November 20, 2006

She wonders later if this is paranoia...

I called Dr Cs office on Friday to ask about my liver function tests, which no one had called me about in over a week and a half. The answering machine to the medical assistant said to leave a detailed message and she'd get back to me, but she never did, though I waited almost all the day. Now I'm worried that for some reason they think I'm just a crock of -- or somehow not worth their time and are putting me off and will not even tell me the right numbers if they call or will not care to do anything about it if the results are abnormal. I don't trust them. I had the bloodwork done more than a week ago. Plenty of time for the results to come in. They would have come in the next day in fact. And yet no one called me with the results. They hate me, obviously.

I think the RN from Dr F's office years ago has somehow gotten to Dr C and contaminated his mind against me, both doctors being D.O.s after all so the RNs probably know each other, maybe even are the same person and I don't recognize her. I don't know, and never did, what that RN said about me to Dr F or why she always had it in for me but it was so clear that she did and that after she talked to Dr F he changed completely towards me. It was AWFUL! And I never understood why or what was going on except that it was obvious that he didn't like me and wanted me out of his practice. It was only when I asked to be referred to a neurologist about my inadequately treated narcolepsy, that I had enough. I realized that this was the big sticking point, the Ritalin: he actually told me, after giving me a name, that I could see this guy ONCE, and once only. Well, who was he to be telling me how often I could or could not see a doctor about a chronic condition? And who was he to be telling me such a thing at all?! I realized then and there that something was wrong with the picture, and 1) I never saw "his" neurologist, realizing that he would have been poisoned by Dr F's referral, and 2) never went back to Dr F. again. I mean, did Dr F want to treat my narcolepsy? No. Did he know anything about it? No. Then what the F---?! He had no right or reason to dictate to me how often I could see a doctor who was able to deal with a condition I'd had for years. Let alone tell me not to bother more than once someone who understood about narcolepsy that had NEVER been adequately or sufficiently treated.

Oh wait, I HAD once figured it out! I remember now. I think I'd decided that the RN must have doubled as a nurse at the ER, someone who sometimes covered the psych patients room, and was one of those who had decided that (you had to go through the ER to be admitted to the local psych floor so I was there a fair amount) I faked narcolepsy in order to get Ritalin. So anyway, if this RN and Dr F's RN were one and the same person, no wonder Dr F was turned against me! He thought I was just there to score drugs!!!

But NOW Dr C has obviously been contaminated -- indirectly by me via this same RN or someone who knows her or someone like her doing the same thing. It is obvious that he is against me and doesn't want to deal with me, not even if I do have medical problems. He is so convinced I am trying to get Ritalin and stimulants from him that he'd rather I go elsewhere, though I have no need or desire for such drugs whatsoever and wouldn't even dream of asking for them!...It's crazy! Why does he think that way, when I've never even brought it up? But it is clear that the RN's thinking has affected him. The problem is that I've always been assigned to D.O.s and that is fine, except that they form a mini-community and they all know one another, so they talk, and it is so obvious that I'm blackballed, put on a list, some DO list that says, Don't believe her, She's out to get Speed! She's Trouble! Get her out of your office! So they are far more concerned about purging their offices of me than of actually finding out if anything they've heard about me is even true...

I don't know why no one ever believes that I have narcolepsy. It's not like I lie, cheat and steal to get Ritalin...and it is not like I've ever forced the issue. I've had to be convinced of it myself, twice, before I believed it. I've suffered on insufficient treatment for years, because no one believed that I was legitimately sleepy. People are SO suspicious...and they think I'm paranoid??? If they'd only known, if they'd only listened, if they'd only trusted that I was simply telling the truth about how sleepy I was...But no, and now Dr C and the whole D.O. cabal is involved in purging the community of me because they think I lie in order to get Ritalin, that I'll say anything to get a high from a stimulant-like drug! Which is so crazy it is crazy-making!!!! Dr O treats my narcolepsy as it needs to be treated while also treating my schizophrenia. So what need do I have to ask anyone for anything? She prescribes all that I need! I just don't understand this vitriolic rage at me, this sneaky underhanded total rejection. On the one hand, being evil means I deserve it, yes, and I accept that. But if as everyone says I am not Satan, what did I do wrong????

Later: Dr Cs office finally called. They didn't give me any numbers but said my AST and ALT were still elevated, that is, the liver enzymes are still high, so they want me to see a gastroenterologist, a GI doc. They gave me a name and said they'd send my bloodwork ahead. Whoopdedoo...Now they'll contaminate him, by warning him about me in advance! I can't win. Maybe I'll ask my father to recommend someone, seeing as how he is a GI doc himself. Presumably that doc would not be contaminated by this RN's crazy-making bad-mouthing lies.

Posted by pamwagg at November 20, 2006 01:41 PM


Dear Pam,
I would like to address this mini comment to the ever warm and gracious Yaya.
Dear Yaya,
What a lovely and unselfish thing to say. I have a secret to tell you. When it came out that I had been an English teacher, you commented that you had wondered about me, particularly concerning what the connection was between Pam and me. I too had been wondering about you as well. I pictured you as a very wise woman with many years to your credit. Surely you must have lived a long time to have accumulated so much knowledge on so many different subjects. The joke was really on me when you mentioned your age. I am FOUR years OLDER than you! You are actually a precocious youngster, and a very special one at that.
Fondly, Your old and fusty ET

Posted by: Paula Kirkpatrick at November 26, 2006 03:27 PM

Hi Pam,

Please listen to ET Paula. She always has your best interest at heart and from all of us, she knows you best.


