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06-29-2013, 11:59 AM   #1
CrohnsChicago
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Frustrated About My Doctor Situation

So for the past couple years I have been registered with the same PCP. Interestingly enough, it is his PA (Physician's Assistant) that has cared for me majority of those years, not my PCP. At the beginning of May she took a leave of absence. She has not returned. My doctor's office is being very secretive about where my PA is. I asked again if they knew when she would be back and they keep saying we don't know. But this time there seemed to be a slight attitude in their expressions and they were short with me about responding. I really hope that regardless of whatever is going on that she comes back!

It sucks when you establish rapport with a doctor and then they just disappear. Story of my life. I get close to people I should be able to count on and then they just vanish out of my life with no explanation....geez. Now it applies to even my doctors

So....since my PA is M.I.A.....I saw my PCP today (for the 2nd time in almost 3 years!) and I got a referral to counseling/therapy that I had requested. I told my PCP I'm having trouble adjusting to being well (again). You flare off and on you get excited to be well but you are also fearful of becoming ill again. And when the flare actually happens again, your world hits rock bottom. I'm afraid to be happy and content with my current situation sometimes. Plus I have to re-establish myself in the world all over again. I keep judging and criticizing myself. This is the point I am at. My life has been affected in MANY ways personally and professionally because of this disease over the past year. I want to get to a point where I can confidently get my life back together because it needs some mending. I need to start fearlessly moving forward.

Of course he tried to push a Zoloft prescription into my hands. He's a good doctor to have on your side and get things done, but his initial solution is typically to write a prescription.

My PCP is Chief of Osteopathic medicine and Vice Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at my designated hospital so while he may be good at what he does, he's too busy to get to know his patients. He doesn't know what I have been through. That's why I miss my PA. She listens to me and has seen me through most of my emotional and physical crises.

I told him repeatedly that Zoloft worked very well for me in the past, but this time I want to try counseling first before I pop more pills into my diet. He also doesn't realize that I have been out of therapy for a year now and was doing improving significantly and doing well on my own for a while. It wasn't until these multiple flares hit that I saw a struggle within myself. He was not around for two years to see my improvement in mental health nor was he around when I was diagnosed with Crohn's. It was my PA.

I have done far too many medication changes this past year and dealt with my fair share of side effects because of it. I'm done with all of that at the moment. I don't want anything to do with taking more pills if I can avoid it.

Kept asking "me are you sure?....well at least lets get you some more xanax" and he wrote me a prescription for that.

I want my PA back.

He didn't ask me anything about my crohn's. Not once. I just felt so unheard and written off today. I had to cry and let it out somewhere. So here I am
__________________
Crohn's-Colitis May 2012
Current Meds:
6-MP (100mg) / Asacol (4800mg)
Past Meds:
Prednisone/ Entocort / Flagyl
Current Supplements:
B12 Shot (1cc/mo) / Multivitamin / Vitamin D (1000iu) / Calcium (1200mg) / Omega 3 Fish Oil (4800mg)
Additional Info:
Anemia/Borderline Anemia - whole life
Generalized Anxiety Disorder - 2009 (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, mindfulness meditation)

06-29-2013, 12:09 PM   #2
nogutsnoglory
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It's so hard to find compassionate doctors, it's a shame your PA is gone. They might not be telling you because if she is sick or something they may be trying to respect her privacy.

I hate how most doctors are just drug pushers. I know kickbacks are illegal but they do get so many perks from big pharma. Fancy dinners, presents and trips.
06-29-2013, 12:52 PM   #3
723crossroads
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Dear C,
This has happened to me a few times as well. The truth is ,she may be just an intern who was doing her final training there and she has moved on now to her own practice somewhere. It could be awhile before you are able to locate her, if ever. I love the interns at our office. They really do seem to help and listen more.
But now that this has happened, I urge you to put your feelings aside and search for a new Dr.; GI preferably. If you have to see a PCP, make sure it is one that will be staying there for awhile. I finally found one! Yay!
As for your life in the world now, I understand that through diff. situations in my past. I actually was afraid to leave my house when my kids were growing up because of what was going on in my life. My husband was an abusive alcoholic (More mentally) and I became very ill living with him all those years. I couldn't go to the store without one of my kids being with me. I used to struggle doing anything outside of my house because I was afraid people are looking at me and whispering about me.I was that way for yrs. My first husband used to come home drunk and make huge scenes at our house. Outside and inside and that is how I got that way. You can't understand it till you live it yourself. I was a beautiful girl inside, but afraid of everything. I got help from a church group I went to for years. It was totally private and the people were so great. I urge you to seek something similar. God bless sweetie!

