I am SO writing my Congressmen

…Or at the very least filling out a nasty ICE survey and contacting my Tricare representative.

 

First of all, let me just say that we took Baboo to Urgent Care yesterday and after three other visits (one at a civilian ER) she was finally diagnosed with pneumonia.  She woke up with her fever down for the first time in a week.

Second of all, let me say that this is the reason why it was somewhat humorous that I went to Urgent Care again myself today.

Last night my throat got increasingly sore.  I woke up with chills and barely able to swallow.  This is on top of the general upper respiratory symptoms I’ve been experiencing since soon after Baboo got sick.

So Husband and I drove in after the girls woke up today so that I could be seen again.  I greeted the Corpsman I saw yesterday (who was fabulous both times–really.  I ❤ Corpsman when they’re GOOD Corpsman and he was).  He triaged me and I headed back to the cubicles.  He brought me tylenol and a warm sheet to snuggle up in and was overall really sweet even when I teased him about liking to torture people after he had me swallow three different pills for tylenol.  Have I mentioned he was fabulous?   Yes, I most certainly WILL be noting that in my letter.

Then the Doctor came back.  First of all, note that he was different than the pretty decent guy we saw yesterday.  Second of all, note that he was entirely new to me, which is saying something since we are after all Frequent Flyers in Urgent Care.

Third of all, let me mention that he shall henceforth be known as Dr. Personality.

So Dr. Personality comes back, abrubtly enough to make my startle, and then proceeds to chastise me for being wrapped in the light sheet the Corpsman had brought for me.  He did so in a way that was less than good natured saying, “Don’t you know that the LAST thing you want to do when you have a fever is bundle up?”  I replied that I did know that this was the case, but I certainly felt more comfortable with the sheet.  He also ordered me to sit up. 

He grunted a “So your throat hurts?” at me, and VERY briefly and from about 9 inches away shone a light on my throat.  He then said, “It’s probably strep.  I’ll get you a Z-pac.  Increase your fluids,” and began to turn on his heel.

I asked, “Are you sure it’s strep?” 

“No.  I’m not.  It could be viral.  But we’re going to treat it like it’s strep.  You DO want to be treated don’t you?”

“Yes…  I’d like to be treated.  Are you sure it’s strep?  Because my mother once had an abscess in her throat, and that is what scared me enough to come in.” 

“It’s not an abscess!!”

“You’re not sure it’s strep?”

“It probably is.  But like I say if it’s Viral this anitbiotic isn’t going to do anything for you.  It’s NOT AN ABSCESS.  That’s what we’re going to do IF you want to be treated.  Now, (he said rather snarkily I might add), do you want SIQ?”

For those civilians who are reading SIQ is the status a servicemember is given when they are too ill to report to work. 

I answered, “I wish,” thinking how nice it might be to be SIQ from being a Mom for a day, but not really registering that he thought I was there as a servicemember myself.

Later the lightbulb clicked on.  You see, I went in dressed in Husband’s very snuggly PT sweats which probably promped Dr. Personality to believe that I was, myself, a servicemember.

And this is what REALLY frosts me.

After talking about it with Husband I realized:  One of the reasons he treated me the way he did was BECAUSE he believed me to be a servicemember.  In fact, Husband even said, “He treated you the way he would have treated ME, you know?”

Husband has mentioned before that anytime he goes to SIQ call or to Urgent Care himself, he is treated as a malingerer (that is–someone who is trolling around for an SIQ chit so that they don’t have to go to work).  Husband has missed all of one day in his entire career due to  being SIQ, but he is STILL treated this way. 

I believe that aside from Dr. Personality just having a LOUSY bedside manner and a far less than thorough exam technique, that he treated me so sharply and disrespectfully believing that I was in the Navy myself.

Now…  Is THAT how our servicemembers–the men and women who put their lives on the line to preserve and defend our freedom–should be treated when they are ill? 

Let me tell you that I was (am) miserable when I went in there.  I could barely talk.  I could barely swallow.  I slumped down on the bed as soon as I was led back to the curtains. 

It angers me greatly that in THAT condition, I was treated that way.  It angers me even more greatly that one of the reasons I was treated that way was because Dr. Personality believed I wore the uniform myself.

The nurse I saw at a the end of the visit was the same nurse who triaged Baboo yesterday.  She IS our favorite person in there.  She was a darling, as usual, inquired after Baboo, and wished me well.  This I will ALSO mention in my letters. 

But the way Dr. Personality acted was unprofessional, disrespectful, uncalled for, and downright surly.

And that shouldn’t happen to ANYONE.

And with that, I’m going to go take the first two pills of my Z-pak and lay down and let the TV babysit for a while.  Because I feel like crap.

And by the way–can I just mention, that an SIQ chit would have really been nice?

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8 thoughts on “I am SO writing my Congressmen

  1. Wow, that is a crazy story, definitely cause for a letter. Doctors should *never* be dismissive with patients, no matter who they are. My sister is a doctor and agrees that many doctors are sadly lacking in bedside manner. And usually she hates working with them, because they suck at working with other doctors as much as the suck at communicating with their patients.

