Friday, September 22, 2006

Angry isn't the right word...

I am so angry/frustrated/furious/confused/hurt right now that I can't put it into words.

Three weeks ago I wound up in the ER with a kidney stone on the right side. I was given the choice to either do a CT scan or just go home and follow up with my urologist as I've had these things for 15 years. I chose the latter since it was midnight and we'd been there for 3 hours already.

By the next week, I'd had no progress in passing the stone, so I went to the urologist. She did a CT scan which showed multiple stones in each kidney (nothing new for me). While the stone that sent me to the ER was on the right side, in the office that day I was having more pain on the left. Apparently since I'd been drinking so much to flush out the right stone, I'd pushed a stone out of my kidney on the opposite side. I stood next to the doctor as we looked at the computer screen and went over the CT scan, and she pointed out the large stone in my left kidney and told me that's what was causing my pain. She couldn't see the stone on the right side at all, and told me it must have moved back into my kidney - though I could tell from the pain that it was out of my kidney and making it's way out. She gave me a scrip for pain meds, told me she was sorry I was hurting, and if I experienced acute pain, to call the office.

It's now been two weeks since that office visit. I called the office on Monday and explained I needed to get in to see her again, because I hadn't passed this stone, and was still having pain on the left side - the larger stone is trying to move out of my kidney. She ordered an IVP, which is a series of timed x-rays, and that was performed on Wednesday. At her office Wed. afternoon, she told me that the IVP didn't show any obstruction or blockage, therefore she couldn't reconcile my pain with a stone. She also made a big production of explaining that just because I had a stone didnt' mean the pain I was having (not denying that i WAS having pain) was coming from a stone. And if she didn't have a visible cause for pain, she couldn't prescribe any pain meds. Basically everything I'm experiencing, which she validated two weeks ago, and what she says she's seeing now are two different things.

The fact that I passed the stone at 4:30 AM on Wednesday, the one that she said had gone back into my kidney, doesn't seem to make a difference. When I left her office on Wednesday, I felt good about it because I'd been assertive. I'd told her that i didn't mean to be disrespectful or offend her, but I know me and I know my body and I know that the pain I'm having on my left side is from a stone that's trying to come out. I know that the multiple 4 to 5 mm stones the CT scan showed are just going to sit there and get bigger, and she'll (or someone) will be doing litho in a few months. I know that I missed six days of work with no pay and it took 3 weeks to pass the stone she was holding in her hand, which due to its size was a minor miracle. And I didn't take pain meds for fun, as she was implying. In fact its really inconvenient because I have a high tolerance to pain meds and have to take a lot to get relief. At the ER, it took two pain shots and I still left the hospital in pain, granted less pain than when I went in, but I didn't leave pain free. She told me I wasn't offending her, I knew my body better than she did, and that we would get me fixed one way or another. She even hugged me before I left and joked with me to not be so hard on my doctors.

Today she told me she felt like she was being very clear and that the conversation was going in circles. Bottom line is that if she can't see it on an x-ray, its not there, no matter how much experience I have with this or what I'm saying I'm feeling.

And while she even said I'm welcome to get a 2nd opinion, I really can't. See the clinic she's with is also the clinic that pretty much every other urologist in town is with. I'm not sure I can even transfer to another doctor in that clinic, and even if i did, as colleagues, I doubt I'd get a doc that would back me up and not her.

Guess I'll just have to wait until the pain is so bad I have to go to the ER, let them do another CT scan, and then shove the results in her face and then tell her sorry, I'm going to have another doc to the litho so he can get my money and not you.

I used to want to be a doctor. I so wish I could be now. I would be much better with patients than she will ever be. And i have to wonder if its because I'm a woman. I've never had a physician treat me this way, basically telling me its all in my head.

I curse her with many kidney stones, in the wilderness far from any pain meds.

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