Thursday, March 15, 2012

(AF) Ills Sneak Up On You! - Part 3

First, I want to start by saying that I am feeling considerably better! I still have a long road ahead to full recovery, and I am very, very tired, but I am making big improvements each day. I am still having a little trouble typing with my left hand (from the mini strokes), but I figure short typing sprints with rest breaks will probably greatly help in getting it back to normal. One night I even managed to sleep soundly and restfully for 6 hours straight, and it felt soooo good! From infection, I had been struggling so hard to breathe for so long, that sleep had become nearly impossible. Every time I tried to lay down, I would stop breathing. Or if I did get to sleep, I would eventually stop breathing and wake up frantically gasping for air. Yep, all this from one little tooth.

As I ended my last post, the PA had just come in to see me. I was SO relieved to see that it wasn't the same one I saw the last time! Why? Well, I guess I better back-track a little bit here:

The very first time I went to this clinic, it was also my first experience in seeing a PA instead of a doctor. But things went well, he seemed to know what he was doing, he had a caring manner, and I was fine with it all. But then... after my exam, he made sure the door was closed, looked at my chart and asked a few questions about my finances and marital status (single - living alone), then said that he might be able to help me with my income. . . . huh? ? ? ? ? ?

He asked if I would like to know about an easy way to earn some money. [Oh, boy, here we go, *eye roll*]  He said I would have to keep it quiet, though. I was curious, so I figured I would play along and see what he had to say. He then proceeded to tell me about some kind of insurance that he sold and how much money I could make if I sold it under him, then gave me his card, told me to really think it over, and call him. He once again told me to keep quiet about it on my way out. Sheesh! Needless to say, that PA was soon replaced by another....

The next PA was excellent! You would have thought he was an actual doctor. He was very knowledgeable, listened and gave you his full attention, took the time to explain everything to you, and exhibited a sincerely caring attitude. After a couple of appointments with that PA, he, too, was soon gone. I am betting that one went on to bigger and better things, as he was a good one! .....

Then came the one with the chip on her shoulder and the "I hate the world" attitude. Where do they get these people?!  Now, mind you, I was in that time for a badly abscessed tooth (it has been missed on a previous visit) and the infection was so bad it had spread into my blood stream, infected my respiratory system, organs, and shot my blood pressure up (well, that, along with my fear of the dentist and doctor). So, my blood pressure was high, dangerously high(It's a wonder I was still walking), and she got extremely hateful with me about it being so high. Also, a few days before I went in with my tooth, I had pulled a tick off of me (which had really whelped up more than usual), and a spider had gotten ahold of my back while I was asleep (I had moved into a bedroom that hadn't been used in awhile), bit me in several places, and were starting to look pretty bad, despite everything I was putting on them, so I knew I needed to get her to look at them. Well, totally disregarding that my blood pressure was well above stroke level, and that we were in a tiny building, just feet from the waiting room (no sound barriers), she began to scream at me, "Those are bad! Those spider bites are bad! I mean really bad! Why haven't you come in here?" Well... that's kind of what I was doing, duh! So she loudly rants a little more about my high blood pressure (not a smart thing to do), my spider bites, tick bite, and anything else she could think of, for everyone in the office and waiting room to clearly hear. She loudly insinuated that I was really stupid for letting myself get into a position that I got a tick on me and said I must rub down with repellent each and every time I went outside (I live in the woods! A tick will happen on occasion. And rubbing down with chemical laden insect repellent every day would be more damaging to my body than one tick!)

By the time I left, everyone in the building knew I had probable tick fever (no test was done, she just said that was what I had), multiple spider bites (probable brown recluse) spreading through my body, and a seriously abscessed tooth. No patient confidentiality there! She was loud, rude, sarcastic, hateful, and made you feel about an inch high, not to mention, further running my blood pressure up. I decided I would have to be near death before I went back to that place!!!

Okay, so I was once again in a life & death situation and had to go back to that intimidating clinic. And I was REALLY hoping there was a new PA there this time. . . . . . to my initial relief, there was . . . . . but she actually made the last one look nice!!

So, we are back to the present and the PA came in, laptop in hand. She was sarcastic from the moment she began speaking. I am guessing that (just my guess), and referring to my weight loss conversation, she didn't like me saying that I was working harder at living naturally.  She sat in a chair, laptop in lap, eyes down, seldom looking up at me. As she read my computerized chart she asked if I was still taking this med and that med (blood pressure meds). I said that I  hadn't in a long time, but was the past couple of weeks because of my infection. I explained to her that after my last abscessed tooth was removed and infection gone, that my blood pressure went back down and I hadn't needed it. She also asked how much I was taking. I told her half a pill. She sarcastically asked if that was because I couldn't afford to take full doses. Sheesh! No! It was because that is what they prescribed and it was right there in front of her!!!