    Hope you and Baboo are feeling better soon. *hugs*

  2. DUDE!

    Here’s my biggest issue: He’s a doctor for crying out loud, he thinks you could have something viral, but he’s going to give you antibiotics on the off chance it’s bacterial and without testing you first??? WTF??? He’s a doctor. Doctors are – or SHOULD be – very aware of that little thing happening called resistant bacteria. You know, that thing that happens when you prescribe antibiotics so that the little bit of bacteria in your system goes wheeeeee, mutates into a resistant form, and then rages out of control? You know, the reason we’re looking for a new type of antibiotic right now because we’re desperately close to major problems????

    He’s a doctor, he didn’t examine you, he didn’t give you a very easy and rather inexpensive throat swab to confirm a bacterial issue, and just threw antibiotics at you.

    I’m stunned. I shouldn’t be since I would expect no less of a doctor who’d treat you a certain way based on his personal assumptions, and yet here I am. Stunned.

    Please, please write your letter. Please bitch about this guy. Please make sure the issue gets attention (because I suddenly understand why YodaMan blows off going to the doctor even when he’s very, very sick), and pretty please include the fact that he threw antibiotics at you without taking a bacterial culture from your throat – even saying it could be viral. This is super bad juju all around. You deserved better treatment, the service members deserve better treatment when they go in, and we don’t need second-rate medical personnel who couldn’t pass a medical board for a state but somehow wrangle a pass from the military trouncing on our ability to treat bacterial infections. EGADS.

    [DUDE. Just. DUDE.]

    Did I mention I have a friend who had surgery on her ankle and ended up with a antibiotic-resistant staph infection, and they were contemplating cutting out a significant chunk of her leg???

  3. That is such crap. We had a doctor at a Navy ER that dismissed my active duty husband’s appendicitis as kidney stones, and when the test came back negative, she just sent him away (I also saw her, and she couldn’t even get my pink eye diagnosis right, I had to help her)! And when I had a broken leg in bootcamp, my ortho doctor accused me of trying to get discharged, held my Xray up to the light and then told me my leg wasn’t broken. I only later found out it was when I read the radiologist’s report.

    I think it has something to do with the fact that they know a) they’ll always have patients because active duty people have no choice and b) no need to worry about malpractice.

    Definitely write your letter, and maybe talk to the patient advocate at your clinic…

  4. I wish I could have SIQ too. I also let the TV babysit while Adam was at a meeting this morning. Ryan super destroyed the house, but who cares?

  5. fuming. I AM FUMING Our tax dollars go to support no nothing boobs like Dr. personality. He has less brains then a MUPPET! You’d have done better with Dr. Bunsen Honeydew. With Baboo that sick and the possibility YOU might have pneumonia not necessarily strep give me a BREAK!!! With your family history if I was the doctor I’d be running tests out the wazoo (remember my mom they caught it to late not to make you worry)! I had a client (mental health case manager) who had MRSA which is that super staph bacteria. In a private hospital they acted like it was super plague time! IT IS! I am outraged. I haven’t been this mad in a LONG time. Val dear, I want to know who to write because your letter will be joined by mine. I am absolutely and totally flabbergasted. This is why they take half my paycheck every damned payperiod? God bless our poor troops, with Doctor’s like these who needs military health insurance. Man. Incompetent boobs. Our gals and guys and their families deserve the best they can get. Ship Dr. Personality to Walter Reed for awhile as a patient and let’s see how happy he is.

  6. My husband teaches the customer service class at our Naval Hospital. This violates everything in every way!!! This doctor totally violated your patient rights (a copy is supposed to be available at the clinic). There should also be a customer service advocate for the clinic. You should contact that person. I’m betting this isn’t the first time Dr. P’s had complaints – unless people don’t realize that they can complain. Whether you were A/D or not, you deserve, and have a right to be respected.

    Here’s a link to NNMC’s patient rights policy. I believe all military medical facilities’ have a similar one.

    http://www.bethesda.med.navy.mil/patient/patient_rights.aspx#rights_patient

    Notice #9 – right to respectful treatment
    and #15 – right to voice your concerns

    I would have requested a strep test to confirm the diagnosis. I hate it when doc’s are jerks.

  7. Every time I read something about completely shitty doctors, it makes me want to be one even more so I can be a good one!
    It just makes me cringe…and not even doing a test for strep?! That’s ridiculous! Even if a doctor is busy and has a lot of patients to see, they order tests and a nurse or whoever goes in and does them!
    I think it’s horrible that a military medical facility doesn’t provide better care. You’re right, these are people serving our country and they seem to be treated like shit.

    Definitely write a letter!!!

  8. Ok, I’m still having trouble picking my jaw up of the keyboard! Unbelievable! Do write the letter, Val — completely unacceptable.

    Oh, and I so want an SIQ too! 😀

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