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Good Medical Advice

Joe Katzman has some, as do his commenters. Doctors are not gods.


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Steve wrote:

Great advice. Remember, somewhere out there is the doctor who graduated last in the class, and they ARE practicing medicine daily. Is he or she the one who signs your prescriptions, orders your tests and keeps you healthy?

I have first hand experience with the medical community screwing the pooch.

In 1992, after working for 6 months in the oil fields outside Bakersfield, I returned home to NC. I was home less than a week before I started having flu like symptoms. I went to my doctor and told him my symptoms and where I'd spent the last 5 months. I specifically asked to be tested for Valley Fever.

He drew some blood samples, he gave me some antibiotics and I went home. I lost the job I had then because I was out of work for 5 weeks. I spent every dime I�d accumulated working in the oil patch make ends meet.

5 months later I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis. It�s primarily a lung ailment bit can cause flu like symptoms. Ta Da! We�re finally done! Not quite.

I was in and out of work, changed doctors 5 times, saw a dozen specialists, spent thousands of dollars just on my % of costs, went bankrupt, lost my house and our cars, and almost would up divorced because of the constant stress my wife and I were under. My disability was denied twice because most sufferers of Sarcoidosis are able to work at some level. By 1998 I was completely disabled with the fevers, aches, pains and that went back to 1992 when I first got sick.

In 2000 I started seeing a doctor we heard about in a Sarcoidosis Support Group. She questioned the original diagnosis and sent me to UNC to the Pulmonary clinic. By that point we�d been questioning the diagnosis and treatments for years. 30 minutes after getting chest x-rays and seeing two Pulmonary Doctors at UNC, they decided that I did not have Sarcoidosis, I�d never had Sarcoidosis and they came within a gnats whisker of telling me it was malpractice by the 20 �specialists� and primaries I�d seen.

They set me up with a Rheumatologist at UNC. She ran some tests, took x-rays of my entire skeletal structure and diagnosed me with severe arthritis and fibromyalgia. 4 weeks after starting treatments for those I felt better, Between her recommendations, my primaries recommendation and the complete repudiation of the original diagnosis, I got my disability approved.

Since that last diagnosis we�ve learned a great deal about the maladies I do have. If you have a long term illness, do your own research, ask questions. If your doctor dismisses you or the questions, move on. There are other star fish in the sea with medical diplomas. If they blame every illness you have on �that� diagnosis, question it. Listen, I once had a primary blame a sinus infection and a concurrent toe nail FUNGUS on my weakened immune system, based on his belief in the original diagnosis. I never went back.

We�ve also learned a great deal about the testing we paid for. Much of it was redundant. When we questioned it way back when, and as it was being done, they were called updates or further studies. Studies, new, redone or updated, based on a bad diagnosis, are just wasted time, money and blood. Especially if no one reads or interprets them and questions them against the original diagnosis.

The worst part of all of this is that there was a study done in the early 1990�s that tied Valley Fever to prolonged flu like symptoms leading to many people getting a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. Remember the Valley Fever test I asked for in 1992? It was NEVER done. That was found in a search of my records after my disability was approved. Did I originally have Valley Fever? We�ll never know now, because we failed to hold down the original primary and pulmonary doctors and threaten them with bodily harm when they blew off the questions about those results.

That�s my fault and I readily admit it. I allowed myself to be treated as if I was too stupid to understand the situation, simply because the person I was dealing with wore a white coat with a stethoscope and not a set of coveralls with RAY on the pocket. Doctors are service providers just like plumbers and waitresses. Demand the same professionalism of them, and results for your money, that you expect from your builder, mechanic or TV repairman.

Their schooling is more intense, more expensive and harder to get through than just about anyone else we depend on. They chose it, they work it, and they have no problem charging us for it. If that�s the case, why should WE give THEM the benefit of any doubt or any preferential treatment?

Hold their little medical feet to the fire!

(this just occurred to me Mike and Bob, my primary is an African-America, as is his 3 person nursing staff I guess my racist attitudes drove me to seek him out so he could work for me)

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on February 28, 2008 6:11 AM.

Still Popping The Corn was the previous entry in this blog.

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