Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dr Steve

Dr. Steve is my primary care physician. Because I do not pump and do not have an A1C over 8, my insurance will pay for one endo visit per year. The others are with the pcp.

Last Tuesday I was at the clinic for cholesterol bloodwork. I got there at 7:30 and knew that I was crashing - the really bad crash where you sweat buckets. The phlebotomist came to get me and I stood up but did not follow her - just stood there. I was able to explain that I was T1 and low. She said, "oh, my aunt has diabetes and she takes Glucophage" (what's that got to do with the price of eggs?).
She asked me my date of birth and I couldn't remember. She asked me how old I was and I guess I answered correctly. Then she had to peel all the little labels off my sheet and carefully attach each one to a tube. Finally the blood was drawn and she brought me a can of juice which I gulped in one swig. "You're feeling better now, right?" I stumbled out to the reception area and fell into a chair.

I got up to Internal Medicine and sat in the exam room for 50 minutes. I do not like sitting in exam rooms - I get freaked out and my mind races about illness and death. The copy of Ardhitectural Digest was of no interest. The nurse came and took my bp and it was 135/75. That upset me more. Plus, I was exhausted from the hypo and my hair was flat and stringy from the sweat.

Dr. Steve came in looking quite frazzled. He said my LDL was 118, up from last time and that in pwd it should be less than 100. "Let's get started on Zocor right away."

I respond how I usually do - started crying. I was upset and then started spewing off how I felt like I was always a bunch of numbers on a piece of paper and no one at the clinic treated me like a person. Poor guy, he did not deserve this. I have been eating poorly -making very unwise choices, using my mother's illness as an excuse. I was not surprised at the higher reading.

I need to cut the doc a little slack. After all, the numbers on the paper give him the information to make the proper decisions for my care.

He left with the agreement that I would try a small dose at night for 6 weeks and then we'd retest and reevaluate. No biggie.

Patients who have a high bp reading must at the end of their appointment go into another room and have three more readings done at 5 minute intervals by a machine. By then I'd calmed down and the average was 116/68. Good.

Yesterday I got the letter from Dr. Steve with all my results on paper.

Note how he altered the salutation...............that meant a lot to me.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes, it's the little things, huh?

Sara said...

The edit to the report made me chuckle a little.

That seems very sweet of him - at least it means he was listening to you.

Anonymous said...

Odd that the nurse would not have been more respondent to your low.Makes one wonder; then again I'm not very surprised, as there are quite a few things I have heard med. folk say or do that leave me with my mouth the low were you?

Shannon said...

Dr. Steve sounds like a nice doctor.

I'm sorry you weren't treated with more urgency while you were low.

And I can't believe the endo coverage your insurance co. provides. That stinks!

Minnesota Nice said...

Rachel - yes indeed, litle things make a big difference.

Sara - exactly. I can't blame him for working in a clinic system that over books.

Anon - I tested at 41. I had taken an entire day off work to come and have this done, and didn't not want to have to reschedule.

Shannon - yes, I've go to start looking at Dr. Steve as a nicer guy. I don't like my visits because I'm always afraid he's gonna give me bad news.
I belong to an HMO. A friend is also a member, but through a different employer and has many different benefits. I called them once and they said that each employer selects what will be covered and what will not for several hundered different conditions and situation. When I broke my ankle and had to go by ambulance, the hospital was astounded that my plan covered the entire bill - $3500. They said most plans only covered half, if that.
I think if I really felt the need to have more than one appt with an endo, Dr. Steve would get me in - yes, he is a nice guy.

Minnesota Nice said...

PS - the $3500 was just for the ambulance, taking me 3 miles. There was also an extra $50 charge for oxygen, which they give to people who are in pain, whether needed or not.

Scott K. Johnson said...

Ug, what a rough start to an already (to me anyway) somewhat traumatic event (a Dr. appt.!).

Sometimes it is the little things like that letter that can make you grin a little.

Minnesota Nice said...

You're right Scott.What good is it going to do me to constantly be in turmoil with Dr. Steve when he's really done nothing wrong? I guess because he's handy and an easy scapegoat.

Minnesota Nice said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Molly said...

That was a nice little gesture on Dr. Steve's part.
hehe, I recognize that lab slip! We're same clinic buddies!

Minnesota Nice said...

Yup - good old Park Nicollet. I can't believe how busy that area has gotten, esp. if you come from the east on Excelsior Blvd.
Big woof to Dixie.
Mini woof to Ella.

Donna said...

He sounds like a good guy - just has to work in less than optimal conditions, huh? I'm glad you came out of your low okay. I hate when that happens.

Minnesota Nice said...

Donna, you are so right! When I schedule an appt, they say, "do you want to come at 10, 10:10, 10:20, or 10:30?" I then said I thought the appts were 20 minutes long and she said they were, but just scheduled that way. Do the math - it doesn't add up!!
Woof to all your pup-clan to.

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Karen said...

Oh man, what a crappy start to a visit - it's no wonder you sort of lost it on Dr. Steve. Sounds like he's a really good guy though. I love that he changed the greeting on your letter - shows he both listens and cares. :)

I'm with you on the stressing in waiting rooms. They always wonder why my blood pressure is high, but I tell them it will ALWAYS be high at an appointment.

Minnesota Nice said...

Hi Karen - since I already take meds for hypertension, I also monitor myself at home, taking my bp 3-4 times per week at different times of the day. How on earth could the doc make a change in my dosage based on one reading?

Once, after I had a laser treatment, I dreamt that the eye doc's nurse ushered me way down the hall to an old dusty closet filled with antique medical equipment. I waited a long time and finally heard the doc say "where's Kathy" and the nurse said "oh, we put her in the back room because there's nothing more we can do for her......." Yikes - that was the worst nightmare I have ever had.

Anonymous said...

Administering his brand of "extreme attitude adjustments," including shockingly hilarious stunts and embarrassingly funny and demented dares specifically tailored to each patient of the doctor on call, Steve-O, with the help of Trishelle will confront the guys, infiltrate their lives and shock them out of their shells.
Minnesota Treatment Centers

Kristin said...

Hi Kathy! I just came across this post... I was sorry to hear about such a bad day, but it was really touching to see your name!! I think you may have really made a impact on Dr. Steve :) I bet your comments have made a lot of other patients get more personal care... and I hope that you will always get that kind of care too!!

Minnesota Nice said...

Thans Kristin. There is so much emotion tied up in my dr visits that I don't want to spout off like a crazywoman. But this was indeed a great acknowledgement.