Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Medical Blogosphere, Take II

Yeah, I know I've been babbling about the loss of Flea, FatDoctor, etc... but this stuff is starting to piss me off.

I read medblogs for a reason. Many reasons, in fact.

One big reason I read them is because I went through a time after the birth of my first son when I hated almost *anyone* who had anything to do with childbirth. I mean, anyone. Nurse? Hate. OB? Hate (unless you were Dr. K). Random healthcare practitioner? Hate.

Now please tell me, just how healthy is this attitude? Not very. And that's one huge reason why I started reading medblogs, why I started lurking on allnurses.com, etc. I needed to see the humanity of healthcare practitioners in practice.

And I found it. Thank goodness.

Another reason why I read medblogs relates to my own health issues of late, the primary one being that I bleed for freaking ever, then don't bleed (thus causing the stock for pharmaceutical companies who make OTC pregnancy tests go WAY up), then again, bleed copiously. I am so damned frustrated with my GYN (who, as a "cure" for my bleeding problem, offered to prescribe a drug that would cause even MORE bleeding for a few months), that I really need to see there are doctors out there who aren't like him, who DO listen to their patients when they say, "I'm going crazy", and who know that their patients aren't dramatizing the situation.

I bleed for 22 days and do not die. Seriously. NOT MINOR. For that reason alone, I should be paid attention to when I say, "Yo, doc, I'm going seriously nuts here." But I'm not, and well, that's the way it is. So I'm going to tag my little brother's best friend, who conveniently is a psychiatrist, and get a recommendation from him (because seeing a shrink who I was in charge of back in Bible School is just too freakish for me). And I'm going to engage in Better Living Through Chemistry, Therapy, or Whatever.

Because I need that, and I know I need it because, again, I trust doctors as a whole. BECAUSE I read medblogs.

Not in spite of them.

So bite me, Big Medicine. Stop being afraid of the medblogs. Embrace them. Because your future, for some of us, depends on them. We NEED to see the human face of medicine. We NEED to see that the doctors and nurses who care for us are people too. We NEED to see the restrictions they deal with so that, when those restrictions hit us, we know why and we don't blame our HCPs.

I never thought I'd say this, but...

Free the Doctors! Free the Nurses! Good God, we need them, and we need them to be able to practice the way they should, and we need them to be able to blog the way they must to be able to accomplish the foregoing.

So in closing, again, Big Medicine, you can bite my happy ass.

No asterisks. Just bite me.


Babs RN said...

It's not Big Medicine that's shutting them up. It's Administration. Corporation. Make it look pretty...

BTW surely they've done a thyroid panel? How's your hemoglobin? If you're concerned about keeping the womb, have you been tried on birth control pills at all? Or have you considered uterine ablation (only if you're not going to have anymore kids)?

There is no reason whatsoever that you should have to live with this. There IS definitive treatment. But you need to be prepared for the very real possibility that a hysterectomy is in your future. Then again, there are worse things in life than never having a period again.

Tracy said...

I suggest you don't give up and find a doctor that will listen to you.

One thing my body does after having babies is give me a break from my period for a year. Something I really didn't complain about LOL

Anyway, about 2 years after my second son was born, my period was still not what normal is for me. Every time I tried to talk to my dr. or one of the nurses at the office they would brush me off with "you've only had your period back after having a baby for 5 months, 7 months, 12 months. . . ." Finally, I got so sick of being ignored I went to a new doctor and he had me diagnosed with PCOS (PolyCystic Ovary Syndrome) within 5 minutes of talking to him about my symptoms.

I could have been getting help for this ONE YEAR EARLIER if my other doctor had listened.

Also, my sister had to change doctors to get her diagnosis of Colitis. Her first doc told her that her symptoms were just stress from college. She also suffered for a year.

Anyway, sorry this got so long. Just a few stories to encourage you to continue to search for a doctor that will listen.

William the Coroner said...

Flea was an idiot to comment on an ongoing malpractice case. He took it way to seriously. I think Fat Doctor's 10 commandments of blogging and HIPPA rules are fine.

