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Old 06-03-2007, 06:21 AM   #1
sealover sealover is offline
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Unhappy How do you deal with doctors who don't take your pain seriously?

Hi everyone.

I am venting here…and would welcome any replies.

At this point, I’ve become tired of meeting doctors in the past two years who are totally unhelpful and uninterested in treating my foot that has been in chronic pain since an injury in 2003 and cortisone injections that caused damage in my foot.

I’m a bit upset about the appointment I had with a podiatrist last week. I know I shouldn’t let his remarks get the better of me, but the problem is that he may write his lousy comments in my medical record which will be passed onto my primary care doctor—he also told me that he would be speaking with my primary care doctor. I’m afraid that perhaps my primary care doctor will not take me seriously anymore because this podiatrist does not believe I have the pain in my foot I truly suffer from and because the podiatrist thinks I'm malingering. I wish I never went to that appointment.

A specialist my father went to highly recommended that I see his colleague, the podiatrist. I had a lot of hope and faith that this podiatrist would be able to provide help for my foot. Well, in a nut-shell, he is a know-it-all type who thinks that if someone’s problem doesn’t fit with what he learned in podiatry school or with what he typically sees in his patients, then the problem cannot possibly exist. He was so closed-minded. He’s a doctor who is NEVER wrong. For example, he suggested that I have ketaprofen compounded into a cream to put on my foot, and I said that I have already tried two different formulations of compounded medications which include both ketamine and ketaprofen. He said it is NOT possible to combine ketamine with ketaprofen because ketaprofen can only be compounded by itself…he is WRONG! When I tried to explain where my pain in my foot is, he kept jumping all over my words and interrupting me. I’m going to skip over a lot of what went on at the appointment, but it was him basically contradicting what other doctors diagnosed me with and saying that I cannot have the pain I describe. But you can actually see some damage to my foot by simply looking at it.

He looked at my most recent x-rays that were taken in the office of an orthopedic surgeon—he made a few negative remarks about this orthopedic surgeon such as he has a terrible personality and he’s not a good doctor (personally, I agree because I had an awful experience with that doctor). He then looked at the x-rays of my feet and said that I have osteoporosis in my feet due to disuse atrophy. Plus, he said I have arthritis in my big toe. I told him that the orthopedic surgeon who looked at the exact same x-rays stated that my x-rays are normal. His response was that the surgeon is not a radiologist. My understanding is that osteoporosis does not show up on regular x-rays until maybe over 30% of bone loss has occurred, so how could an orthopedic surgeon miss osteoporosis on an x-ray? Or maybe the podiatrist is wrong and I don’t have osteoporosis in my feet. I don’t know who to believe, so I’m going to have to get a 3rd opinion.

Anyway, at one point, he asked me: "Do you know what malingering is?" I answered, "Yes," but I totally misunderstood the meaning of the word at the time and found out later what the real insulting meaning is: that a person is exaggerating/faking an illness or injury to avoid work or duty or for financial gain. He said something about how I am malingering, but I didn’t respond to his comment. Malingering…how much more insulting can he get? I would give all that I own just to have the pain go away in my foot and to be able to be on my feet for hours like I used to. He doesn’t see me when I’m unable to bear walking after doing a few short errands. There’s no faking to my pain...I want to walk so badly like I used to be able to. I’ve actually had to sit in the car while the people I’m with do their shopping because my foot is in awful pain. It’s embarrassing. Then, as I’m sitting in the car all alone, I see people walking fast and even running in and out of the stores, and I wish that was me running or walking fast. I even got stuck in the center of a mall one time, unable to take many more steps because my foot was killing me and my knee was very fatigued…but I didn’t tell any of this to the podiatrist. Gosh, I just want relief for my foot pain so my life can be better.

He told me most of what I'm experiencing is in my head.

Then he called me "histrionic." I said, "I do not have histrionic personality disorder." He responded, "That's okay, I have it, too." Great, another insult! I don't know where he came up with me being histrionic (my personality doesn’t have histrionic characteristics), it just doesn't make sense why he would say this to me. I’m sorry if I sound sensitive to his comment, but it bothers me that I’m at an appointment to receive professional help for my foot, and I’m being insulted for no reason that I can think of.

I really don’t want to meet another doctor like this again. How do you deal with a doctor like this at an appointment? Do you just walk out in the middle of the appointment? Have doctors treated you rudely?

Last edited by sealover; 06-03-2007 at 06:29 AM.