Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions. No excuses. (hunnichild) wrote in bad_service,
Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions. No excuses.

Quite possibly the worst medical experience I've ever had

I've been going to the same family practice for about 15 years.

They're almost always nice, courteous and competent except for one incident in the past. Long story short, I made an appointment a couple of years ago because I’d gotten a UTI and was told that they couldn’t fit me in until 8 days later and that it would be with a doctor I didn’t know because mine had left the practice. I never received any notification about my doctor and really, it burns when I pee, this could very well spread to my kidneys and you're going to make me wait a week? When you have 5 different locations and all of them have early morning emergency appointments? Thanks for the concern. Everything went fine and I got my antibiotics but I put them on mental probation after that.

A couple of months ago, it was time for another physical (now called a well woman exam) so I made an appointment with the doctor I’ve been seeing since the last debacle. They give me a an appt. only to call me after 5 pm on the day before and let me know they double booked the doctor, I've been bumped and I need to call and reschedule. I call the next day and they don't have anything available with my doctor for the next two months but they have a spot with another female doctor in two weeks. I take that one and pray they don’t cancel on me again. They don't. So last week, my appt. rolls around and I arrive five minutes early to find an elderly woman and her aide in the waiting room and nobody behind the reception desk. The aide tells me they've been there for five minutes, nobody's come to the desk, they haven't seen anyone walk by in the back but they know somebody's here because the door was unlocked. We all wait for a bit and right as the elderly woman goes to reception desk again to look around, the two receptionists come back and one of them starts telling the woman to sit down, they'll get to her, they're just coming back from lunch, she'll have to wait, etc. Completely rude and inappropriate, especially since the desk should have never been unattended in the first place. Everything went smoothly through the next couple of steps, except for my nurse being a little confused that I wanted a pap smear as part of my exam. As he was going through all the pre-exam questions they ask, the doctor comes in (without knocking on the door) and starts introducing herself and talking to me...all while the nurse is still trying to finish up his questions. Instead of letting him finish so he can leave and we can carry on, she keeps talking over him, forcing me to answer his questions and talk to her at the same time. After she's done, she leaves and tells me she'll be back in a couple of minutes and then the nurse and I finish up with the questions. Kind of odd, but I just it off.

Now, here’s where things start to get crappy. I’m going to preface this by giving a little medical history. I had hyperthyroidism, underwent radioactive iodine treatment for it and now have hypothyroidism and will take thyroid medication to replicate normal thyroid functions for the rest of my life. Anybody who knows anything about thyroid issues knows that it does a number on your weight. So when the doctor comes back and asks he reason for my visit, I tell her I not only need a pap but I wanted to discuss some solutions for my weight problem. From the time I started treatment until now, about 2 years, I’ve gained around 55 lbs. I’m 5’ 3 so 55 lbs. is a lot for my frame. She starts by asking me about my diet and exercise. I tell her I’ve cut out all soda, fast food and most white flour and bread products. I drink 8 glasses of water a day, eat three meals a day and exercise for 1.5-2 hours a day, 4 times a week. She gives me a blank but skeptical look and asks me to elaborate on my meals. Alright. Yogurt and granola for breakfast, a bagel if I think it’ll be awhile before I can eat lunch, salad or sandwich for lunch, both of which I make myself and are chockfull of vegetables, and my dinner consists of one meat, one starch and one vegetable. After telling her all of this, what does she say? “No bagel, carbs are the enemy. And maybe you should try working out 5, 6 or maybe even 7 days a week.” Are you shitting me? I just told you possibly the most well balanced diet a 20-something has had and you’re nitpicking my occasional bagel and telling me I should exercise more when every other doctor I’ve been to has only recommended 30 mins a day/4x a week. I tell her I don’t really think the exercise is the issue and she tells me that maybe portion control is my issue and I should consider Weight Watchers because “Jennifer Hudson lost all that weight on it.” I’m somewhere between livid and sobbing because it’s becoming increasingly obvious that she thinks it’s all my fault and she’s not going to give me any advice that isn’t eat less, exercise more.

