Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Prosleytizing Jesus Freak Doctor Story

For a long time, I thought I wouldn't and shouldn't have kids. My 20s were a mess of asthma and Cushings, I wasn't sure I would be able to work let alone have a family. However with the advent of modern asthma medications, things improved immensely. I felt more comfortable with the idea that my child would have asthma since the medications were so effective.

At least they wouldn't go through what I had, right? I have some concerns about that thinking now, but, at the time, I was good with it.

With my health stable for the first time in a decade, my husband and I embarked on trying to make a baby.

And nothing happened. I Googled and dutifully gave my ovaries 3 months to do something interesting before seeking the care of a doctor.

Our insurance at the time required a referral in order to see a specialist. So when it became apparent my ovaries weren't going to get to work, off I went trying to find a primary care physician. (New insurance. Again.)

I ended up with a DO. I tend not to like DOs because they psychoanalyze too much. Even as a kid, I didn't like DOs--they told me my breathing problems were all in my head, which even at 12 I knew was utter bullshit. They seem to think 'holistic' is synonymous with therapy or diagnosing people with some sort of mental defect. I don't get it and I never found the DO perspective particularly helpful.

So, of course, me being me, I end up with the nuttiest doctor I have ever met.

Now there's something you need to know about me, I don't have long beautiful finger nails. Superficially, I look like a nail biter and you might be tempted to think there's some anxiety or neurosis there spurring it on.

Not so.

The real problem is, my nails are thin and weak. When I let them grow they peel or bend back painfully. The root cause of this is the PCOS, but I didn't know this at the time. I just snip/bite/peel them off because it hurts otherwise--especially when they bend back. The result is not attractive, but there's not much I can do about it. I used to do acrylics until I got a staph infection and then a fungal infection that required multiple injection cycles into each and every finger to cure it (FYI most nail salons are dirty places. Not to mention prednisone = crappy immune system). Also, acrylics are really painful too.

Well the DO took one look at my stubby nails and launched into 'you're stressed and need to calm down.' She ranted and raved at me for over 2 hours. She actually pulled out a bible and started in on some kind of bizarre bible based psychoanalysis.

Then she put me on the spot and asked me to tell her what she had said. I couldn't because none of it made any sense. She lost me after she started drawing Jesus on the cross during the first hour of ranting and trying to make it correlate to me medically. (And I'm a preacher's kid by the way, so you know she really had to be out there if I couldn't figure it out.)

When I couldn't mirror back to her, she literally said to me, "That's because you're not at my level." I shit you not. That is word for word. WHO says that kind of stuff to people?

While I decided it was a good thing I wasn't at her level, of course, she was implying I was stupid. Which offended me. I think it would offend most people, no?

So at the end of hour two of this appointment. I started getting dressed while she talked. I just wanted to get the hell out of there and I didn't know how to make her shut up. She nattered on and on about Jesus as I tried to dress without flashing her.

She told me that I wasn't ovulating due to stress and I just needed to relax.*(Note. NEVER SAY THIS TO WOMEN HAVING ISSUES WITH FERTILITY. INSTANT DEATH (YOURS) MAY RESULT.) I restrained myself quite admirably despite her kamikaze attempts to provoke me. I advocated pretty well about wanting to see an endocrinologist--although I was on the verge of tears and beyond desperate to get the hell out of there. After much talking and repeating, "I really want to see an endocrinologist" a billion times, I got a referral to some endo she was affiliated with, which I didn't end up using.

Because I didn't ever want to go back to that doctor again. And anyone she liked or was affiliated with was suspect in my book because there was no way normal people would think her behavior was rational. So everyone was guilty by association as far as I was concerned. Birds of a feather and all that.

(Oddly enough she was the only doctor I ever had that called me and harassed me, multiple times, about following up with our initial appointment.)

This left me still on the hunt for a primary care doctor. It was kind of funny when I called the insurance company to choose a different primary care doctor, they knew all about the Jesus DO.

If only they had told me that when I called to select her!

Eventually I did find a doctor who diagnosed me with PCOS and gave me a referral for a Reproductive Endocrinologist. She also turned out to be addicted to narcotics, but that's a story for another time.

*I've read Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers which is about psychoneuroimmunology (I think I have that right--it's been a while since I read it) and it is possible to delay or suppress ovulation due to stress. I have a friend who experienced this while traveling all over the world on business; the constant change in time zone and jet lag totally messed up her cycles. However, no one should be denied a thorough work up to rule out actual medical conditions. In my humble opinion, it should be rule out first, then meditate.

And, full disclosure, the book link is an Amazon affiliate link. Hey, I got medical bills to pay.

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