It is possible to be a medblogger. You just have to engage the brain before the keyboard.

Anonymous said...

"Just stress from college." Good gravy. Too bad she was so weak she couldn't haul off and slap him. If she's better now, (and it sounds like she is), maybe she can return to his office for the deserved slapping.

Mandy, you are going to write up FOUR 700 page reports, specs, or whatever you called them? Sheesh, why don't you blow those off and write a thesis instead? Dr. Amanda. Has a nice ring don't ya think?


LL said...

Have you considered the Mirena IUD? It has hormones and has cut my period back to panty liner light. The hormones are very low level too (I smoke and was very concerned about that part). And it's good for 5 years. Do NOT let them do a copper IUD cuz that increases the bleeding. Talk to your doc about this.

Zanthera said...

2 years, about 8 doctors and bleeding for myself before ending up in ER from fainting down a flight of stairs. 6 months of bleeding can do that to you. Yup, 3 months to 6 of bleeding with only 1-2weeks break in between.

One doctor had the nerve to say I was ovulating.

In the end had proper tests and was stated god chance its PCOS. Read up on it and went on the pill. Couldn't do the Metformin tactic though.

Amanda said...

Babs, yep, keep it all looking pretty. What they don't get is that the medical consumers out there need to see more than a cheerful facade... at least some of us do.

And yes, they tested my thyroid and hemoglobin. Normal. Everything's normal except the whole bleeding thing, LOL.

I'm fine with whatever gets this to stop. Birth control pills aren't so much an option because I turn into a raging bitch for 21 days out of the month when I'm on them (either that or depressed... they don't like me). But hysterectomy, ablation, I'm fine with those. In fact, if something permanent could be done I'd be a rather happy camper because my younger son is 4 and I so do not want to start over on the diapers again!

Tracy, thank you for your comment. After my kids my periods seemed to want to come back (I'm cursed that way) regardless of intensity of breastfeeding, etc. I'm glad you got a doctor who would listen, and same for your sister. It can be a frustrating search.

Speed, as usual, pithy and to the point!

William-the-Coroner, I know what you're saying. I just hate to see the blogs close down, and hope more stay open than not.

LL, the Mirena is also an option I've considered. I may end up going that route if I continue to have rotten luck with the GYN profession.

And Zanthera, yikes! Sounds a bit like what I'm dealing with. And sounds like that one doctor is a clone of mine.

Drives me insane. Short trip, but still.

LL said...

I too get batshit crazy on the pill. All of us (me and my 3 sisters) do. It's so bad that husbands have demanded that we quit them. So you can safely say that the hormone level in the Mirena is low enough as to not turn me into a lunatic. It really is very convenient (except for the first couple of months where you ARE on your period, albeit lightly and spotting, for the WHOLE TIME.)

I hope you get it worked out. I did read this article and thought of you.

Anonymous said...

I work at a GYN clinic. There are a few options you can choose rather then go the BCP route.
Like said before... Ablasion is definately something you can think about, but be aware that it doesn't always work (just like everything else).
Mirena IUD is another option. This is good for 5 years and generally causes abnormal bleeding for approx 3 months. After you may not have a period at all, and if you do, it should be lighter than your "regular" cycle. Only approx 40% of people have no menses at all.
ParaGard is other option, but I wouldn't recommend it because it's made of copper, it's hormone free. This makes women's periods heavier than usual, lasts longer and lasts 10 years.
Please be aware with IUD's you risk the possiblity of it going through the uterus, which will cause you to go to the ER into surgery.

Anonymous said...

I just posted the above post, and was also wondering if you've ever had an endometrial biospy done????

Amanda said...

LL, interesting article!

I don't have fibroids, though. My plumbing is so normal that it's insane.

I wasn't even anemic after all the bleeding. I mean, the hell?

Anonymous 2:09/2:12, yes, I've had an endometrial biopsy done. Normal, signs of ovulation (dammitall), day 22 of cycle (it was really day 36, but who's counting?), etc. All normal results, no issues.

Pelvic ultrasound was similarly unenlightening. No masses, normal endometrial thickness. The nurse who called me about my test results asked me if there was anything about me that wasn't perfect!

