Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Worst Doctor Ever...

I've never been a real friend of the medical profession, but in my aged years, I've grown to appreciate at least to some degree what they offer.

My main gripe has always been that I've thought they were at best ineffective communicators, and at worst pathetic ones.  Over the years I've generally come to the conclusion that they don't really see any point, other than wasting time, in explaining things to patients.  If they can 'fix' why bother explaining why the problem exists to begin with (other than to explain the cost of fixing...), or how the problem got fixed in the end.  If they can't 'fix', well send them off to the next guy...

Sometimes that can't 'fix' 100%, but at least can 'fix' sufficiently to make things 'better' - and for that I offer at least 7 years of gratitude to Dr. Steeg.  Not a great communicator, but at least competent (and probably expert) at what he does...

Today, I met a new Doctor.  I was referred to him as also being competent in what he does.  As the day isn't over, I, myself, feel incompetent to judge on the efficacy of his competence.  I must say, before he started manipulating my neck, he failed to mention:  By the way, this might hurt like hell for the rest of the day...

A couple of weeks ago, I popped something in my back and ever since have been experiencing similar, though not as severe, nerve pain in my back, shoulder and left arm, as what I'd experienced leading up to my surgery (not mention my nom de plume of 'quippled').   I saw my regular Doc on Friday last, and she referred me to the New Doc.

Approximately 2 minutes into the exam/interview the question of my alcohol use came up.  I had given my honest answer of 4 beers per day on the 7 page form, and repeated it to the Dr's inquiry.  I then got to sit through an approximate 30 to 40 second stare-down, where the unspoken message was essentially:  that's your stock answer, now what's the real one.  i.e.:  I sort of realized that he didn't believe me - and for the first time, in at least a fairly long time, I was stuck in the quandary of how do you make someone believe in the truth when they don't...  I sort of guffawed, and said, well, sometimes 5 ...  but also, sometimes 3.

This is not to say I'm particularly proud of my 4 beer per day intake, but I would like to make my Drs. understand that, at least for a number of years, my beer intake is partially for analgesic reasons, and therefore I do not want to be dishonest with them about it.

After the stare-down, the discussion slightly shifted forward to the real reason I had made an appointment with him, but then after about another 2 minutes, being quite spooked by the stare-down, I sort of brought it up again, and got him to admit that he hadn't actually believed me.  I've got to say that when he admitted this, I came within about 5 seconds of standing up and walking out.  My better judgement got the best of me as I realized it was sort of irrelevant per my reason for being there, and I wanted to see if he could help.  As noted above, the jury's still out on that part of things.

But I must say, that as this day has passed, the stare-down has preyed a little on my psyche.  And what my final conclusion is that it was ultimately dishonest of the practitioner.  If he had instead responded with oh, you look like maybe you drink more than that... or oh, you know your alcohol consumption might be contributing to your problems, or, anything else, well, then, so be it, but to have developed an opinion but not expressed it, except through the stare-down, was extremely rude and dishonest, and is something I don't consider to be professional.

If I had a moment to express a private thought to him, I'd say:  Why should I believe in you, if you don't believe in me...  But, it isn't even that; it's more:  Why should I believe in you if you don't have the honesty or integrity to tell me what you're thinking.  I suppose, I'm supposed to argue that its just another example of pathetic MD communication skills; but in this case was something worse; it was sort of offensive, and well, something to which, I don't know how to respond...  It sort of trumps competency.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Slave To Another God

A slave to another God
Is something I would rather not be.
For I already am,
To so many others.

Why Gods make us slaves
Is something I cannot say;
Perhaps it is an answer,
That awaits another day.

Why strangers deign to invent
New Gods, escapes me.
Why create something that
Berates you?

My main God is words,
As John foretold me;
Time is another,
That controls me.

Slave am I to time,
I cannot deny.
If only she would say
How I should lie, the day I die.

But words,
I love,
And if I am a slave,
I am a dove.

Friday, January 20, 2012

You're Cool If You Think You're Cool

You're not if you don't.