Doctor Doctor Give Me the News

by Cathy Miller

in Miller Musings, On Everyday Life

Trust me, my next line is NOT ~

I’ve got a bad case of loving you.

  • First, it’s horrible grammar
  • Second, the doctor did not impress

Healthy Impressions

My good health (knock on wood) means I have a limited number of doctor’s visits.

  • Annual physical
  • Preventive care visits

I was overdue for an eye exam. In my line of work, that is not a good thing.

My problems began right out of the gates.

  • 3 months to get an appointment
  • 1 1/2 hours waiting for the doctor

When the doctor finally did come into the room, he carried on a conversation with someone he was training.

  • He stood in the doorway, shouting down the hallway
  • The doctor expressed his obsession with time spent examining patients

Here’s a thought. Why not turn around and spend some time with the patient behind you.

  • Perhaps he felt my vibes
  • He finally turned around and shook my hand

I already had the tests and my eyes dilated – something that is quite painful for my baby blues.

The assistant advised the doctor that I had been told at my last check-up that I had a cataract.

The condition wasn’t to the point where I needed surgery.

  • I suspected surgery was in my near future
  • Turns out I was right – sort of

I guess near future has varying interpretations.

Chair Time

The doctor rattled off acronyms and medical jargon to the assistant while zapping me with what felt like Star Wars lightsabers on my dilated pupils.

When I flinched a few times, he chastised me for not keeping my forehead plastered to the suction-cup headrest.

I chastised back ~

Maybe you should try the view from this side.

He then proceeded to tell me why he felt I should have one type of surgery over another (explaining neither – good thing I spent 30+ years in the healthcare industry).

He also told me I should thank him because the other surgery was $4,200 so he was saving me money.

I’ll put you in my will.

And it turns out, I need surgery on both eyes – which, I had to clarify with the doctor.

And then out the door he went.

Begging for Time

The assistant told me they were booking a month out.

Since I finally had someone’s ear, I shared the following:

  1. I have a $2,000 deductible, which I’ve met (long story)
  2. It would be nice if both surgeries happened this year
  3. I will be hopping on a plane on November 7th
  4. Taking a little stroll of 60 Miles in 3 Days
  5. And won’t be back until November 20th

To which she replied ~

I’d better check with the doctor about that

Maybe if – oh, I don’t know – he stayed in the room AND actually spoke to me – I could have saved you the trouble.

Good News – Bad News

The good news – as long as the surgery is three weeks before or after that plane ride, we’re good to go.

The bad news – the scheduling nurse has been sick for three days.

  • And no one else can do the scheduling
  • And the next appointment is in October
  • Dangerously close to that three-week restriction

The best I can hope for is going to San Diego for the 3-Day Walk with half my eyes in full functioning order.

If the scheduling nurse doesn’t expire. Because NO ONE can schedule the appointment.

Sigh…

Doctor, Doctor – Give Me the News

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Live…Laugh…Love

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula H September 14, 2012 at 10:10 am

Cathy – I have my eyes dilated every single time I go to the eye doctor because I have so many darn floaters. They always have to check for retinal damage, even though my floaters are supposedly due to the structure of my eyes – little folds and pockets in the whites of my eyes, as I understand it. It’s always weird not being able to read anything for a few hours and looking in the mirror to see black eyes staring at me instead of the green I’m used to.

I hope your eye doctor is better at doing his job than he is with “bedside” manner. Otherwise I’d be in the market for a new eye doctor.

Be glad cataract surgeries have advanced so far. When my grandma had here eyes done (separately, of course) in the 70s or early 80s, it required a hospital stay and about 6 weeks with an eye patch. Then she had to get special Mr. Magoo-like cataract lenses for her glasses.

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Cathy September 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Hi Paula: The good news was everything else was okay.

I hate having my eyes dilated. My blue eyes have always been sensitive to light. And don’t you love that you look like the poster child for a Margaret Keane painting? :-D

This doctor has a really good reputation for his surgical skills, so I guess I’ll put up with his less than personable side.

I’ll stop whining now. :-)

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Paula H September 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm

I’m pretty photophobic, too. Even bright glares bother me. Unfortunately, prescription sunglasses are way too expensive when the old health insurance doesn’t cover vision (or dental, for that matter), so I have to use the little clip-ons sp the sun still peeks in around the sides and from the top.

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Cathy September 14, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I’ve always worn dark sunglasses. Fortunately, for most of my life, my vision problem wasn’t horrible so I wore regular sunglasses.

