Saturday, February 3, 2007

The microscopic fuse

For me, hypomania doesn't mean a good mood necessarily. And lately, I have been doing some rapid cycling. This means that in one moment I feel despondent and without hope, but within the same hour I feel invincible and irritable. It may be an overestimate to say that my short fuse is about a nanometer long. And, my fuse is so combustible that it proves the theory of spontaneous combustion with ease. I'm pretty sure that every seat I plop myself down in turns to charcoal. Here's a taste of char...

I finally decided that the UTI had gone on long enough and called the doctor on Thursday. I have considered my doctor to be pretty good, with the exception of her chronic forgetfulness. But, this doesn't seem to be all that unusual in the medical profession. I have gone to her multiple times for a UTI, so I have proven my expertise and experience in this issue. I know when I have them. Every time I see her, she tells me not to suffer with a UTI and just give her a call, because it's one of the few things for which she will call in a script without a visit. In fact, one time she issued a standing order for antibiotics so I could just fill it when I needed it, but that was over a year ago. I had been taking ur1st@t to deal with the pain while I treated it with water and cranberry juice. Once you have this drug in your urine, they cannot test your urine for a UTI. So I called in to request an antibiotic, but Dr. Nature was on vacation. I described the whole thing to the idiot receptionist and she said she would call Dr. Nature. Six hours later, I get a message that says she won't prescribe anything over the phone and that I should go to convenient care (hereinafter CC). The fuse was lit, and the bomb was about to blow. What the fuck were they going to do at CC that couldn't be said over the phone? As much as I would like to spend $50 just to tell a doctor the same thing I told the receptionist, I was not impressed with this plan. So I called the idiot back, and before I ripped her a new one, I asserted that I was not upset with her, but I had a message for Dr. Nature: "What the fuck is wrong with you? You lied to me multiple times. I am in serious pain; I am not going to CC; this is going to turn into a kidney infection and it is all your fault. Thanks for nothing." Oh yeah, I am a great patient aren't I? A few hours later, the doctor in the same office left another message telling me to just come in and see him. Trying to ramp up their income? I think so. That would have cost me about $200. No fucking way.

From there I called my OB/GYN who I have only seen twice. I got to talk to a nurse who clearly empathized and recognized my needs. She spoke to the doctor immediately and within the hour a script was called in. Hooray for my new doc.

I am still trying to decide whether to call Dr. Nature in a few weeks and tell her to fuck off and die. Oh, and while she's at it, send me my records so I can switch doctors. While I understand the gatekeeping role doctor's play when it comes to prescriptions, but I wasn't asking for Valium, I was asking for an antibiotic. They abused their power on this one just to make some money. I am outraged.

By the way, I just got really pissed off again when I spell checked this post and found that it doesn't know the word "hypomania". Speaks volumes to me. Geeeeezzzze...these horns on my head are getting big!


Aurelia said...

I love this post. "A taste of Char" should be the new name of my blog...*eyeroll*.
And the funny thing is that I've had the same experience with Docs, and we don't have to pay to see them. But they are still dickheads, no matter which country they work in.
Is ur!stat the stuff that makes pee yellow? Just because this is the routine I have with my Doc...I have a collection of cups, requisitions, scrips, and pain killing sutff at home. I agree to get a sample to the lab ASAP, THEN take the pain killing stuff after, (so it doesn't mess up the test) and wait one or two days while she gets the culture back to start antibiotics. (Only because the bug I get changes and the antibiotics have to change sometimes.)
But you're right about the pills, aren't you? Like antibiotics are you know, one time a doctor refused to give me m0trin, and kept pushing me to take more perc0cet instead?
More eyerolling!!!

Aurelia said...

Wow, just came back, and holy colors and I'm going back to that web template design place I saw....I have to get my self together.

Emilija said...

I have always wondered how mentally ill people are supposed to navigate the healthcare system. Even "normal" people can't do it much of the time. Throw in a mental illness, and see if you can get what you need from your doctor and health insurance, and manage all of the paperwork, pre-authorizations, etc. Sometimes it is just too much to deal with. And then doctors (especially psychiatrists) expect you to be on best behavior in the doctor's office, not acting like a mental patient. Which, of course, you are.

