Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My GYN (Revisited)


I almost had my annual GYN appointment today. Almost. Yes, with the same doctor I was griping about back in this post.

I really should listen to myself when I think I should find another doctor, but I'm one of those folks who not just dislikes the annual "spread 'em and grin" appointment, I loathe it. I feel violated by it, I feel literally sick to my stomach over it.

So basically, because I didn't want to get used to yet ANOTHER doctor with his hands somewhere I feel at my core they shouldn't be, and because I fear dying from some preventable disease that could have been detected by this appointment even more than I fear the appointment, I scheduled this year's with him again.

Late, I'll grant you, but I scheduled it.

The man is a ... well... words can't describe. Let me give you the story.

I had an appointment at 3PM my time this afternoon. The doctor finally entered the exam room after I'd been parked on the table, as I was told, in the gown and sheet with nothing else, for nearly 45 minutes. To top it off, I was in no small amount of pain.

He asked how I was doing in a monotone without looking at me, and I responded that I'd been doing better before I'd been sitting on the table for 30 minutes and the bursitis in my hip flared up. I wasn't nasty, just stating the facts... even had a half-smile on my face which he'd have noticed if he'd freaking looked at me. He didn't apologize, nothing. Just said he'd been with a patient. I said that was okay, things happened. And they do. I get that, even though it was now over an hour past my appointment time, I get that.

If I hadn't made that comment likely things wouldn't have gone downhill the way they did, but I fully believe that his response and treatment of me was inexcusable. And I apologized.

He then got, to my mind, very confrontational. He went back to the last time I was in in April of '07 and mentioned that I'd been told of a hormonal imbalance, and had failed to get their recommended treatment, to which I responded I'd NEVER heard I'd had a hormonal imbalance. I was shocked, because this was the exact opposite of what I'd heard (check back in the linked post above and it will state that the nurse said the problem was NON-hormonal in nature).

That really set him off. saying he knew the nurse who called me would have told me this. I told him that I'd been blogging about it and had blogged the resport of the test results right after they happened and if he had internet access I would happily locate that for him. He said he didn't and he called the nurse in who had called me with the test results (I'd had an endometrial biopsy). He then said in front of the nurse that I had accused her of lying to me, which I had NOT. I told him what I had been told, which does NOT mean I called her a liar. Good grief. And anyone who's dealt with patients or people for that matter knows that a person CAN miss something they're told, if indeed I did.

Really, I don't think she told me because I would have grabbed onto "hormonal imbalance" as at least SOME sort of diagnosis. And as I recommended to y'all above, I checked my blog to verify that I heard I was told that my results said the bleeding issues I had were NOT hormonal in nature.

I will admit it's possible I misunderstood. But that in no way excuses the doctor of saying I said the nurse was a liar (what a freaking JERK), or for him RAISING HIS VOICE AT ME. There I was, in the stupid gown with the stupid paper wrapper, in about the most vulnerable position you can get into, and he's yelling at me.

It was around that point, when he was being very nasty with me that I mentioned going somewhere else. He agreed, and said he would likely dismiss me as a patient which I told him was his right of course.

I am so upset. You simply don't treat people that way no matter what, and when you're a DOCTOR you most DEFINITELY do not talk to a patient who is visibly upset in that fashion. I even showed him that my hand was shaking and he made zero attempt to try to calm himself or to diffuse the situation. Nope, I was the one doing that. Why? Because I'm always the one who tried to calm the loud situations.

After he yelled, I mentioned that I'd just gotten out of ten years of a verbally abusive marriage and I would not be talked to in that fashion again. That likely made him more angry... but I can't take it. I simply can't be talked to that way. It's impolite, it's unprofessional, and I feel even more sick now than I did when I went in.

His nurse was very nice to me after he left -- yeah, the one he accused me of calling a liar. And I'll be happy to see another doctor than him, believe me, but now I'm terrified he'll put his "letter of dismissal" in my file and say awful things about me in it and I won't even know and it will become impossible for me to get another GYN which is devastating because if I had known there really WAS a problem, gee, I would have been in to see the doctor quite some time back. And I'd like to get in to see one, so I really REALLY am terrified he's going to do something to screw that up.

God I hate this.


Mauigirl said...

What a class-A JERK! (I was just reading my Google reader when your new post popped up - good to see you back here!)

Find yourself a woman gynecologist. I have one now and I like her so much better than the men I've had in the past. They always tend to be condescending even if they try to be nice, and they just don't GET it.

Don't let this JERK make you feel bad about anything. And I'm sure you won't be blackballed from all gynecologists. Feel better...

Amanda said...

Maui, yeah, tomorrow I'll attempt to find a female GYN. That should at least mitigate the serious anxiety issues over what is, really, a very normal albeit uncomfortable exam (on many levels)for most women.

I think I'm most upset because he completely jumped over the possibility that, shockingly, a patient might have misunderstood what she was told, and went immediately to the erroneous conclusion that I was calling his nurse -- who is wonderful along with being a bloody SAINT -- a liar.

I really do fear being blackballed in the OB/GYN community by this guy. I wouldn't have been concerned normally, but after his viciousness with this interaction, I am truly terrified.

I'm working on a letter to him that I'll likely never send because I'm sure it's incredibly incindiary and won't help matters one bit... but I'll post it here once I'm done with it for some catharsis at least, LOL.

I will admit that I had a hand in this. I was in pain, aggravated by the wait, and these appointments make me a wreck anyway, so I'm sure the tension was in my voice. But surely he's had patients upset before? And I *did* apologize... an apology to which he didn't respond. And will likely deny if asked if it was given.

Yet I'm adult enough to know that he was so worked up by then that likely he didn't even hear it. Too bad he can't extend me the same courtesy.

Good grief.

grace said...

I'm sorry you had to go through this. I can relate to it so much...for some reason . ;) Not that the exact same thing has ever happned to me but certainly things that are somewhat eerily similar.

I think we might be soul sisters.


Angel said...

I feel like I'm going to throw up. Literally.

OMG ((((Amanda))))) there is NO FUCKING EXCUSE for what he did. Report him, if not for yourself, then for some other woman he's likely to victimize.

She's not a GYN, but I *love* my doctor and I promise you, she will treat you with caring respect. Email me if you want her number.

FWIW I hate hate hate those exams too, to the point of panic attacks. You are so not alone.

Ugh ugh ugh. Want me to kick his ass? You know I'd do it for you ;)

Amanda said...

Grace/Pam... LOL! Somehow I'm not surprised. There are some really interesting similarities in a variety of our experiences :)

And Angel, hee!! Thanks for the offer, girl ;) But yeah, I'll handle this in an appropriate fashion. I'm still debating on whether or not to send the letter I've written to him and cc it to his board of directors. On the one hand (looking at the new entry above this one) I wasn't totally blameless in this situation. But on the other hand, regardless of my culpability in continuing to see a doctor with whom I wasn't comfortable, his behaviour was beyond the pale.

I'll figure it out :)

Anonymous said...


Don't worry about this guy putting a mark on your record. I'm sure he's well known in the gyno community and most other gynos secretly thank him for all the business he throws their way. :)