I’m visibly upset but she ignores this and continues on with the exam. She attempts to take my blood pressure and the first time I guess she overinflates it and the cuff pops off. The second time, she asks me if I’ve ever had high blood pressure, I tell her no and she says “Well it’s high right now”. I ask her to do it again, she does it begrudgingly and then says, “Oh, it’s back to normal now.” We go through the rest of the motions with her randomly bringing my weight up every once in a while. She checks my lungs while telling me I should really think about WW again. Does my breast exam while telling me that my family history puts me at risk. While she gets everything ready for the pap, she starts telling me I should take this seriously or the next step may very well be bariatric surgery. You know when you hear the phrase ‘seeing red’ but you never think it actually happens? I have now experienced it. She hasn’t even thought to discuss phentermine or even Alli with me but she’s already jumping to surgery? I am nowhere near 100 lbs. overweight, I have no other health problems besides my thyroid, I’m fully mobile, am able to stand on my feet for 8-9 hours a day, can lift 50 lb. boxes and small children and run 2.5 miles on the treadmill 4 times a week. I am so far from being a candidate for bariatric surgery, it’s not even funny. Seething. Seething is the only word that could describe me at that time. I just wanted to pop her head off like a Barbie’s but we only had one more thing left to do and I just wanted to get the whole thing over with. We get started on the pap and she makes some joke about how it’s not pleasant but you just have to grin and bear it; I’m not amused.

TMI alert.

So she inserts the speculum, everything’s going fine and then I feel movement, as if she’s rotating it or something. She starts telling me that I must have a shy cervix because she’s having a hard time finding it. I have never had the problem before with any of my previous doctors so think is sound less like a 'me' problem and more like a 'her' problem. Still, she twists and twists and I’m slowly feeling more traumatized. Walls are closing in, breaths are becoming shallow and I’m feeling increasingly uncomfortable. She fiddles around some more and then tells me she’s going to have to use the bigger one. Again, I have never had this problem. I’ve never been pregnant, never given birth and haven’t been sexually active in months. I’m not very fond of the idea of a bigger speculum right now. So she does her thing with her bigger speculum, I resist the urge to kick her in the face and she tells me she’s still having a hard time finding it. It’s my cervix for Christ’s sake, not the Holy Grail. My vagina is only so long, it’s not lost up there somewhere. She then has me scoot forward and bear down, causing discomfort of many different kinds, until she finally finds it and swabs. She wraps up the exam, writes me a prescription for BC and I proceed to dress faster than I’ve ever dressed in my life. To be honest, I’m still kind of recovering from this but once I calm down, I’m really considering writing a complaint to my insurance company.

ETA: I just went to the pharmacy to go pick up my BC. During the appointment, she asked me what I had taken previously and I told her Lo-Ovral then Low-Ogestral when my insurance decided it wouldn't cover the brand name. She said "Ok, we'll continue the same stuff. Do you want to get a 90 day supply instead of having to go every month?" I hadn't even thought of that, but the cost of a 90 day generic supply is that same as a 30 day supply run through insurance so I say sure. Now today I go to pick it up and it says Cryselle instead of Low-Ogestral. I ask about it, they say it's the same thing just a different generic and he didn't just substitute one generic for another, that's the one she prescribed. I don't mind as long as it's the same thing, but it'd be nice if you told me you switched it so I'm not all wary when I'm handed a completely different pill pack. To top it all off, I open the bag and there's only one package in there. I ask again and they tell me that the script was for the standard 28 day supply, not the 90-day, but they let me return it and they're calling the office now to have a different script sent over. Is this woman out to get me or something?

TL, DR - Rude receptionists at doctor's office, doctor treats me like a Fatty McFatterson and is confused by my lady bits.
Tags: bedside manners, first do no harm?
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