Day 12: worst doctor (or best but I write thank you letters to my wonderful doctors)
Really so very many… But one doctor always comes to mind first. So I’ll go with him.
Dear Dr. What’s-Your-Name,
I don’t even remember your name…can’t stand you. So smug. But surely you don’t remember me either. I was your patient in 2003 You were at the respected, Marino Center, in Cambridge Massachusetts. Several people with migraines, that I knew personally, were helped by you. I was so hopeful! It was the first time I had a questionnaire 20 pages long. I thought you’re really going to help me!
As I sat and filled out the forms and started to cry… “On a scale of 1 to 10 how often are your migraines at 10” ALWAYS. “How long do your migraines last” ALWAYS. …Every answer was the highest number, worst case scenario and represented my life. You indignantly asked me “why are you crying.” Why, because I’m in so much pain all the time and the only people who can help me are doctors! Yet, no one has done a thing! What I really wanted to be doing was screaming at you for not listening, for not being compassionate, for not keeping your oath to never do harm and for your personality.
Of course you prescribed antidepressants, which I, of course, did not take. You ordered an MRI, like so many others. But like so many others, you did not order contrast. At that time I didn’t know about a contrast MRIs. Shame on you. Were you milking insurance, were you placating me, pretending you were doing something to prove that there was no tumor and no disease? “Proving” that I was really stressed out and depressed. In fact, you and the primary care physician you worked with, said that neither of you would treat me any longer if I did not take your stress management class. This was a ridiculous notion. By this time I’d fired 3 other neurologists. So I decided to start (because I still was hoping the PCP was good and trust worthy) but found nothing but sobbing, empty-nester moms and stressed out college kids. I went to a few of your weak classes and then, I just let me, be me and fired your sorry ass. I got married, kept searching and God blessed me with a new doctor at the Marino Center, who specializes in women’s endocrinological issues. He diagnosed me in the first visit and had the final answer by the third visit after a CONTRAST MRI. For shame! You don’t deserve to practice medicine. The damage to my body is irreversible! You don’t deserve any respect which is why I never wrote you this letter. And now I never have to do it again. I’ll continue to move forward. I pray to stopped dead in your tracks and took am extended vacation.
I did write letters to three doctors. One was the neurologists, fellowship PCP I was seeing and misguidedly trusted. I had to search for her and found her in Pennsylvania. I listed all the things she did wrong, how she must improve and how her treatment of me was unacceptable. I also included and acromegaly brochure and told her to learn the signs and symptoms and listen to her patients. Another was to a family doctor, although an allergists, she treated me my whole life. She sent me to doctors she thought could help, she believed me and I was appreciative. I wanted her to know my diagnosis for her own education. No ill will. Pure respect for her. She was sent a brochure too. I know there was a third letter but I don’t remember who…maybe it was a thank you to the diagnosing doctor. He’s received more than one from me.
Really, life’s about moving forward and recovery. Sometimes getting it on paper is good. Sometimes leaving it alone is better. I’m searching for better.