...nothing here is promised, not one day... Lin-Manuel Miranda

If it's Tuesday, it must be my right hip
Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Read/Post Comments (3)
Share on Facebook
I spent yesterday shlepping to the orthopedist's office; this is like FIVE since The Great Dr. G had to retire some years back. I had hysterics when I got his letter saying he had to quit. I'm not kidding, I sobbed. This guy, who saw me through the onset of whatever-the-hell-is-wrong-with-me was the finest doctor I'd ever had. Not orthopedist. Doctor. Flat out. And the idea of finding anyone close to him, and who would GET me, was scary. And it was a wretched experience.

I like NICE kind doctors. I want them to care. I've had orthopedists since I was, I dunno, seven? We had a family orthopedist - not a really healthy bunch in the bone department. But after living with back problems and having surgeries and having a fairly good idea what's wrong with me a lot of the time, I got to know all styles of doctor. And when the rheumatologist said to me, "you gotta see an orthopedist, you know I don't know how to fix this." I whined and puled and went "I don't WANNA" because I didn't want any more back operations and I didn't want some guy who would want to throw me onto an operating table again. And the rheumatologist (whom I liked and trusted a lot) said two things: "He's got the best bedside manner in the world, if he hadn't chosen orthopedics he would be a brilliant family doc" and then he said "And he's MY orthopedist."

So I go. This is the guy who, after looking at me, my x-rays, my paperwork from the rheumatologist sat down and didn't say "so, do you have any questions?" No, he said "So, what questions do you have?" Look, a doctor who assumes his patient has a brain! This is the guy who sat and held my hand until I stopped crying because I was freakin scared of having a bone biopsy. This is the guy who wanted so much to do whatever he could to fix things. And he got the short end of the stick, acquiring a disease from a patient that sent him into early retirement.

Replacement number one, another doc in his practice, was a cold bastard. Good doctor maybe, but the affect and warmth of a dead clam. He also, rightly so, thought I was too complicated for him and wanted me to see a specialist (what, orthopedist isn't specialized enough? Apparently not, he wanted me to see a special spine guy and said "there are two I'd recommend." When I said "I want to see whoever is as close to Dr. G as possible" , to his credit, he got it right away and referred me to Dr. A.

Good guy, Dr. A. Like him a lot. Saw him once or twice and then he moved back to the Midwest. Fumfawed around and finally asked my sister for a name. My sister a) has some weird bone stuff and has some good doctor contacts back in Boston (She used to work at Harvard School of Public Health) and b) one of HER guys was some big honcho at Harvard Med. So they got me a name and I got an appointment with Dr. Shithead. I honestly have blocked this bastard's name from my brain.

It was NOT my sister's responsibility or fault, mind you - she did me a HUGE favor as did her nice doctor but this shmuck. Mind you, university doctors often are cutting edge, blah blah blah, but dealing with the university….well, let's just say they suck at caring for patients. Especially patients in pain. I saw Dr. Shithead twice. Stupid me. I live with chronic pain but I don't see the doctor unless something is WRONG. I waited over an hour one time and two hours another time. For something like 5 minutes of his highness's time. He was abrupt, didn't look at me, barely spoke to me but addressed his acolytes (2 med students), asked no questions and wasn't interested in me or why I was there. Wanted me to see the spine guy, even though what I was there for, primarily was to see about getting some more answers about the Big Puzzling unnamed condition. Which should have interested Dr. S since he's a big deal in all SORTS of bone diseases. I practically had to grab him by the sleeve to make him stay and answer a few questions. He appeared bored.

Finally get a name from one of the wonderful folks at my primary care doc's office. She and her son both recommend Dr. H. I call Dr' H's office; we do 5 minutes of sure, come on in, we'd be glad to see you and…turns out Dr. H is a knee and shoulder guy. Totally useless to me, with my hip and/or back problems. Swear to GOD, folks, it's gotten so specialized that soon I expect to be asked "is it your right index finger or your LEFT? And did this happen on a Monday? Oh, Thursday. Morning or afternoon? We have different doctors for each one."

Oh, I whimper. Um, do you have a hip guy? Oh, yes, I'm reassured, a lovely one, would you like to see him? Why yes, I'd be ever so pleased. I go see Dr. T, the lovely and charming Dr. T. Who informs me he'd be glad to be my doctor, but the hip pain this time is coming from my spine. I should see Dr. W. Dear gods.

Dr. W is a total win. He's caring, interested, he gets me and he listens. I see him a few times and we spend time chatting about doing good; turns out he's a total medical do-gooder form a family of them. His dad served on the "Good Ship Hope" (anyone remember that?); one time his son was heading to the Sudan with Doctors without Borders; his daughter works in emergency/trauma medicine. This all comes up because I'd seen his name in one of those 3 hanky stories about a severely crippled young man with a spine like overcooked linguini who was brought from his impoverished Central American village for surgery in the United States so that he can like walk upright or something. Seriously. And the guy who did the surgery for free is my own Dr. W.

Who, about 9 months later has left this practice and gone, goddammit, to the dreaded university. As he's one of the key doctors in artificial discs, stem cell work and like that there, not a big surprise. But but, um…

So I'm seeing the other Dr. W. Who thinks I have bursitis. He tends to occasionally mention doing another fusion on my spine (were I anything close to normal, we probably woulda had this over and done with 2 years ago, but I am NOT going back for another fusion if I can help it; two failed fusions is enough. I know I shouldn't be walking around with a spine as fucked up as mine is but I just don't feel like trying it again right now thank you very muchly. But then he looks at my face and laughs. He's actually a fine doctor and we're doing well. If he moves, I'm going to have bounty hunters go after him and bring him back.

Read/Post Comments (3)

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Back to Top

Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 All rights reserved.
All content rights reserved by the author.