Last edited by 723crossroads; 06-30-2013 at 09:04 AM.
06-29-2013, 01:13 PM   #4
CrohnsChicago
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Thanks you two!

I agree with you 100% NGNG about doctors getting kickbacks and mine is definitely in a position to reap plenty of benefits. I have actually seen first-hand these companies come into doctors offices and linger and try to sweet talk the secretaries, assistants and doctors into using their meds for patients.

I saw my PCP today for something non-GI related. And my PA is actually a Practicing PA who is part of the medical team, not an intern. She's the #2 at my doc's office (I consider her #1 because she runs the place and sees his patients more than he does). Either she has something personal going on or (what I hope is not the case) she is transitioning moving to a new practice. I just need to get used to the idea that my PCP may be a more routine part of my life now and decide how well the idea of this sits with me in the long run :/

I actually already have what I feel is a great GI. I have been fortunate to have a GI who treats me well, listens to my opinions, works with me to come up with a plan/includes me in the process and makes himself readily available for me over the phone and in his office to make sure I am well.

Sorry to hear of your struggles too Crossroads. Yes, we all definitely do have our stories and some people will never understand unless they have been through it. I am very glad you have found something that helps you overcome your situation. It's fortunate that you were able to find a support network that works for you and I hope they continue to help

I personally am not a religious person by choice. I have found good help with counseling in the past which is why I requested the referral from my doctor. I have an iffy support network in real life and I have a great one here on the forum. Sometimes I just need a little objective input to help me see where I am at presently and the counseling really helps me, especially when dealing with anxiety disorders like I already do.

Honestly, I would prefer to get a life coach but they are FAR to expensive for me. And I don't have anyone around me I would consider asking to be my mentor so I use therapy since it has worked for me before.
06-29-2013, 02:02 PM   #5
Cat-a-Tonic
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I feel for you, Chicago. I really like my primary care doc, no complaints, but one day when I was really ill, he wasn't available. When that happens and I request a same-day appointment, they just set me up with a different doc in the same clinic. Often that turns out horribly and I get a real jerk of a doctor or someone totally inept, so I went in with low expectations.

But the doctor I saw that day, he was incredible. The medical side of things, he was fine, ordered tests and refilled my meds. But he was sympathetic and that really got me. I was telling him my history and my symptoms and how I'm still technically undiagnosed after all this time. He said, "Can I stop you right there for a minute? I just want to take a moment to say how awful it is that you've been through so much and you're still undiagnosed and still suffering. That must be terrible, and I'm so sorry." Well, no doctor had ever said anything like that to me before! Nobody in the medical profession had bothered to address the emotional side of chronic illness with me, and it was just huge to me that he said that. I immediately started crying. He made such an impression on me. I wanted to switch to him as my primary care doc just based on that - but when I looked on the clinic's directory, he's not listed. In fact he's not even listed within the UW system. I even googled his name but couldn't find any sign of him! It's like he doesn't exist. I wish I could figure out what happened to him, but like with your PA, he seems to have vanished into thin air. It's such a mystery.

So yeah, I hope you can find your PA! And that I can find my mystery doctor!
06-29-2013, 03:45 PM   #6
723crossroads
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I feel for you, Chicago. I really like my primary care doc, no complaints, but one day when I was really ill, he wasn't available. When that happens and I request a same-day appointment, they just set me up with a different doc in the same clinic. Often that turns out horribly and I get a real jerk of a doctor or someone totally inept, so I went in with low expectations.

