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Doctor, Doctor are you Listening?

I am in pain and have been in pain since December 18, 2008.  I am writing this nearly a month later and am still experiencing a knife point sharp pain just below my sternum and in the same spot in my back. The longest I have slept for the past month is 4 hours; I cannot lie semi-flat any longer- must get up and move.

The pain started in the middle of my back and burned around to my left side.  I had torn a muscle in my armpit weight lifting last summer so I went to the Chiropractor and found relief with every visit until I tried to sleep.  I did not miss an appointment until the big snow storm.

The chiropractor is a very thoughtful fellow but he does not listen to me and in hindsight he should have recommended to me an EKG and a trip to my Naturopath or Physician earlier. Maybe he could have helped to work through some solutions with me.  I am thankful he did persist in keeping the Hiatal Hernia in proper position or I could have been in far worse shape.

My Physician is in India on sabbatical for another week and I was assigned a Resident who did the right thing when my blood pressure was 160/120 and the pain was fierce and sent me to the emergency room.  My GI doctor was having a day off.  After 4 hours of sitting in the waiting room of the ER, the Resident got the Doc’s attention and I was given a bed.  My BP was now 240/120 and I was attempting to do all the relaxation exercises I know.  (130/80 is normal BP)

The team went into fast action, almost no one listening to me and I was blurry now and forgot to tell them I had reconstruction surgery in 1996.  They were sure I was having a heart attack.  I did not have my medical history print out with me.  “Why are you not taking your High Blood pressure medication?” Specialist after specialist boomed at me.  Never listening to me saying,” with Diet and exercise I am 123/60 which is normal and I do all that because the BP meds make me depressed and upset.” “I monitor my blood pressure several times a day.”

“You are sure you do not have Diabetes?”  I have been warned about this for the past year or so, but I am doing diet and exercise and have dropped blood sugar levels from 118 to 102 (66-99 is normal; 120 is diabetic).  But I have had a drop in my exercise routine with all the snow and flooding – it has been erratic.

CT scans were ordered and a huge list of blood work and they kept popping in to ask me questions.  The blood pressure stayed high.  I kept doing deep breathing and adjusting my body to keep the pain at bay.

Test results are back…You appear to be healthy and normal in every department.  Here is a new blood pressure medication “DO NOT SKIP TAKING IT”,

The whole demeanor of the emergency room Doc had changed, now he was treating a person who was faking it, wasn’t responsible to her medications and routines, and was a fat old woman with tons of excuses, a person who was emotionally vacuous and irresponsible for her own health and probably just came in for the pain medication fix.  I was wasting his time and energy and he was tired and disgusted and moving on to one of the infants screaming with an ear infection.  I think if he could have spit on me he would have.

I am disappointed because now I know that my Physician had declared me a Diabetic, and a person with High Blood Pressure and GERD.  She has not noted that I am exercising and working on food issues, she has labeled what she sees. I was being told that these items were being dropped from my records with each year that I maintained; I thought I was building a team effort – Wow was I stupid to think that.

I no longer have any opportunity for Long Term Care Insurance.  My Naturopath is going to continue to not listen to me and just lecture me.  I was not only all by myself in the emergency room that day, but once again I know that each one of us is truly all by themselves all the time.  We are the only ones responsible for our health and healing.

I am left with still high blood pressure, 6 prescription drugs, which do not appear to be doing anything, and I have an extremely sharp pain under my sternum bone.   It is probably an emotional issue since we feel all our emotions in our stomachs first.  Of course that is it!  ‘cause we know that women are emotional addicts.

Here’s my diagnosis:  I am feeling a sharp emotional pain for all the innocent children who are being whipped into shape by no education or by fundamentalists, children who are dying in Gaza, who are sold into slavery, who have no future, who have no opportunity, food or understanding because of poverty, and are being tossed around by the politicians and crazy people running countries.

The second idea I want you to grasp here, is that no one listens to me or hears me in the medical profession or they think I am lying. Their assumption: if she is this heavy she cannot possibly be eating correctly or exercising. I feel that this is pity and it makes me sad, but then we all know one can bring the water trough to the horse…..

So what do you think about your medical team?  Do you know anyone who is not listened to by their medical team? Do you think I might be making this up?  How are you responsible to your health?  What is your diagnosis of my pain in the belly?  I’m listening…

Related Posts:

Personal Health Records
Female Heart Attacks
Becoming Another Person’s Advocate: First Thoughts

11 Responses to “Doctor, Doctor are you Listening?”

  1. Betsy Wuebker Says:

    Oh, Patricia, what a nightmare! And how insulting the change in attitude once they inferred you were malingering. Women’s complaints are taken very differently than men’s by the medical profession, even if they aren’t particular to women! The only thing I can offer is to change practitioner’s until you find the magic team. Unfortunately that may be a long, arduous process.

    Have you thought of accupuncture or other more non-traditional methods? I’m sure you have. Big hugs are what you need!

    Betsy Wuebkers last blog post..PLAY OFFENSE WITH YOUR LIFE’S WORK

  2. patricia Says:

    Betsy,
    Thank you for your good comments. I have built quite an impressive team, and never thought they would be unavailable the whole group when I had such a huge need. This was the emergency room team.

    I have used accupuncture and it is amazing for pain relief.

    This morning I am thinking about the “hugs” part of your reply – I had a therapeutic massage after each chiropractic/PT season – 50 in one year, but now have not had a massage since October…I think I am lacking touch.

