Colon Cancer Sucks Ass

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Focus On Something Else

I have met countless doctors during the last 18 months and I have been impressed with almost all of them. They have listened and treated me like a person. They seem to really care. Unfortunately, I had a really bad experience with one doctor a couple of weeks ago.

As I have mentioned before, I still have an open tract from the infection that followed my surgery. It is tiny, but it's not healing. I went in for an appointment two weeks ago expecting to have the tract fixed. I had been told at my last appointment that if there was no progress in healing, they would go in a take out the stitch at the bottom. Unfortunately, I did not have the same doctor at this appointment. Instead I met with a doctor who I had seen on prior occasions, but I never felt like he took me seriously. I mentioned to him that I was supposed to have the tract fixed. He told me he wasn't going to do anything. He didn't think it was a good idea. Frustrated because I have had an open wound since August of LAST YEAR, I started to cry. He then informed me that I shouldn't cry ever time I come in. I asked how long I would have to wait before he would be willing to do something. He told me that he couldn't give me a time line and the tract would heal by itself and "you have other things going on in your life, like school. You should try focusing on that and not make such a big deal out of this." I was shocked. I have never been dismissed by a doctor like that. I was so upset, I didn't know how to react. By the time I got home, I was angry. I called my doctor's office and left a message saying that I didn't was to see this other doctor again and that I needed to talk with one of the doctors from my surgical team.

I went back yesterday and I met with one of my surgeons who actually sat down and talked with me about what needed to be done. We're still waiting on doing any kind of procedure to close the tract, but there is a plan and he actually listened to me. I felt much better when I left yesterday.

I should do something about the way I was treated. Someone suggested that I write a letter, but at this point, I'm not comfortable with that. I may still run into him in the hall when I go for my follow-ups. Maybe once I've been discharged as a surgical patient. But I can guarantee that I will not be meeting with him again. If he comes into my room, I will demand to see someone else. That's non-negotiable.


  • At 2:54 AM, Blogger Lynnster, yeah said…

    25+ years of medical clinic experience here - there was absolutely no excuse in the world for that doctor to treat you that way. Most people with that kind of bedside manner wind up going into specialties like Radiology or Pathology or such where there's often little dealing directly with people, and sounds like that one should have done the same, sorry to say.

    I can understand why you might not want to stir the pot right now, but sooner or later, please do contact the practice's administrator or office manager and share this experience with them. They need to know about this kind of thing not only because he needs to have lessened contact with people directly (the doctors and employees in the practice who care will see to that) and to lessen the occasion of him treating others as he did you, but also such treatment of people will inevitably damage their practice if left unchecked. And they don't necessarily know, or know in full, unless someone tells them.

    So you'll be doing both yourself and other patients a favor (I guarantee you'll get treated decently forevermore afterwards), and also doing them a favor by giving them needed info to take care of problems in their practice (which will, of course, still benefit all patients in the long run).

    It's really no different than when you get bad service in a restaurant. Folks just don't always know, or know how bad it is, unless you bring it to their attention. And you'll feel better, and everyone will be better off for it.

    What it comes down to is you are the patient and you are in charge, even if it doesn't seem so right now - you don't have to put up with anything you don't want to from the medical service side, and you deserve to be treated decently and much, much better than that jerk did.

    Wishing you the best thru what I know is a rough time. This is my first time here but I saw this and the medical employee in me just got rared up. :) Will stop back by and catch up some more soon, hang in there. :)

  • At 7:27 AM, Blogger Spanky Myass said…

    You should write the letter, who cares if you run into him in the hallway, you won't have to see him again and you can walk on past with your head held high that you spoke up. Doctors have responsibilities to us the patients to listen to us and not treat us like idiots.
    My husband recently had a very bad experience with a funeral home when his mother passed away, and we sent a letter straight to the president of the company (and the vice president, and the CEO) we named names and were very specific about our complaint, and just last weekend we had to go to that funeral home to sign off on her headstone, and one of the main people that we complained about was the person that helped us that day, and she never even mentioned the fact that she was interviewed by them, because she still had a job to do, and now she knows that we are more than willing to let someone know if she doesn't do it.
    I also had an extremley unpleasant thing happen to me at the hospital (while being treated for cancer), and a nurse suggested that I file a complaint about the way that I was treated, but I didn't and now I regreat it. Because what if they did the same thing to another person? Maybe I could have prevented someone from the pain that I suffered.
    If nothing else he will know that he will never be allowed to treat you that way again.


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