But the doctor I saw that day, he was incredible. The medical side of things, he was fine, ordered tests and refilled my meds. But he was sympathetic and that really got me. I was telling him my history and my symptoms and how I'm still technically undiagnosed after all this time. He said, "Can I stop you right there for a minute? I just want to take a moment to say how awful it is that you've been through so much and you're still undiagnosed and still suffering. That must be terrible, and I'm so sorry." Well, no doctor had ever said anything like that to me before! Nobody in the medical profession had bothered to address the emotional side of chronic illness with me, and it was just huge to me that he said that. I immediately started crying. He made such an impression on me. I wanted to switch to him as my primary care doc just based on that - but when I looked on the clinic's directory, he's not listed. In fact he's not even listed within the UW system. I even googled his name but couldn't find any sign of him! It's like he doesn't exist. I wish I could figure out what happened to him, but like with your PA, he seems to have vanished into thin air. It's such a mystery.

So yeah, I hope you can find your PA! And that I can find my mystery doctor!
Maybe he was just helping out that day from somewhere else??? Too bad though! I hope somehow you find him again.
06-29-2013, 05:53 PM   #7
CrohnsChicago
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So yeah, I hope you can find your PA! And that I can find my mystery doctor!
You should put out a missed connections ad on Craigslist

I hope you find that mystery doc too! Just like men, the good ones are so hard to find! LMAO
06-30-2013, 07:42 PM   #8
Ihurt
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I am so sorry you are going through all this. I totally see where you are coming from. I mean why is it that all the "good' doctor always leave! Good doctors are Hard to find. I know I was devastated when my original GI doctor left. He was awesome. I mean he was compassionate and more importantly, he was soooo honest! I mean most doctors are NOT honest. It took me forever to find a great Primary care doc. I went through like 5 different ones before I found one that I really liked and one who actually listens to me. Hang in there, you will find another one if it comes to that. It may take seeing a few first before you find the right one, but stay persistent, you will find one you click with.
07-24-2013, 11:43 PM   #9
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Currently dealing with my gastro but thinking of switching so I feel your pain. My doctor has horrible bedside manner and is very much a bottom line guy. I like that, but only to a point. If I'm freaking out about something, he does very little to help calm me down. It's a shame these doctors don't get as many empathy lessons in school as they should. Either that or they've been in the industry so long they just lost it.
07-25-2013, 12:27 AM   #10
nogutsnoglory
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Currently dealing with my gastro but thinking of switching so I feel your pain. My doctor has horrible bedside manner and is very much a bottom line guy. I like that, but only to a point. If I'm freaking out about something, he does very little to help calm me down. It's a shame these doctors don't get as many empathy lessons in school as they should. Either that or they've been in the industry so long they just lost it.
I think a lot of doctors lack bedside manners. They can't get emotionally involved with their patients because they are so busy and profit driven. There are some great exceptions to the rule who really care and want to be our best advocate. Personally I don't need a sweet doctor I need a doctor who will get it right and get me better, if they have good bedside manners that's just a perk.
07-25-2013, 08:36 AM   #11
CrohnsChicago
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Wishing you good luck in finding a better doc!

In my personal opinion ngng is partially right. Yes there are those who are money driven and very busy (like mine). Beyond that I think many doctors also distance themselves from patients because, just like other professions such as psychology or law or things of that nature, its difficult for some doctors not to bring their work home from an emotional perspective which would put their own health in jeopardy.

Also there are patients who become overly attached to their doctors so they keep a distance to prevent people like that from interfering with the process in some way. I think there are a good number that do show a decent amount of compassion toward patients but you have to definitely search for them. I've gone through an equal amount of both the compassionate and the non compassionate so I believe they are out there just maybe not as accessible to some compared to others which is unfortunate.

I hope you are fortunate in your search and find one who is very compassionate very soon. A little acknowledgement goes a long way in helping the patient feel better about their situation

Currently dealing with my gastro but thinking of switching so I feel your pain. My doctor has horrible bedside manner and is very much a bottom line guy. I like that, but only to a point. If I'm freaking out about something, he does very little to help calm me down. It's a shame these doctors don't get as many empathy lessons in school as they should. Either that or they've been in the industry so long they just lost it.
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