doctor of sorts (but leaned toward naturopathy) and one of the reasons I considered doing so was precisely because not everyone comes in with a sore throat, wants an anti--biotic prescription and then bye! We are complex beings with complex needs; if one can't locate a physician who finds scientific challenge in doing so, well... I do rather believe those physicians are sorry excuses for doctors. It seems to me that although they believe themselves to be quite scientific, that they are not at all.
In 7th grade science, I vaguely recall our instructions for selecting, performing and reporting our chosen experiments for a school science fair. Those basic introductory points on what constitues a scientific observation, devoid of emotion, is NOT what one tends to receive in a doctor's office. Now, this should be good, as we don't want to be treated by a robot (or DO we?!). However, since it seems the answer to questions they (docs) do not know tends to involve the patient being a faker/attention seeker/addict, etc. seems far from my memories of looking for many possible causes and effects and remembering there are always ones we had never imagined!
Sorry to ramble; hope that makes a bit of sense. :)