    An apple a day keeps the Dr. away/ A Hug a day keeps the Shrink away!

  3. Natural Says:

    sorry about this patricia. if your doctors are not listening to you, then it’s time to change doctors, right?

    i go to a chiro for my back, but you know what REALLY helped ME. a full body massage. i went for 2 weeks without sciatic pain. that never happened before.

    Naturals last blog post..Fat and Happy?

  4. patricia Says:

    Natural,
    This was the emergency room – my team is all out of town at the same time.

    I go to the Chirpractor for my hips, which are the problem and he/she also put my hiatal hernia back in place…healed my torn ligments in my foot.

    I think I truly need a good therapeutic massage, but my therapist has been moved away with her family and I have not found another

    This is very frustrating experience. And I think a forewarning

  5. Davina Says:

    Hi Patricia. I agree with Betsy and Natural. I would get another opinion if I were you. Interesting they said you appeared to be healthy and that the tests were normal. What about the blood pressure level?

    Diet and stress can play a role, especially when linked to the pain you are describing in your back. Twice I was tested for a gall bladder attack due to pain just below my sternum, front and back. Usually between midnight and 2am. All tests were normal.

    This stopped after I lost my job and began working from home, as did the sensitive digestion. Something else that can trigger this is eating spicy foods and wine.

    I think we’re under more stress than we’re aware of. You know how they say that when you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated? Well I think that by the time you notice you are stressed, it has accumulated to a nasty level.

    Davinas last blog post..Self Help Me

  6. patricia Says:

    Davina,
    I was able to collect my xrays and ct scan and took them to the Chiropractor – he did an adjustment and put an 11mm lift in the heel of one of my shoes….I have now had 2 hours of pain relief on one side of my back…I actually slept 8 hours last night.

    Yes! Yes! working from home and having my Oppositional Definance Disorder Kiddo now mostly on phone contact has truly been a blessing to my sensitive nose an digestive track.

    I think this Internet, wiring problem has truly been stressful and then no phone for days…and all the phone calls and running around to get Internet connection to post my post…no sleep – Exhausting!

    Thank you for your good comments!

  7. Dot Says:

    “I was not only all by myself in the emergency room that day, but once again I know that each one of us is truly all by themselves all the time. ”

    Oh my, that’s awful. Emergency rooms are a nightmare, especially if you’re not dying. I don’t think they know much about anything that isn’t an emergency.

    I once went to the emergency room because I ran up a hill and something popped in my lower leg, and then it hurt so much I couldn’t walk. I lay on a gurney with my leg hanging over the side because I couldn’t straighten it without severe pain.

    The doctor walked in, looked at my history, flipped my leg up onto the gurney, and asked if my lupus was out of control. I was so mad!

    I’m surprised they didn’t make a greater effort to figure out why your blood pressure was suddenly so high. Regarding pain, I’ve gained back most of the fifty pounds I lost several years ago, and one of the things I discovered it that I hurt a lot more when I’m heavy than I did when I was closer to a normal weight.

    I can’t believe they didn’t believe you. I have a pretty good medical team, but I’ve had to keep making changes as doctors left the area or retired. I had an internist who didn’t listen to me at all, nor did he listen to my other doctors, and I tried very hard to work with him, asking him to spend more time listening to me and less time leaving the treatment room for a half hour, but he didn’t change enough, so I left him.

    My new internist is somewhat better, but I’ve had to make a point of communications issues with her as well. If all else fails, I ask my rheumatologist for a referral. He’s expensive, but he’s really good and so (both expensive and good) are the doctors he sends me to.

    It’s an ongoing struggle, as you know, with the insurance companies making them rush as fast as they can just to earn enough to stay in practice, and us wanting them to slow down. I’d ask a trusted doctor what emergency room offers the best service, if you have a choice.

    Dots last blog post..Welcome to Washington, Mr. President

  8. Jannie Funster Says:

    I know you are not making it up. Why would you?

    What’s up with doctor’s not treating you like a whole human, boy that maddens me. FOUR HOURS in a waiting room?!!? I thought that only happened in my homeland of Canada.

    Your belly pain I do not know what it could be. Boy, you sure needed that LIFT post after all this junk.

    I am very very overdue for a health visit.

    Jannie Funsters last blog post..And the ukulele song winner is…

  9. patricia Says:

    Jannie,
    Make a point of getting your health visit in and make sure your Doctor listens to you.
    I am going to work on some more posts about being your own best advocate at the Dr.’s office coming up

    I truly learned a great deal more by this experience and it is not quite over yet…

    Thanks for coming by – so good to hear from you.

  10. patricia Says:

    Dot,
    Although I sometimes have to remind my Dr’s to listen to me, I think I have a great team. ERs stink in the US – I hope we can get a fix on our medical system – it should be for everyone.

    You too have had some extraordinarily unsavory ER experiences, they are strange teaching experiences are they not?

    Then when you are my age you truly have to find someone to be an advocate that works for you, when others don’t really want to do that for you, but when in pain it is so hard to do it for yourself.

    My husband avoids pain, dissent, and medically related things. I don’t believe he will be a good advocate.

    I don’t know if any of my children will move closer, but they will be hard pressed to be a good advocate at their age now…
    I am very upset with Insurance Companies…but I am not sure of a solution so I am not ready to rant yet!

  11. Cricket Says:

    I am late arriving on your blog but I read this anyway. This is so terrible. I think a change of doctors is long overdue.

    Crickets last blog post..Validation