Thursday, May 30, 2013

Care Overkill and Super Meltdown

Yesterday, on my mother's birthday no less, I blew a gasget. I'd reached my Medical Bullshit Threshold. Let me back pedal.

So, I was hospitalized in April. Thought it was a GI issue, so I went to Santa Monica UCLA where Dr. GI is located. Turned out to be a ruptured cyst with internal bleeding due to blood thinners, so I was transfered to Westwood UCLA. Spent a total of 5 days there.

Had a bit of excess grossness with my GI area, so I went back to my GI. He prescribed some medicine which I am still on, recommended a buddy of his we'll call Dr. 2nd Opinion. I really had no interest in switching doctors, but I thought it was pretty nifty Dr. GI could be humble enough to say, 'This guy is AWESOME-SAUCE in the area you're having issues with, go see him. He's better than me.' 
So I switched out my follow-up with him to an appointment with Dr. 2nd Opinion, which was this Tuesday.

First. Sigh.
OK, as well-meaning as residents are, 99% of them are dumb as bricks when it comes to doctor-patient relations. Like, they never take the five seconds it would cost them to apply a brain-to-mouth filter on the words flying out of their mouths and how said words might affect the patient. They're so fucking eager to come off as REAL doctors that they think they're being impressive by shooting off their mouths before they have the facts.

Here's my case in point:

Eager Resident to Dr. 2nd Opinion is a nice girl - oh, they're all nice 'cause if they're assholes, I can at least tell them off - but she started asking me about liver transplants and used scary words like cirrhosis and congestive failure. 

I told her my liver does NOT have cirrhosis, despite what others assume, because I had a biopsy not one year ago that showed no signs of massive scarring or cirrhosis. She left to confer with Dr. 2nd Opinion and brought back my notes from the biopsy I referenced. Guess what? Cirrhosis-free. So then she told me - get this - that techs will see fluid in tests and just assume it's cirrhosis and write that down in their notes. Which is why I have a mega shit ton of references to cirrhosis in my notes.
They assume.
What. a fucking. liberty.

My brain nearly oozed out of my ears and onto the floor with that revelation, but oops, it was finally time for my actual appointment with the actual doctor - an hour behind, thank you very much. So he comes in - along with this Mystery Hottie Whitecoat who doesn't bother to introduce himself, just hangs back. So I am getting examined by the Dr., Eager Resident and then Mystery Hottie Whitecoat suddenly jumps in - and I stick out my hand and say, "AND YOU ARE?"

Dude. Seriously. What. The. Fuck. I'm a fucking person. Don't put your goddamn hands on me without my consent.

The only person on this planet who gets to touch me without proper introductions is Ben Whishaw, and since I'm about 98% certain he's as gay as the day is long, that ain't gonna happen anytime soon. 

Then Dr. 2nd Opinion springs a SURPRISE! in-clinic mini ultrasound test on me. OK. Was not prepared for that. Oh, but he wants a proper ultrasound on my liver, spleen and doppler done. The kind where I have to fast for 8 hours, make a real appointment at my medical facility of choice - oh, and don't forget the follow up appointment I need to make with him to discuss the results. 

I made these appointments, but come on. Come on. What the fuck? I've had these tests done. They've been done. They're done. Just. Accept it all, dudebro. Confer with notes (which are clearly never read). I questioned him and the necessity of this test, but he said something something lesion on liver something something just make sure. Like, what about picking up a phone and conferring with the rest of TEAM RACHAEL! to make sure the lesion isn't there? Well. Whatever. So I got some blood drawn, made the follow-up appointment and faxed the order for the ultrasound. MORE days to come out to the West side. Jooooooy.

Then. Yesterday happened. 

So, in light of the cyst debacle, I'd been taken off my blood thinner. It was comical that the idiots in the Coumadin Clinic at UCLA rang me up to harass me for getting my INR check when it happened the first time around. It was a simple explanation on my part, a grumble at improper notes by the lady who called, and a laugh we shared. Good times.

Then yesterday I get another call. From an irate bitch at the Coumadin Clinic. Telling me my INR was low. Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me. I explained to her what had happened - and this woman had the audacity to INTERROGATE me about the authenticity of my story.
It went something like this:

Me: I'm not on coumadin anymore. I had a cyst rupture, I was bleeding internally and I was hospitalized for like five days.

Her: When?

Me: This was last month, April. Over a month ago.

Her: Well, which physcian took you off?!

Me: To be honest, all of them, but Dr. A sanctioned it.

Her: Well, which hospital did you go to?

Me: UCLA. I started at Santa Monica, but I was there for 24 hours before being transferred to Westwood.

Her: *huffing and puffing, running out of steam* Well why didn't they put it in the notes!

Me: I was called by the clinic about three weeks ago and we had this exact conversation, so I don't know why it isn't there. It should be.

Her: *fussing and grumbling AT ME* Blah blah bitch bitch....(pause) (mumbles) Oh, there it is. Stopped coumadin April 12th.

Me: Justified.

What the HELL is with people not bothering to read the mother fucking notes? Did these people just coast through school on memory alone? It's like their professors said, "Hey, class, since I am SO awesome, I am going to give you an open book and open notes test!"
And these people just kick back, all cocky like and say, "Nope. Don't need 'em."

After that I tried unsuccessfully to schedule my ultrasound on a day when I'd be down in the area anyway so I wouldn't have to waste another day there. I looked at my calendar and realized I would be down at UCLA 3 times over a 7 day period. Nope, nope, nope. I hit my threshold and lost my shit.

I got authorization to cancel one appointment (a follow up with the Lady Doctor) but I put TEAM RACHAEL! on the case of this test, asked them to dig around in notes and tell me if this shit is necessary or just some doctor feeding his own ego.

People wonder why I can't have a life. This.
This is why I can't have a life.