She got very sarcastic about my meds, and said that I HAD to take what they prescribed and should never quit taking them.... They have side affects, serious side affects, and I won't put toxins that my body doesn't need, into it if I am doing fine. My gosh, that medicine even carries a risk of heart failure! If I can do it naturally, I will! So, once again, this PA starts yelling at me about my blood pressure, at how high it was (at least it was a new, better building and other patients couldn't hear). I tried and tried to tell her that my blood pressure does that from my fear of going to the doctor/dentist and when I get an abscessed tooth. She ranted a little more, then looked at my tooth (the one I thought it was). She corrected me and said it's your teeth", meaning I had more than one abscessed on that side. Once again she used a sarcastic tone to say that the dentist wouldn't work on me with my blood pressure like that. I said that he would, that we had a routine we went through to get my pressure down long enough to get the tooth out/fixed, then my blood pressure would start going down anyway. I explained our routine, including the 1/4th of a Valium I was told to take just before I went in, and she really came unglued! "Valium! Where did you get Valium!?" I told her that I got it there, over a year ago. (I was prescribed 3 pills, I still have 2 of them."  The sarcasm really grew then, with the "your trash" attitude. I assured her that was the only time I ever took it, when I went to the dentist, that I didn't like taking the stuff, but I wasn't going to die from a tooth, either, because they couldn't get it out.

 She didn't check several of the usual 'basic' things a doctor routinely checks, but she did listen to my heart and lungs. She told me to breathe in deeply... then breathe all the way out. She said to do it again and keep doing it. I was really struggling to breathe with the infection, and was breathing really slowly, but I was doing the best I could to do what she said. And it took awhile to get the breath all the way in, then all the way out. So once again she started screaming at me, "I said to keep doing it!! Keep breathing in and out deeply!" and "You're not doing what I said!! I said to keep doing it!!!"  She got very irate about it and hatefully let me know it... no compassion for the elevated blood pressure.

Even though she was sitting there, looking at my chart, she asked if I was allergic to any antibiotics. I knew she was looking at the list, but I listed them all anyway. She was obviously irritated that I had already started taking some (I wouldn't have still been breathing if I hadn't), but prescribed me more of the same, anyway (a very strong, black listed, antibiotic - one of the few I can sort of take). I then tried to tell her about the glands on the left side of my head that were really swollen up big, in a large area, and a bug bite close to it. She wouldn't look at all, she wouldn't even look up from the computer screen, she just said, "That's from the bug bite. The antibiotics will take care of it."  She checked for swelling in my lower legs/ankles through my thick (scrunched up, double layered, with bottom zippers) sweat pants and deemed them swollen. First, there was no way to tell through all those layers, and second, it was the side that stays swollen up from arthritis that she checked. So she yelled at me some more for not taking the water pill. (she didn't check swelling anywhere else on my body)  I tried to tell her that I had snapped that foot during a mini stroke, but she wouldn't listen. She wouldn't let me tell her about my foot, the several mini strokes I had had the week before, the spells at night where I repeatedly stopped breathing, NOTHING. Every time I tried to tell her anything, she cut me off and sarcastically said, "You are here just to get antibiotics for that tooth. Make another appointment for anything else."  That really made my blood pressure boil!!! Yes, I was a 'walk-in' (a scheduled walk-in, at that) but my payment was the same as for a regular appointment. Everything I was trying to tell her WAS related to my tooth, and her attitude sounded like a scheme to get more money with total disregard for my health!

Next, she said she needed to see me again in 2 weeks for a blood pressure check (which they also charge for, now, like it was a full office visit, but didn't use to). She said that I needed to fast before I came in, too, so that she could do some blood work. I reminded her that the last time I was in, they had written out a form for me to get blood work done (before they upgraded the building, they contracted out to another lab for lab work, but do it there now), I had paid for it (which I told her), but I had had a family crisis come up and wasn't able to go get it done. Now, mind you, she has my chart in front of her, had been looking at all my prescribed meds and giving me heck over them, then says (referring to the blood work), "I don't know anything about that. You will just have to pay for it again." LIKE HECK I WILL!!!!!  She wouldn't let me tell her about what kept me from being able to go get it done, she kept cutting me off, and telling me I would have to pay and do it again. If the order for the lab work (paid for) isn't in my chart, someone monkeyed around with it.

So I left furious, irritated, frustrated, stressed, upset, and, well, you get the picture .... and my blood pressure even higher. But, let me tell you folks, THIS is what we can expect from government funded health care!!! 

 Also Read: Part 1    Part 2     Part 4   Part 5   Part 6  


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