October 31, 2013

When a Doctor Doesn't Listen or Only Looks at a Test Result


A better title might be:  "When Your Doctor Doesn't Listen and He Forgets to Read Your Lab Results"


This post has nothing to do with decorating!  But today I totally need to vent.  Last Thursday around lunchtime (a full week ago) I went to my doctors office. I knew I had a UTI (urinary tract infection)... If you don't like icky details, or think this might be a bit too personal, TMI.... as in way to much information, you can just skip reading the rest.  

If you've never had a UTI, be thankful...  because honestly they suck!  I get about one per year and I seriously know when I have one.  It constantly feels like you have to go pee... and when you do it burns like a son of a gun!  I also get internal pain similar to cramps, but since I don't get cramps anymore (hysterectomy) I know when the pain is not normal!!!  Bladder infection... Ugh!

In the past, a few times I've been able to self cure by drinking cranberry juice, taking cranberry pills, making parsley tea, taking extra vitamin C and garlic pills and drinking tons of water...  But if that doesn't work after a few days, a doctors appointment for antibiotics is an absolute must.

I don't like taking antibiotics and I prefer not to because they kill both the bad bacteria (usually e Coli) and also they kill all the good bacteria.  We need the good bacteria in our system for digestion and to fight off other bad stuff.  After antibiotics often comes a yeast infection (which by the way I also get once or twice a year and it also sucks big time).  As you can imagine, because of this I don't go to the doctor for antibiotics unless I absolutely have to.  

Note: UTI's are much more common in women because our urethra (tube where the pee comes from) is only about an inch long... and occasionally stuff backs up into the bladder... Yada yada...  Isn't it so fun being a girl.

So a week ago, at the doctors office they had me pee in a cup. Not my favorite thing to do, but it must be done.  They do an in office test on it and the doctor comes in and he tells me, NOPE, your fine... Your urine is sterile.  Seriously, I'm thinking No... because I knew something was wrong and I knew it was a UTI.  The doctor says NO to antibiotics... but I do get to go the the lab and get blood drawn and pee in another cup for a urine culture.  Yay, lets do a lab experiment and see if we can grow anything in it.  Which is great if it works.... They should have results soon (like the next day) and then my doctor will see that I am right, call me and tell me, get me the medicine I need and then I will be fine...  Antibiotics usually get rid of almost all the pain in less than 24 hours... and you usually only have to take them for three days for UTI's.

I don't hear anything from my doctors office on Friday... I continue to try to self cure throughout the weekend and I am still a bit uncomfortable, but I am dealing with it.  I do afterall have a high tolerance for pain.

I did not hear anything from my doctors office on Monday or Tuesday either. I figure well my tests came back fine... because obviously they would have called me otherwise. So by now I've researched the internet and found out every other thing it could possibly be... because I am still way uncomfortable and this is so NOT normal!!! 

Come Wednesday afternoon, yesterday (five full days after I was at the doctor and had lab tests) I am like dying!  So uncomfortable, need to pee like every 3 to 5 minutes, burning torture...   I finally call my doctors office at 4:30 in the afternoon and talk to his nurse.

I tell the nurse of my dying pain, burning, peeing constantly (it's only like one teaspoon each time I go, but it feels like I have to go sooooo darn bad)... My body is constantly trying to rid itself of this foreign bacterial substance (e Coli) so it keeps trying to flush it out. OUCH... It's not working... Did I say OUCH!!!  I proceed to tell the nurse that I need the doctor to call me in an antibiotic.  "I don't care what the tests say, I HAVE A UTI (urinary tract infection/bladder infection) and it's killing me!"  She proceeds to tell me, I'll give the doctor a note.  UM NO!  Didn't you hear me?  I need him to call an antibiotic in like NOW!!!  (I didn't say it that way, but it was implied).

I tell her, "I had lab work done last Thursday at lunch time.  Six full days ago...  I never heard anything back so I assume my labs are fine, but please look at them and tell me what the urine culture says."  I hear her flipping the pages and guess what happened next??? Yep...  "Please Hold".... I'm on hold for a couple of minutes.  She comes back on the line "The doctor just sent an antibiotic to your pharmacy, you should be able to pick it up in an hour"... Just like that, the doctor magically called in a prescription when a minute ago you were going to give him a note???  I ask again, "What did my urine culture result say???"   Um, well... (pause, pause) um, It did test positive for e Coli. 

Are you kidding me?  "Why didn't someone call me sooner??  I've been uncomfortable in burning torture pain for six days now.  The doctor specifically told me if anything came back abnormal they would call me immediately..."  I'm sorry... That was it, that was all she could say.

I know it's wrong to wish ill will on anyone.... and I shouldn't do it.  But... I wish my doctor and/or his incompetent staff (who just shove lab results into a file without thoroughly reading them) could feel what this feels like for a week...  Just for one week, not forever.  I think that would help them pay more attention to patients (important) information!  (Please forgive me Lord!)

The lesson I've learned from all this is this... the next time that I know I have a problem, I'm not going to take no for an answer from the doctor.  I'm not going to wait for lab results when I know perfectly well exactly what is going on with my body.  If I tell the doctor once a year that I need antibiotics, that is not too many antibiotics!  I will make sure he gives me a script for them on the spot.  And if he says no, I will have him refer to my file to this particular incident...  Because suffering for five extra days, Ugh... It's not going to happen again!

Thanks for letting me rant...

Diana

BTW - I got antibiotics last night and I'm finally feeling a little better.

4 comments:

  1. Dang. I'm sorry you had to go through this. I despise doctors who don't listen. I don't normally give advice, but you need to find another doctor who will listen to you. I get uti's all the time, ever since I was almost 40 years old. We have a great urgent care system here in the Carolinas and the second I think I'm getting a uti, I head straight there in the morning. They do the labs right then and there and I leave with a prescription. You shouldn't mess around with uti's because they can become kidney infections and damage your kidneys and if it gets bad enough you will end up in the hospital. You can take an over the counter medication(mine is labeled "urinary pain relief " from Walgreens) that makes the pain tolerable, but it turns your pee bright orange. (it will stain anything it lands on, so be careful) You're only suppose to take it for a few days. I end up taking it only twice because I start antibiotics right away. There are a couple of things I do as a preventative, which I won't discuss here. You can email me if you'd like to know. Ps. I lived in SoCal until I was nearly 40.

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    1. Thanks Pam. I've never had this problem at my doctors before. I assume one of his staff is responsible for shoving my results in the file. I did have a "pee in a cup" test right in the office... however it showed negative. That is where the first problem began. I should have told him right there, I know what I have is a UTI regardless of that test. Give me antibiotics "NOW"... In the future I will just be more bold in telling my doctor exactly what he needs to do for me.

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  2. That is so ridiculous! I called my doctor over a month ago about getting changing pharmacies...I still haven't heard from them...It's like they don't even care about their patients!

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  3. That's awful. They spend too much time thinking about other stuff. They should think about how what they do affects their patients. I hope you feel better soon. As a fellow suffer I know what you are going through. I've had to cut down on the amount of dairy and bread I eat. Dairy and yeast can make things a lot worse. Processed sugar is another trigger.

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I love all of your comments and I read every one... I'd love to hear from you!

Blessings,
Diana