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Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Vent Away » Doctors who are ill/contagious!


05-24-2013, 03:08 PM   #1
Cat-a-Tonic
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Doctors who are ill/contagious!

I'm so mad! I know you guys will get it. I just got back from the doctor. I've been nauseous and having blood in my stool for a few days now, and I'm not usually a bleeder, so I went to get checked out. My regular GP is off today so I saw a different doc in the same clinic. I told her my history briefly and she said the blood could be from hemorrhoids or maybe something like salmonella. But then she said, there are a lot of stomach bugs going around - and she went on to say that she treated a little girl yesterday for gastroenteritis, and she thinks the little girl gave it to her as she was feeling awfully nauseous herself. What!! This doctor shook my hand and got up in my personal space to examine me before telling me this, and she's likely highly contagious? And she knows I have IBD and she's still apparently just fine with exposing me to a horrible stomach bug?? Argh!

So I probably didn't have gastroenteritis before (she ruled out internal hemmies on examination, so it's likely bacterial) but I'm probably going to get it now. With my luck & my crappy immune system, I know I'm probably infected with gastroenteritis now and it's just a matter of time before I feel even more terrible. I'm SO mad. It's so unprofessional, uncool, there isn't even a word for how icky and frustrating it is to see a doctor who is sick and contagious! I mean, "do no harm" is their motto, right? They're supposed to make me better, not sicker! They're not supposed to threaten my already iffy health with their germs!

Oh, and the kicker? I was waiting for the doc to write up the lab orders, and I could hear her medical assistant calling her other patients, telling them that Dr. S is going home sick for the day so they need to reschedule. Apparently I was her final patient of the day. I would have rather not seen a doctor than seen a sick one. Again, just my #$%&* luck.

Can you guys relate to how awful this is? Or am I way overreacting? Either way, I'm so mad and just had to get this off my chest.
05-24-2013, 03:18 PM   #2
xX_LittleMissValentine_Xx
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It is frustrating cat, if you were saying this about a cold virus I would say you were over reacting but not about gastroenteritis. We have enough of that s**t without catching something like that too, its horrible and for people like us will be even worse.
I'm sorry I hope you don't get it.
Are you comforted by what she said about the blood though?
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05-24-2013, 03:27 PM   #3
Cat-a-Tonic
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I guess so. She did a rectal exam and didn't find any internal hemorrhoids, and I am to do stool samples to check for various things like salmonella, campylobacter, c-diff, etc. (I can start on Cipro as soon as I turn in the stool samples, she said I don't have to wait for the results.) And she did bloodwork to see if I'm losing too much blood. So it was worthwhile I guess because I got sorta-answers (I'm used to sorta-answers!) and treatment, but I think I'd still rather ride out the weekend pooping blood than be exposed to gastroenteritis.

Yeah, a cold virus would be totally different, I pretty much expect to be exposed to stuff like that when I go to the doc. But this doctor saw my file, and I told her all about my probable-IBD. She knew that I have serious digestive issues already - heck, I think my first flare-up was triggered by gastroenteritis, and that's the diagnosis that's in my file from my first flare! I guess that's my big worry, I've already got IBD and whatever bacterial thing - gastroenteritis on top of it, I'm afraid that's going to trigger a flare and end my 2 year remission. That would be horrible!
05-24-2013, 03:32 PM   #4
xX_LittleMissValentine_Xx
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I hope not! Try not to stress cat, you have no control over it now and stressing will make it worse.
Try and chill and look after yourself x
(I'm heading to bed now) x
05-24-2013, 03:36 PM   #5
nogutsnoglory
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Ugh that is awful!! I know they are human too and get sick but it is totally inappropriate for them to be around patients if they might be contagious. They just bluntly admitted it too, at least don't advertise it! Hopefully you won't pick it up but I agree that's really wrong around any patient but particularly one with an immune deficiency.
05-27-2013, 09:59 AM   #6
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My older sister's a doctor, and she gets everything that's going around. She's a health and cleanliness fanatic who washes her hands 100 times a day, even when she's not working. She takes extreme precautions, even donning a mask and surgical gloves to examine patients because, well, a number of her patients have AIDs and the risk is both ways.

Of course she tries to stay home when she gets a bug or anything that might be contagious, but that's not always possible because quite often, a number of the other doctors are in the same position and someone has to treat the patients. She won't see patients with compromised immune systems when she's sick, but she already quit her practice and only works now to help out -- which means she can sometimes leave the office by 8 at night. When we visit and go to a restaurant, she rarely makes it through an entire meal without getting called in, and then she works till midnight or beyond.