Well, yeah, it's this freaking BLEEDING thing, you see, but apparently beyond that I'm quite the picture of reproductive health.

I have posts about the complete tests done and their results in my archives at the end of April 2007 (and maybe some at the beginning of May?). Those might clarify a bit.

Zanthera said...

I know the pill can be a pain for some but I actually get extremely depressed on them until I tied Yasmin. New hormone developed which no other pill has. It's been around here for about 2-3 years but longer in the states.

I tried 4 different pills before this one came a long. Big game of patience.

Amanda said...

Zanthera, it can certainly be a challenge to find something that works.

I'm not a good candidate for the pill as I'm over 35 and I smoke (dangit).

The cancer sticks have got to go. I know this. I'm hoping my husband will join up with me on that because trying to quit smoking while he's still doing it is hell. I quit for both pregnancies and breastfeeding, but started up again afterwards.


Angel said...

Yes, please quit smoking ::gentle nag::

I'm really glad I went over to FD's blog. Sure there were a few things that rankled me, but on the whole, I love her blog. And being a "patient" it is good for perspective.

Have been, still on my "Most doctors suck" rant but thankfully have found a few good docs who restore my faith.

Happyness through medication not a bad place to be ;)

Amanda said...


Yes, ma'am ::hanging head::

Anonymous said...


Amanda said...

Anon 6/8 1:47, it's not so much a matter of me considering it as it is a matter of my doctor considering it and my health insurance covering it.

As a general note, everyone, try not to all-caps in the comments. All lower-case is fine, but my monitor's resolution bit the big one the other day and all caps are hard on my eyes. For emphasis? Sure, they're fine... but if you don't want to worry with the shift key, please don't use the capslock key as a solution here. Thanks.)

Nurse K, Generic ER Nurse said...

I had The Constant Period too, and the Mirena IUD works like a peach. Leave it in for 5 years to prevent pregnancy with 99.9% effectiveness!

Amanda said...

Nurse K,

I'm definitely looking at the Mirena, especially if other treatment is contraindicated (or is refused my my insurance... because THEY aren't the ones bleeding like a stuck pig now, are they?)

Thanks for dropping by!

bostongal said...

Amanda - About 20 years ago I suffered from the same thing you are going through and it was insane. I had two kids in diapers and was going nuts trying to function. I couldn't do the BCP thing, although Lord knows I tried. Finally had the hysterectomy - best thing I ever did! I was 26 at the time so getting the docs to do it was a challenge but I have never regretted it.

I hope you can find a doc who will listen to you and find some relief. Hang in there!

Amanda said...

Bostongal, I'm amazed you found a doctor willing to do that when you were just 26! Shoot, at that age most of them are still iffy on tubal ligations.

Because, obviously, at 26 we can't possibly know we already have enough kids. Eyeroll.

And yeah, I'll hang in there. Thank you!

Andrea said...

If you do nothing else, please consult another GYN. Although you've certainly had every appropriate test done, you're not being HEARD.

I have had my Mirena for almost three years now. I, too, ruled out for fibroids, other masses, PCOS, etc. I was bleeding so heavily that I could not be away from a bathroom for longer than a half hour--using super tampons and the big huge pads as a backup, and still I'd bleed through within a half hour.

Now, I was 100% sure I was not having any more babies--had my tubes tied after my last csection--so I certainly didn't need any birth control! I went to my GYN asking for an ablation--he suggested the Mirena be tried before moving on to surgery, and oh boy am I glad he did!

My insurance company paid for it because it was medically necessary for my DUB, not for birth control (which they wouldn't have covered)....so I paid a $10 copay for five years of--wait for it-- NO BLEEDING AT ALL. I had ONE super light period the month after the insertion, and have had none at all since.

Now, all that aside, you may find another option is better for you. Only you can decide that...but geez Louise, you need a doc to take your concerns seriously and give you some reasonable options for YOU to choose from--not make the choice for you!

good luck,

Amanda said...

Andrea, thank you -- you've hit the nail on the head.