I’d like to think that I’m not actually a bad person, but I’m continuing a theme. After my previous “when bad doctors happen to good people” post – I forgot to mention the doctor who, after talking to me for about 3 minutes told me he couldn’t help me, then proceeded to ask me for free legal advice for the next 15 minutes – I thought I should share some recent positive experiences with doctors so I don’t seem like a doctor-hating asshole.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to give you the play by play about this visit. As far as I’m concerned, as long as you don’t violently shove the speculum (or anything, for that matter) into my hoo hoo, you don’t talk to me about the weather while you’re all up in my business, and you’re not so attractive (regardless if you’re male or female) that I’m wondering whether I should have shaved my legs, we’ll get along just fine.
What I liked about this doctor is that she really listened to me. I found her online when I was searching for a doctor in my area who specializes in hormones because, as you know from previous posts, I suspect my hormones have been out of whack since I stopped birth control pills. Fortunately, she’s with my medical group so it was a breeze getting into see her. After so many doctors have blown me off as someone who is “too young to have a hormone imbalance”, it was a relief to be heard. She mentioned she thought I could be going through pre-menopause, but ordered a bunch of tests to check. For those who may be experiencing similar symptoms, here’s what we tested:
|LH Level||Cholesterol||testosterone, bioavailable|
|HDL cholesterol||LDL cholesterol||triglyceride|
I have a follow up appointment soon to go over the results, but even if everything comes back normal, it was very validating to have someone take my concerns seriously.
Cardiologist (POTS Doctor)
If you’ve read this blog for a while, you probably already know that I have a wonderful cardiologist. He listens, he’s willing to try new things, he’ll joke around with me and say ‘shit’ in front of me – pretty much everything I look for in a doctor. However, my appointment recently was with his PA, and I was skeptical whether she’d be as good. I was pleasantly surprised to find out she is very knowledgeable about POTS and was willing to help in whatever way she could, perhaps even moreso than my cardiologist.
I was discussing with the PA my frustrations at going to Urgent Care/ER when I need saline IV fluids and how I’m treated like a drug seeker. IT’S SALT WATER, PEOPLE. I’m not asking for morphine or heroin. Even the emergency doctors that are willing to provide an IV insist on conducting an EKG and other tests first, which I have to pay for. It’s expensive and time consuming, and often I end up abandoning the idea even if it would make me feel better. The PA offered to write a letter that I could bring to the ER that indicates that I have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), I am under the care of a cardiologist, I am hypovolemic and a saline IV at that rate of 666cc infused per hour would be beneficial. The letter then presented the symptoms and corresponding codes. I can’t copy and paste the letter here, because I don’t own the copyright to it, but I can share the symptoms and corresponding codes:
Sinus tachycardia ICD-10 code R00.0
Lightheadedness/Presyncope/Syncope ICD-10 code R55
Headaches ICD-10 code R51
If you have difficult getting an ER/Urgent Care to give you fluids without an inquisition, I recommend asking your doctor if they can write a similar letter.
After she gave me the letter, the PA then asked why I didn’t regularly receive infusions. With the beta blocker, my tachycardia is fairly well controlled, and my blood pressure never drops dangerously low. However, even with controlled heart rate and BP, I still can’t stand for more than a few minutes. Because I have low blood volume, she said I would benefit from ongoing infusions, I just won’t need them every week like those with low BP. So, she wrote the order, and it has since been approved by my insurance.
I can’t begin to describe how happy this makes me. I just call the infusion center to schedule an appointment, spend an hour or two receiving saline, then go about my day. I’m hopeful this could have a huge impact on my ability to care for my mom each month. It’s so difficult to help her walk when I have difficulty standing, and the weather recently isn’t helping. Everytime she comes to town it’s hot. Guess which days she’ll be here this week?
She comes to town tomorrow, so it’s too late to schedule an IV before this visit (which is unfortunate because I have had a migraine for two days), but now I even have the option of calling the day after she leaves and trying to get in for an infusion. I know an order for salt water anytime I want it may not seem like a big deal, but if nothing else, it gives me hope.
And hope, my friends, is the biggest of deals.
The miserable have no other medicine
But only hope.
Smell ya later.