Most of you know the problems I was having with my ear and vertigo last week. I took the well intentioned advice and called my doctor’s office. They told me that they didn’t have an opening for 3 weeks. Well, if I were sick let’s hope that whatever I had would have worn off in three weeks time, or I would be dead. So, I agreed to see the nurse practitioner which theoretically is as good as seeing the doctor.
I go in and she checks my ears and tells me that she can’t find anything wrong with them. They weren’t red, or swollen or draining or anything but to be on the safe side she prescribed some antibiotic ear drops and told me to use them twice a day for 7 days to make sure. Well, I have been and now my ear actually HURTS where it didn’t really hurt before, just felt weird… and the dizziness of course. So, while I’m sitting there she goes into my computer file (everything is computerized now so they don’t have an actual “chart” on you anymore so heaven forbid if they lost their server cause everyone’s records would be kaput!) and we have the following conversation.
NP: So, I see you’re diabetic. Maybe your blood sugar is off and making you dizzy.
ME: I’m not diabetic.
NP: Well, your chart says you are!
ME: Well, that’s news to me. Maybe they forgot to tell me? I know I was diagnosed previously as being insulin resistant, but NOT diabetic and I was told all that had gone away and I haven’t been on medication for that for about 4 years.
NP: Oh, well, that must be what it is then. We don’t have a place on the chart to “check off” insulin resistance so the next closest thing is to check diabetic. And there is nowhere to “write it in”.
ME: Isn’t that kind of dangerous to have an incorrect diagnosis on someone’s “chart”? What if I forgot to tell the doctor and he prescribed the wrong medication because it says I’m diabetic.
NP: But, you told me, so it’s ok.
She couldn’t find anything wrong, told me my cat obviously knew better than her and suggested I come back and have blood work done (fasting) since I hadn’t had it done in a while. I told her I’d come back the next morning and I did. Of course any other time I’d have to pee like a racehorse when I got there but since I was “fasting” and had only had a small amount of water since midnight the night before I had a heck of a time “producing” for the technician when she commanded I tinkle in the cup. Of course I had no idea she’d want a urine sample when they were just doing blood work but I guess that’s neither here nor there. I gave her about a thimble full which I guess was enough.
Friday evening around 5 or 5:30 I get a phone call from the doctor’s office. She informs me that she is Nurse So-and-So and they had my urine test results. I just want to know why it take 3 days to get results for a urine test? I thought they did those immediately although I did notice when I stuck my cup in the window that there were already three other cups there and it was getting a little crowded in there! So she tells me that my urine test is “clean” and I have no type of infection. I asked her about my blood test and she said they weren’t back yet and they would call me when they got those in. I thank her and hand up.
About ten minutes later my phone rings again and it’s the doctor’s office, again. I answer and she says “This is Nurse So-and-So. I lied. We do have your blood tests back. I didn’t see that when I called you before.” I asked her if everything was ok and she said I needed to make an appointment to come in and see the doctor so we could go over my test results. WTH??? I ask her if everything is ok and she says:
Nurse: Well, we just need you to come in to go over a “plan of action”.
Me: Plan of action for WHAT?
Nurse: Well, you’re diabetic.
Me: No, I’m not. That’s just the way my chart comes up because I was insulin resistant and there is nowhere on the chart to check that. I just went over this with the nurse practitioner the other day.
Nurse: I’m not looking at your chart. I’m looking at your test results and you are definitely diabetic.
Well, gee, thanks for softening THAT blow!
Nurse: Your cholesterol is also high so you need to come in and see the doctor.
Me: Well, when I tried to get in last week they told me you were booked for three weeks so when is your next availability?
Nurse: Can you come Tuesday at 11?
Wow, that got freed up awfully quickly. So, I make my appointment and go in Tuesday. I sit there about 30 minutes before I get called back. One nurse takes my weight and asks my height and puts me in a room. Then another nurse comes in and asks me my height again, takes my blood pressure and asks me why I’m there. I tell her that I had gotten a call to ask me to come in to go over my blood work because I am apparently diabetic now. She says “Well, let’s check your blood sugar.” But, before she can get the little finger sticker thingee out of the drawer her cell phone rings (thank God she didn’t have a needle in my arm… shades of my vaginal ultrasound flash before my eyes!) and she excuses herself and steps out in the hallway. I know it’s a personal phone call because I hear her ask the person where they are and when they will “be home”. She asks me if I had eaten anything and I said yes, I ate breakfast and she said “Well, why did you do that if you knew you were coming in today?” I told her I wasn’t accustomed to NOT eating before noon unless I was TOLD not to and since the nurse on the phone didn’t tell me NOT to eat before I came I did but it had been a couple of hours so she said it should be fine. She checks my blood sugar and goes:
Nurse: Well, that’s odd. Your blood sugar is fine. But your blood work shows you definitely ARE diabetic.