I do have prescription ones for driving. But, I hear you about the cost. I have a Health Savings Account, where you can use the funds for that, but I just always think I need to save it for something more costly.

Dental is the real killer. One crown can end up being $1,000. Only thing I miss from my corporate days – health benefits.

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Martha Giffen September 14, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I know you had AN EXPERIENCE on that visit and as bad as it was, you kept me laughing through the whole story! On the dilation of our eyes. . . I haven’t done it in years. I always tell my doctor that I “forgot” to bring someone with me to drive home. LOL And last time I went, one of my eyes had IMPROVED! Go figure! haha!
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Cathy September 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Glad I could bring a smile, Martha. You gotta laugh at the craziness, right? ;-)

I know the dilation needs to be done, but it is definitely not one of my favorite things. My eyes take forever to go back to normal. Try explaining that to an officer – really, it was a doctor – not drugs – that made my pupils dilate. ;-)

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John Soares September 14, 2012 at 2:31 pm

What a hassle Cathy. Can you go elsewhere, is this your main choice?

Are you sure you want this man to do the operation? Will he be able to concentrate?
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Cathy September 14, 2012 at 2:40 pm

He was mostly tripping over his ego, John. I hope he can concentrate. He took over another doctor’s patient base after that doctor had health issues. He really does have a good reputation. Let’s hope I caught him on a bad day. ☺

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Kristen September 14, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Hi Cathy,
I have to say that I would not return to him. If he has so little respect for patients as to keep them waiting for 90 minutes and to chastise you for moving while in pain, I might be concerned that he might be the best person. Plus it seems like a bad idea to reward him for his poor behavior by scheduling a surgery. It sounds like he might be so busy that he won’t even notice. I strongly believe that health care consumers should take the only power they have when they get poor care and that is seeing someone else who will treat them well. Perhaps he doesn’t need the money that he would earn from the surgery fee. Good luck with getting everything resolved.
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Cathy September 15, 2012 at 10:51 am

You make an excellent point, Kristen, regarding taking control of our health care decisions. It’s something I promote so I guess I should try some of my own prescription, huh? :-)

Thank you for your thoughtful observation, Kristen.

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Anne Wayman September 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm

My two best girlfriends here in San Diego have had cataract surgery and are way better for it.

Are floaters a sign of cateracts? I’ve had a couple but they’ve gone away.

The story of your doctor is appalling! I’m so sorry you were treated this way.

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Cathy September 16, 2012 at 6:49 am

Hi Anne. I’m actually looking forward to having the surgery so I can get better vision. It has been a real hindrance in my work. Except now I have a handy excuse for typos. :-D

Cataract symptoms are usually things like blurred vision and glare (like from headlights at night while driving) causes problems. One of my noticeable problems related to work was dashes looked like equal signs.

Floaters are common when we age-of course that doesn’t apply to us. ;-) From what I’ve read, a sudden “shower of floaters” that may also be accompanied with a flash of light could be a symptom of a retinal tear or detachment. Most of the time floaters are common and do not require treatment. but it’s good to check them out at your eye appointment.

Here’s a WebMD article about it, Anne. http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/benign-eye-floaters

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Paula H September 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm

My eye doctor explained there are a couple types of floaters. The kind I’ve had my entire life are due to the actual structure of the gelatinous part of the eye – folds and pockets cause the lines and specks that are always floating through my field of vision. The others can be just a few spots floating around, and can signal retinal damage.

Still, although I’ve always had floaters the eye doctor always dilates my eyes to check to for possible retinal damage.

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Cathy September 17, 2012 at 6:51 am

Thanks for sharing your insight, Paula. :-D

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Lori September 17, 2012 at 6:21 am

Get a new doctor. Any doctor who WON’T focus on you for five minutes and won’t take time to answer questions isn’t building in me any confidence that he’ll focus whenever he’s doing the surgery.

And you need a second opinion. His, right now, isn’t worth a damn.

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Cathy September 17, 2012 at 6:52 am

Thanks, Lori, for some good advice. I so wanted to say, get over yourself.

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Lori September 18, 2012 at 7:08 am

You should have! Sometimes there are doctors who just lose sight (no pun intended) of the patient and the reason they’re really there.

I think I’d tell him why he’s not going to do the surgery. I had a dermatologist I had to fire for the same reason. He was in such a hurry to get one more surgery in (and one more insurance check) that he never even spoke to me before, during, or after surgery.

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Cathy September 18, 2012 at 8:48 am

I have a second appointment next week. We’ll see how that goes. He has an excellent reputation from a surgeon standpoint, but I am sure he is not the only game in town.

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