With the number of antibiotics she's had to take due to the countless infections she's contracted from patients, she's positive her immune system has been thoroughly destroyed, and is scared to death of superbugs. She's as frugal as I am, and the only reason she hasn't retired completely is because she doesn't want to abandon her patients. Even when she does, she fully plans in continuing to advocate for them. Ever since her best friend died of AIDs, obtaining treatment and affordable meds. for patients with AIDs has been her passion.

I agree that it's unprofessional for a doctor to continue seeing patients who already have a compromised immune system when they're ill with something that's potentially contagious, especially if that patient is also on meds. that could increase the risk.
05-27-2013, 01:03 PM   #7
DougUte
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It is unbelievable to me that a doctor would do that. Expose patients with a compromised immune system to a serious contagious disease. Cat, I hope you don't come down with anything.
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05-27-2013, 07:00 PM   #8
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Wow, that is just awful. I still remember when the swine flu was going around here. My doctor got it. I happened to have an appointment that day with her. She actually still saw patients that day! Luckily by the grace of God I showed up and I guess she had just left. The receptionist told me she just could not stay, she had to leave and apologized for it. I was like thinking to myself, sorry for what!!( Thank GOD I was not exposed to that)! I wonder how many people got the swine flu that day from being exposed??

I am sorry, I agree with you Cat, NO doctor should EVER expose themselves to a patient when they are sick! And if she absolutely had to, she should have been wearing a mask at all times! I would be livid! You know just last month I had an appointment with my doctor again and I came in and the receptionist told me she was not doing well, that she had a headache and diarrhea. I told the nurse I was leaving, that I could not take that chance of picking that up, told her I would reschedule. That doctor should not have done that to you. I am so sorry. I am sure you washed your hands well afterwards. Hope you bypassed this bug Cat! I would say if you are ok after three days, you are in the clear...
05-27-2013, 09:35 PM   #9
Lustforlife
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I thought gastroenteritis was the fancy official name for Crohns. But this is something else that is infectious? Someone please educate me!
05-27-2013, 11:42 PM   #10
DougUte
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Gastroenteritis is a viral infection that causes inflammation of the stomach and small intestine. It is also known as the stomach flu. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gastroenteritis
05-28-2013, 07:11 AM   #11
lizbeth
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It's a little time since you posted....we're you okay or had you been infected? Really hope you were ok.
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05-28-2013, 10:42 AM   #12
Cat-a-Tonic
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I'm here, and I'm okay! I did wash my hands about 2 dozen times after that appointment and I also drank scalding hot tea right afterwards (I read somewhere, and I mostly doubt this is true, but it said that if you drink something really hot after being exposed to germs, that the hot liquid will either kill or wash away the germs that are in your throat - again, not really buying it, but figured it was worth a shot anyway). I didn't catch gastroenteritis, fortunately. Phew!

I think I'm going to submit a complaint about that doctor. I've been mulling it over and I think thta's the right thing to do. She was irresponsible and she at least needs to know that it was not cool of her to do that.
05-28-2013, 12:47 PM   #13
plaidknitter
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Having recently been through a bout of gastroenteritis myself, since she went home right after you, it is possible that she didn't realize she was sick until mid-appointment? Before I got sick I went out with friends. I got hit really unexpectedly with earth shattering nausea in the middle of the outing. I never would have gone near people if I had realized I was sick, but those stomach viruses can sneak up really suddenly on you. I went from feeling fine to feeling like puking with very little warning. Luckily none of my friends got sick. I don't even know where I caught it from in the first place. It's possible that she felt fine when she first went in and that the timing of your appointment was just unfortunate.

I'm glad you didn't sick! Stomach viruses tend to make me flare.
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05-28-2013, 01:06 PM   #14
Cat-a-Tonic
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Plaidknitter, I think she knew she was sick coming into my appointment. This is a doctor who I hadn't seen before, and she was quite young, so I wasn't sure if she just had kind of an airhead personality, but she seemed pretty "off". She asked me to repeat things several times, she seemed very unfocused. And then when she told me about having gastroenteritis, that all made sense. I lose focus when I get nauseous too, so I'm pretty sure she was feeling ill before she walked in the exam room.

But yes, I know what you mean about going from feeling fine to very pukey in no time at all. My first flare (3 years ago) seemed to have been set off by gastroenteritis, and I recall literally feeling fine one minute and feeling horrible the next when that episode started.
05-29-2013, 04:16 AM   #15
lizbeth
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Glad you were germ free
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