Then her phone rings again and I say “Family, huh? Gotta love ‘em!” Then I laugh, so she doesn’t even bother to walk out of the room this time. She answers the phone and has a conversation about what they’re having for dinner (pork chops) and what they’re fixing with it (dirty rice!) and what not. I seem to have that effect on people that they seem to think I’m family or something and just automatically do away with the formalities, etc. Weird. Anyway, she finishes her conversation THEN excuses herself and comes back and says “Let’s go… I’m moving you to another room.” HUH? Apparently he didn’t use the room I was in much and when the other came available she moved me so he didn’t have to walk as far? Not sure.
My regular doctor is no longer with the practice so I had to see the one who jumped on me last time about not losing weight “in my belly”. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to seeing him because he has absolutely NO bedside manner whatsoever. So he finally comes in and we have the following conversation:
Dr: So, what brings you here today? A re-check on your ear?
ME: Well, no, your nurse called me and asked me to come in so we could go over my blood work.
Dr: Why? What’s wrong with it?
Are you kidding me? YOU are the doctor…. Not me!
Me: Well, she said that my blood work came back and it showed I was diabetic and we needed to go over a plan of action.
Dr: No, you’re not. Why would she say that?
Me: Well, I don’t know… I’m just the patient. She called ME and I tried to explain the whole insulin resistance thing and how the chart says I’m diabetic but I’m not and she assured me she was looking at my blood work and that by the blood work I was definitely diabetic.
Dr: Well, she shouldn’t have said that because you’re not. Your A1C is a little elevated but not that much. Although your cholesterol IS high so I’d like to give you a prescription for that. While you’re here I may as well recheck your ear, which one was it?
So, I tell him and he checks my ear and says he sees nothing wrong with it and I tell him it’s odd because it hurts more NOW than before I came in the first time. He assures me its fine and then says:
Dr: Even though you are NOT diabetic you could be considered borderline and if you don’t lose weight I can guarantee you that you WILL be diabetic.
Me: **thinking ASSHOLE! But saying** I appreciate that, but, I have tried about everything to lose weight and nothing seems to work. It’s very frustrating. I even resorted to gastric bypass.
Dr: Why didn’t it work?
Me: (wanting to kick him in the shins and call him an asshole again) Well, it DID work to a certain degree. I did lose 135 lbs. I know I have gained a little bit back but not that much and my point IS that I don’t eat hardly anything compared to most people and I STILL don’t lose weight. If we go out to eat I usually order a half salad and it still lasts me like 2 or 3 meals and if I order a full item it lasts me 3 or 4 meals so it’s not like I eat THAT much. Besides my other doctor told me I’m one of those “lucky” people who only need 500 calories a day to sustain my weight and anything over that I gain weight. And then I read an article that says if you eat less than 1000 calories a day you will gain weight. So, what am I supposed to do? I feel like I’m in a catch 22. If I eat more than 500 I gain, if I eat less than 1000 I gain! Please tell me what I can do?
Dr: Well you must be eating the wrong foods!
Me: Ok…. Then please tell me what I should be eating?
Dr: Oh, I don’t know….you will need to see a registered dietitian for that. When was the last time you had a mammogram?
OK…. Now what exactly does squeezing my puppies have to do with my diet and losing weight? I told him it had been almost two years because I skipped last year and he told me I needed to make an appointment then he goes:
Dr: When was your last bone density scan?
Seriously? Are you just trying to order more tests so my bill goes up or are you trying to just change the subject since you have no answers for my weight dilemma?
Me: It’s been about ten years so I guess I need one of those too? **So, then I jokingly say**: Well, since you can’t find anything wrong with my ear maybe you need to xray my head too to make sure it’s not a tumor!
Dr: Oh, we’d need to do a brain scan for that! (and he wasn’t joking, I told you he has no bedside manner.)
Duh, I was just joking, but, now he’s got me thinking! So, with that he hands me a prescription for my cholesterol, tells me to come back in 3 months to make sure my liver enzymes are ok (apparently some side effect of the cholesterol medication?) and he was out the door and I’m out another copay and fixing to be out of a whole lot more once we get the rest of these tests run and now I’m more confused (and dizzier) than ever! Geez… some days it doesn’t pay to get out of bed!