Friday, April 23, 2010

The Pulmonologist Who Screamed at Me & The Real Secret to Fast Weight Loss

In the mid 90s I had a severe asthma flare up. This time, I was working so hard to breathe, I was losing weight. Something like 12 pounds in 10 days and this was with eating entire pizzas (No exaggeration. I also ate entire blooming onions at Outback and 12oz steaks with butter).

This was back when I couldn't lose weight no matter what I did, so it was kind of amazing. I totally believe those infomercials that tell you all you need to do to lose weight is do their weirdo breathing exercises. I've experienced it first hand.

(Maybe they should consider inducing asthma attacks as a weight loss method?)

I went to the ER repeatedly. I went to the Doctor (PCP) repeatedly. Nothing was helping. I did not have a pulmonologist at the time so the PCP gave me a referral for one.

He screamed at me.

Screamed at me.

"WHO SAID YOU HAD ASTHMA? WHO GAVE YOU A NEBULIZER?"

I just looked at him. I was fighting too hard to maintain control of my breathing to do anything but blink at him blankly. Inside, I was thinking, "Are you serious? I'm not here to be abused. I'm sick, I need help."

Then they did the pulmonary function tests which showed my airways were down by 50%.

And that shut him up right quick. He changed his tune dramatically and suddenly I was being considered for hospitalization.

But I never went back (didn't go to the hospital either). Instead I complained to my PCP who referred me to my first 'real' pulmonologist. The one who gave me my life back.

The pulmonologist who screamed at me also has third party independent verification of asshole status. Coincidentally, my good friend went to see this jerk. He made fun of her clothes and treated her like absolute shit.

She didn't go back to him either.

I regret that I did not complain about him. By the time a doctor is driving patients away with inappropriate behavior, they are adversely affecting the health of patients. Because now the patient doesn't have anyone providing medical care and it takes time to get in to see someone else--time in which things such as my asthma flare up can go very wrong. Gaps in medical care due to a doctor's bad personality are inexcusable in my book.

I truly needed medical care. What I got was abuse. Not acceptable. Nor do I think I did anything wrong, I was too sick to talk or drive (hubby came with and he was just as appalled as I was).

How
could I have possibly triggered this doctor's behavior? I don't think I did.

The weird thing is, this guy was in the system that did the methacholine challenge that was positive for asthma. How was that not enough for him? Or was he phoning it in and hadn't looked at my medical records?

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