Posted by: yaya at November 21, 2006 06:47 PM

Every time I see the doctor about anything the waiting that causes me anxiety. I hate not knowing and they need to get better about notifying you faster. I know there are some insurance plans that already allow users to log in and check test results as soon as they are available. Hopefully all of them will catch up so we can at least know.

Posted by: Sean Bennick at November 21, 2006 09:32 AM

This is only my second time commenting on your blog, but I was wondering if I could submit a poem for you to read (without following your specific guidelines?)I have written several poems lately, but am starting to feel that they are all sounding the same? Maybe they are supposed to, and that is my style? As I said in my previous comment I saw you speak in Sioux City and was overwhelmed by you and your sisters journey. Please respond if it would be alright to submit it???
Thank you,
PS I think you are a breathe of fresh air (pardon pun) in the vast world of poetry.

Posted by: Roberta at November 21, 2006 08:07 AM

Pam, I don't think I've ever once been called promptly with bloodwork results. Usually I call the ordering doctor's office myself eventually, after at least a week and a half have gone past, leave a message, and finally hear back a couple of days later. I tend to assume no news is good news--or, at any rate, not shocking news--and thus far such has always been the case.


Posted by: Cynthia at November 20, 2006 10:24 PM

Pamela, my friend,
As I once said to a colleague whom I overheard screaming at a student and calling him a "Dummy","Have you taken leave of your senses? You are overwrought. Take a deep breath and calm down!"
Pammy, you have gotten yourself all worked up and paranoid because you assumed that it had to be a well conceived plot to deny your right to receive the results of your liver studies. Please, please, remind yourself that you are susceptible to paranoia, but you have found in the past that your thinking was erroneous. Remember the "reality check" and the orderly's nonexistent Playboy Magazine? While you have every right to be annoyed about the delay in giving you your results, it does not mean that it was done purposefully and only to you because the staff dislikes you. I can solve your problem. I never have to call a doctor about any test results. At the time of testing, I simply request a patient copy which I must have for my records, as they are often requested by consulting physicians, just as your records are. It is your legal right to have a patient copy. I usualy get the results before the doctor does. You can request that they be mailed to you. This is a fact. I know that when you have convinced yourself that you are evil, it is futile to argue with you. All I can say is that if you trust my opinion and my ability to be objective, I cannot agree with your self assessment at this time. I also know that upon serious reflection you may change your mind, as you have done in the past. My friend of the heart is not evil. She is kind and gentle and loving and suffers from schizophrenia. Amen.
Your friend and advocate, Paula

Posted by: Paula Kirkpatrick at November 20, 2006 07:01 PM

It sucks being a patient. If these people were waiters and they brought you tea instead of coffee or made you wait 45 minutes for an omelet, it wouldn't be a crisis, but the same level of inattention in the medical profession can be lethal.

There have been many times when I have spent all day staring at the phone waiting for biopsy results or some such only to call the doctor's office, desperate, at 5:00 and find that everyone is gone for the day. They forgot to call me or, just as bad, the results that they expected to come in that day didn't come in, so they didn't even bother to call me with that news. For them it would be just a missed call, for me it would be a weekend of wondering whether or not I had cancer.

Once, after major surgery, I woke up in the recovery room in agonizing, eyeball-splitting pain. They couldn't understand it: I was getting so much morphine. But they gave me more. No effect. Still more morphine went into the epidural line. No effect. But then they reached a sort of maximum dose or something, and I couldn't get any more morphine, which was fine, since it wasn't doing a damn bit of good. Eventually, after many hours, someone got the bright idea to check to see whether the epidural line delivering the morphine was actually attached to my spinal cord. Oopsie, not attached! All that morphine had been wasted. I got an intravenous line in my arm, but by that time I had been in such great pain for so long that I needed mega-doses to get me rational.

I didn't deserve a night of pain, they really did not plan it that way, but stuff happens. You are NOT evil, and you don't deserve any of this crap either. What I learned from this experience is NEVER opt for the epidural: always go for the intravenous meds because they can see the line going into your arm.

From my other encounters with the medical profession, I have learned that there are loads of not-so-bright doctors in the world, and as soon as you mention "mental" illness, everybody's IQ drops twenty points.

The point is, Pam, these things loom large for us because we're the patients, and it's our bodies suffering. For the doctors and nurses, we're just one out of the forty or so cases they think about each day, along with their car troubles, credit card bills, marital problems, sciatica, whatever: they're just not thinking about us that much.

I hope the new doctor is better.


Posted by: Debbie at November 20, 2006 06:16 PM

Why do you always think it's all about you? The fact of the matter is none of these people are thinking about you one way or the other, nevertheless conspiring against you.

Posted by: Anna Kate at November 20, 2006 05:35 PM

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