Friday, February 22, 2008

Is this what our medical system looks like?

Yesterday I felt a little lightheaded while getting ready for work. Occasionally I do feel this way, but it passes as the day goes on so I treated yesterday like every other time. However, I still felt awful while on the bus to work. I arrived at work and stopped in the parking lot, asking myself if I could get through work. I went ahead, but once inside I realized that I wasn't getting better at all. I called db because I was a bit scared feeling dizzy and unstable. I told my boss I had to go and waited for the next bus.

Not having a new doctor yet, I went to the nearest drop-in clinic and was put on the wait list for an appointment much later that afternoon. While I wanted to deal with this right away, I was anxious to get home because I was absolutely famished. I ate with hopes that I'd feel better after I got some more food in me. It didn't help.

Back at the clinic I finally saw a doctor, I think. I'm being sarcastic, but I can't even believe a person would treat another person with such indifference. Sure he probably sees fifty people a day, but at least introduce yourself before you settle into making notes after asking me some very vague questions. I had to say to him "what are your writing down?" I felt like Elaine in Seinfeld when the doctor's make notes about how difficult she is and they won't let her see her chart. He asked me nothing about my family medical history. He asked very little about what I was feeling at all before making four different assumptions about what it might be.
He checked my reflexes, strength, eyes, ears, blood pressure, breathing. All things that I have no idea what he was after and when I asked he was just as vague as ever. He did ask me if I'm vegetarian. When I said "I'm vegan." He said "strict vegan?" I said, "No, I think I'm quite liberal." I really hate that term "strict" when referring to vegans. He didn't get the joke so I got defensive and said, "I'm healthier than any meat eater I know. I eat better than most people and I regularly take supplements." He just kind of brushed it off. He asked nothing about exercise or much else. Then he filled out a blood work sheet that will test me for everything under the sun. I guess that covers his ass that he was thorough.
"So what do I do?" I asked him.
"When you get up, don't get up too quickly." He told me.
Well that should do it.
He started to leave without a good-bye or anything. I stopped him. "Hey, what do I do with this?" referring to the blood work sheet.
"It's on the back." He was impatient now. My time was clearly up. He flipped it over and ran his finger down the list of clinics to get my blood work done.

I have a feeling that without having a flu or cold or some sort obvious physical trauma that I would have gotten the same treatment and result. I almost want to go in today and complain about numbness in a toe or something and see if I get the same treatment. Okay, I won't because I'd be wasting everybody's time, but my point is what kind of care does such a place offer? If it is becoming more and more difficult to find a family doctor then is this the kind of medical care we can expect from now on? This is what I'm paying for? In B.C. you do have a health care bill based on your income that comes like any other bill and you have to pay it to be covered. Obviously it doesn't cover good health care, but pays for things like blood work testing.

Once I got home I searched for doctors in the area taking new patients and made an appointment for next week. I definitely need a second opinion and I don't see the need to get any bloodwork done for the clinic doctor. What's the point? I simply don't like him.

This morning I had the same thing and while I felt better after moving around for a bit, I still feel lightheaded and "not myself." It's so strange because Wednesday I felt great and went for a run and had all kinds of energy and then I just seemed to crash.

I'll have to wait and see what this next doctor says. I'd rather go to a naturopathic doctor, but I scarcely can afford that now can I?


Vegan Run Amok said...

Oh, how frustrating! Bad doctors suck. :( I hope it's nothing serious and that you get a diagnosis soon!

Karen said...

After getting the almost exact same treatment you described at my neighbourhood clinic, I absolutely refuse to go and see that guy again. Insensitive, distracted, and rude. Like I'm wasting HIS time by being there. I understand the need to have these clinics but it would be nice if they cared more abuot providing quality care for their patients. I've been fortunate that I can get in to see my doctor within a day if I really need to.

Karen said...

I hope it turns out to be nothing too serious and you start to feel better soon.

Monique said...

Some doctors can be so rude. I'm lucky to have a good family doctor who takes his time and is interested, but I have come across horrible ones. I hope that you get better soon.

Red said...

I used to get that sort of "treatment" when I lived in London, but since moving to provincial Kent, find that my new doctor will happily chat and go into great detail. Whether she's any good or not, I couldn't say, but she's sure pleasant! I am surprised to hear about such a nasty experience in what I assume is a fairly small community? Hopefully the guy was just a locum and you won't have to deal with him again.

Anyway... is your blood pressure okay? Your episode sounds to me like it could be a little low, perhaps. Did he tell you what it was?

sp said...

Red: yes, my blood pressure was very low which concerns me. I've had problems with this in the past. I'm seeing a new doctor today and will discuss this further with her.

red jane said...

Ho-ly, this made me mad, reading your account with the clinic doc. Argh. I guffawed however, at the liberal vegan remark- made me smile. I've read ahead in the blog and see you've found another option but I'm so frustrated by the lack of attentive, compassionate physicians out there.