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Doctor My Eyes


Spaulding
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(Post's title is a song by Jackson Browne.)

 

Some rant, before I ask some questions.

 

My left jaw joint hurt for eight weeks. I'd give it a seven on the pain chart. Sometimes higher. Sometimes lower. Sometimes gone for half to a whole day. It has done that three times in the last two years, and the first time I saw my dentist about it. That's how I ended up with 13 less teeth and dentures. Despite all that, my doctor's NP told me to see my dentist because I probably clench my teeth when I sleep -- something I can't without my dentures anymore. (Nor did I do that before, according to hubby.) If not him, than an ENT. The pain left three weeks ago, about when I got my MRI to check what's causing it. (I didn't know it wouldn't return for a while, back then, since it had hurt a couple of days before that.) My ENT told me to see an oral surgeon, because maybe she could help me with the pain, since he could only tell me what it isn't. (It isn't clenching my jaws, TMJ, or anything else he could think of.)

 

It's a large hospital network, that always make people start at the main number and get transferred several times, before talking to the right department. There is no way of calling the doctor's office. It took 20 minutes just to get an appointment. I called this morning to find out if she still wanted to see me. One hour, three phone calls, four transfers later, and, although the person had no idea how to connect me to the doctor's office, she sure did understand "cancel the appointment." Oh, and added bonus, each phone call started with a recording. Did you know, (and you might want to sit down for this), there is a pandemic going on... COVID... hospital precautions... blahblahblah?

 

This is standard procedure with this hospital network, to the point that, despite having telephone appointments with my pain-management doctor every other month during the pandemic, after a year without talking to him I had to go to his office. (Something I avoided before the vaccines.)

 

So, five more phone calls, two with transfers, (two numbers given to me and yet disconnected and no one answering), to complain about the inability to talk to doctors in their offices, and nothing. I'm to the point of giving up on healthcare all together. They've specialized themselves right out of usefulness and then have a staff to avoid connection with patients.

 

So I'm asking, can anyone actually talk to their doctor(s) anymore? And if you can, does your doctor do anymore than pass you to someone else or tell you they don't know what's wrong?

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I found a small, private practice Christian doctor. I have to pay out of pocket to see him, but the money has been worth it. My previous healthcare "system" had me seeing a provider who told me that I had high blood pressure because "chiropractors don't know how to take blood pressure" and the second time because "you walked up the stairs (one flight) to get to your appointment." 🙄

 

They don't want to deal with me because I want to treat things without meds and want actual answers to why things are going on in my body instead of treating symptoms. I hope you can find someone else @Spaulding. That sounds really terrible.

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Since last October, the number of doctors I see has increased. For my oncology team here in town, I have a nurse navigator. Her job is to coordinate with my two oncologists I see locally. I had to get in to see one (radiation oncologist) of them last week. The doctor added me to her schedule and listened as I told of my concern. Her receptionist changed my scheduled appointment with her until after Christmas,(I was to see her in early October.) They also scheduled a new mammogram for today. (I was early getting one to check on my status.)  

 

I understand the anxiety you are going through, Spaulding, Please, don't give up on the health professionals.

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I can tell you that doctors saved my life. When I had cancer, they listened to me and respected my desire to avoid surgery. However, when I said that surgery was no longer off the table, the oncologist literally ran out of the room to grab the surgeon and set a date. That was twelve years ago.

 

I am very sorry that some people do not have such positive experiences. 

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