Friday, July 31, 2009

Some doctors just piss me off

No offense to the brilliant doctors I know and to the image they uphold in society, but some doctors just really piss me off. Sure they may have enough bragging rights of being all knowledgeable and almighty since their profession is not something that can easily be learned overnight. It took them precious time, money and brain cells to pass upon series of tests and applications that make them covet the title that they've been dreaming of since they were kids. The nature of their work is noble enough that the rest of us should at least respect and admire them for what they do.

In this short lifetime, I already know a handful of good doctors; being a walking allergic target and klutz as I am. I am also not afraid of going through consultations if I get paranoid from time to time and I have been exposed and have interacted with doctors in various specialties. When I was a kid I respected my Pediatrician so much and knew early on that what she is doing is something brilliant and should remain unquestioned. I may not harbor the inkling of becoming a doctor, but I am always the courteous and very cooperative patient. That's why it pisses me off when I single out some doctors that do not meet my basic standards.

Take for instance the doctor I consulted with just a couple of hours ago. I visited a nearby self sufficient private hospital and scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist to officially consult my worsening allergies. Before going there I had already done my research, sifted through information and took the effort of outlining the pertinent sequence of events that might help her analyze my situation. No matter how brilliant the doctor may be, a thorough story telling from the patient would help them do their job better. The patient too has responsibilities. So I went to the hospital, confirmed my schedule at the nurses' station and was received with a less than appropriate slur by one of the nurses as if I'm a nuisance to their prime time soap opera viewing. With that I didn't get mad. I even pitied them actually. There they are managing the doctors' paper work and seeing to it that the patients are queued in properly. Their whole world revolves that way. How sad, sometimes I feel we owe them at least a TV where they could watch their soap opera.

The schedule of the doctor is 6:30 pm and I was there 15 minutes early. Of course, I waited, but the doctor was late. It was already 7 at that time and her clinic would end at 8 pm. I double checked at the nurses' station until I saw an old man carry some luggage into the doctor's office. I figured the doctor might have been on a trip until I saw a slim, long haired woman in jeans and white shirt hurriedly entering her office. With her ultra feminine vibe, her white smooth skin and demeanor, I bet she must be the dermatologist.

There was one patient before me and I waited patiently. When it was my turn, I positively went inside her clinic and was welcomed with a hurried smile. She tried to read my record as I began to thoroughly narrate to her my condition. I mentioned that after doing my thorough research I believe I might have the "Swimmer's Itch." I recounted the exact same symptoms I read in the net and the symptoms I have on my body. I perfectly laid out the exact time the allergies manifested and it greatly matched the information I found online. While I was narrating this, I was expecting she would've gone up from her desk, took the initiative to inspect what I was referring to as these "red, itchy, bumpy spots" and gladly laugh and tell me I was wrong. But she did not. She was just there listening to whatever "diagnosis" I formulated without even the slightest sense of urgency and concern. She was writing something until she saw ONE spot on my arm. One freaking visible spot. After I recanted the history of the allergy she focused only on this ONE spot visually seen from her vantage point. I got pissed. So, without warning I stood up and literally went beside her and pulled my jogging pants to let her sink the images I was talking about. Every spot, fading red and bright red, I know the history and I told her the medicine that I was relying on and even injected the fact on how I bathe myself and the type of soap I use just to open up the conversation. There is always that possibility that I might be doing something wrong. With all the information I told her about the disease, my precautionary methods and my suggestive prognosis, all she could ever say was "Insect bite." With all the exhibit and pinpointing I showed her, she dismissed it and told me it was an "insect bite." It was like a bubble in me fizzled out. I sat back down.

I think I deserve more than an "insect bite" explanation. I'm sure it was some sort of insect or parasite that caused this, but she could've given me something more specific, a condition, a name anything scientific, which she would in the end explain to me. She could've easily disposed my theory of a "Swimmer's Itch." I would've been happier if she did that, but she didn't contest me, nor provided any clearer explanation to what I have provided. I guess it's safe to say that I was right with my theory. Only to her it's an insect bite. How medically profound can you get?

I sat down and tried to inject something else she might need to know. I stressed out, that the allergy manifested 48 hours after exposure to a possibly contaminated water as suggested by having a Swimmer's Itch, which I read on the net. And my intense colds and allergic rhinitis attacked me at least 12 hours after that. There might be a certain angle she might need to look into, but she dismissed it by saying "as long as you don't have fever, you're fine." Okay, that is really good to know. She didn't offer an explanation or any connection that it might have been a cause of my colds and flu-like symptoms or it might have been just two different things. She didn't confirm or contest anything, damn it!

I was the one supplying her information and all she needed to know, but she was there not confirming anything and she just gave me explanations that a grade schooler can easily come up with. Insect bite?!

She eventually asked me the medications that I'm currently taking and I gave her the usual medications I have, which I observe and feel are working given the proper observation and time. She let me continue my oral medicine, but as if on auto mode, she stood up, reached unto one of her luggage and presented one small bottle of cream that is not heavily sealed, and put it in a small plastic bag. She told me to stop taking my other creams and apply hers. Wasn't that dictatorial and imposing? She didn't give me a choice. She didn't even consider if I may ever have money with me. And what's worse, she didn't tell me how to use it. When she gave it to me our conversation practically ended and she just told me to pay for the cream at the nurses' station. I stood up and immediately remembered to ask her how and when I should apply it. As expected, I ended up answering my own questions.

I went outside her office feeling more confused and tired from the effort of explaining as I went to the nurses' station to pay for an overpriced 500 bucks cream that is I believe smaller than the smallest package of Vicks vapor Rub.

While I was waiting for the driver at the lobby I can feel the heat on my face. I could take the fact that she arrived late, practically looked like a trendy mom out on a mall trip with one of her daughters. She could even brag about her title and act so high and mighty as long as she's doing her job well. There were lots of things that she could've done. She could've made an extra effort and inspect my lesions. I wasn't asking for a tissue sample for crying out loud. She could've come up to me and inspected where the lesions erupted, what they look like and not be utterly disgusted by it as if those were just pecks of mosquito bites because it sure don't look like it. She could've asked me the condition on where and when I swam. She could've formed theories on how I got it. She should have given me precautions from now on whenever I find myself at the beach. She would've tried to explain the connection of my rhintis to this and not just shove her little cream up my ass. There were lots of things she could've explained or done, but I guess she was in a hurry or she didn't care about doing justice to her job.

I'm pissed because I respect doctors so much only to find myself consulting with a doctor who doesn't act like one. Her medical expertise didn't comfort me at all. Wikipedia was more helpful. I sincerely felt I was the doctor in that consultation. I'm sorry, I might not have the proper title, medical knowledge and expertise, but I sure had bragging rights on that encounter, which I hope would be my last.

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