Bluepaintred said...

uhm yea.. CALL switch docs, do it! you need someone who care sabout you not thier wallet!

start the search!

My Reality said...

I am glad you got your antibiotics and hope the pain goes away soon.

Renee said...

Glad you got the script. Last year I found a lump in my I call my primary care doc (here after known as PCP) who couldn't see me for 2 weeks!!! I asked my friends for a good OB/GYN office and called there...they fit me in THAT DAY! I will here after be seeing my new OB/GYN for everything. The lump turned out to just be a cyst...thank goodness, but after getting a Mamogram & Ultrasound on it (and me telling the Imaging center to send the results just to my OB/GYN office) My PCP's office writes that my results were ABNORMAL and I need to make an appointment. I call and some idiot clerk had filed my paperwork wrong...they wanted me to get the Ultrasound that was filed underneath the Mamogram results. Oh this is the same office that treated my trigger point with muscle relaxers...I read online afterward that isn't standard treatment.

theoneliner said...

LOVE the new look. miss the muppets but life is tough sometimes.
i have 'bipolar lite'...and know about cycling. I get crazy headaches . And have a short fuse.
I guess that pretty much rules out us ever being roommates, n'est pas?
Glad you switched dr.s.

Alex said...

Um, yeah. The only time I ever got a kidney infection (as opposed to a UTI) was the time I went for a culture and we agreed that the doctor's office would *call* me if it was *positive* and I needed antibiotics. No call, so I figured I was fine.

Except apparently the needed call got lost to a "shift change," and, um, yeah. Three days in bed, vomiting, on major antibiotics. Fun! Plus (this is a cute twist for a later infertile), I was convinced between the two events (no call and falling deathly ill) that my interim symptoms (sore back, no period though it was due, dizziness, weird cravings) meant I was...pregnant.

On a positive note, I learned never, ever to accept being told, "We will call you *only* if the test results indicate a problem."

Glad you got your antibiotics.

BerryBird said...

There is so much wrong with our medical system. I've gone through so many similar hassles in the past just to get refills of BC pills. It especially sucks when you don't have insurance. I really loathe the part where doctor will accept $70 as complete payment from the insurance companies, but if you're uninsured, that same visit costs $220. I finally got my BC, and I'm glad you got your antibiotics.

It shouldn't be this hard!

thrice said...

Don't get my party started on the medical world. From experience, I agree with Aurelia. Get collection cups etc in stock, in your house. Get your gp AND ob/gyn on board that because of your kidney disease history that your procedure will be whatever Aurelia said and then you will call gp OR ob/gyn for script. That way when a receptionist looks at your file, she can just follow the instructions and not have to try to phanthom what you are saying and ask the doctor the wrong questions. On the lab reqs you can write both doctor's names to receive results. That way if one office is particularly inept you can call the other doctor. We all need to communicate to doctors that they are service providers and that we are the clients. Do they actually believe that they are medicinal men for some ancient tribe, and we believe that "they" only have the answers? Sheesh.

I love hypomania. I miss not having it on a regular basis. Sigh.

Reese said...

Make sure you really feel comfortable with the doc you pic, I'm here anytime. ANYTIME.

Veronika said...

Whew! I'm relieved that you got taken care of - finally
The medical field really gets to me too.

Jenny F. Scientist said...


Also, I love the plant pics.

Anonymous said...

Playing devil's advocate - my bet is that the idiot receptionist didn't actually call Dr. Nature (who was on vacay and left instructions not to be called, and a UTI isn't dire anyway), but called whoever was on-call or in the office instead. Then because that person didn't know you, they insisted that you had to be seen.

I'd check with Dr. Nature about whether she really was called, and I'd insist that this get written into your personal chart/files, so that it doesn't repeat. I've had the same problems with UTIs, and it's very standard to get the script called in. It's a waste of everyone's time, for you to actually go in.

Dino aka Katy said...

well here is the think its all about liability. We often have simular phonecalls and depending on how long its been that we've seen the patient we wont call stuff in. Just on the odd chance it is something else.