When I saw you last September, I walked into your office full of hope. I had been dealing with thyroid problems for about a year and a half. I was given your name by someone on a thyroid message board that kept lists of good doctors. If she did not think you were a good doctor, your name did not go on her list. All the reviews that came up were good when I Googled your name. I thought I finally found a good doctor that actually understood thyroid.
My appointment got off to a rough start. Your nurse was a jerk. Prior to my appointment, I had filled out the paperwork I was sent. I have neuropathy and Dupuytren’s Contracture in my hands so my handwriting is not exactly the neatest in the world. When I fill out paperwork, I always type up the answers so they are legible and put “see attached” in the space provided. In all the years that I have been doing that, I have never had anyone not like that. I had to listen to your nurse complain because he had to input my answers in the computer and they were not next to the questions. I would think most people would be glad they could actually read my answers but what do I know. I have had some really good doctors with really bad nurses so even after my experience with your nurse, I was still holding out hope for you.
That hope quickly ran out when you walked in the room. The spot on the paperwork that asked why I was there had “thyroid.” When your nurse asked me why I was there, I said “thyroid.” I did not need a 5 minute lecture why someone with Type 1 diabetes did not have an endo. I live in a small town and there are limited doctors available. If I want to see a good doctor, I have to travel 3 hours to Pittsburgh to see a doctor. You even asked me why I came so far to see you. I do very well managing my blood sugar and I really don’t need to have someone drive me to Pittsburgh just to get a script for insulin. I make enough trips for other appointments.
As you were looking at the copies of labs, you actually complemented me on my A1cs. I guess I finally did something right.
You were sitting there with my medical history in your hand and asked me to tell you what surgeries I had. When I told you that they were on the list, you said you wanted me to tell you. Why? I used to have a very good memory, but it is not what it used to be. That is why I keep a list on my computer and put it into whatever form you want it in for your paperwork. I am given a 15 minute appointment and you want to waste my time with you having me trying to remember stuff that I have typed up nice and neat in a list? What purpose does that serve?
Next came my favorite part of the visit – you asked me why I was using Apidra with gastroparesis. That question came after the complement on my A1cs. Did you forget that you had a bunch of labs with all the A1cs in the 5s? Could it be that Apidra actually works for me?
With almost every answer I gave you, you would get a look of annoyance on your face. I felt like it was back in the days when my blood sugar was bouncing all over the place and doctors would rather blame me than help me. I think my A1cs proved that I do a half decent job managing my blood sugar so what was the purpose of your being annoyed with my answers? I hate to see how you would treat patients that are not in good control.
I left your office without getting to discuss my thyroid – that was the reason I saw you. I at least left with a slip for labs and you actually did the right thyroid tests.
About a week after I had the labs done, I called your office to see about the results. I was told that you usually sent out a labs letter so I should wait a few more days to see if I got it. Even though you took the time to write out my A1c, fasting glucose and cholesterol numbers, you wrote “high” next to thyroid function. You put a note for me to decrease my Armour (I don’t use Armour, I use Erfa Thyroid). I called to find out what the numbers were and was told that you don’t give out numbers. I have a legal right to know what those numbers are.
I had already requested the labs from the hospital but it takes about 3 weeks to get those so I thought calling your office would be faster. As my mother used to say, “you know what a thought did one day.”
My labs came and my Free T4 was 0.89 with a range of 0.7 – 1.48. Optimal is midway of lab range and that would be 1.09. Mine was below midway. That was not high.
My Free T3 was 3.18 with a lab range of 1.71 – 3.71. Optimal is considered in the upper 2/3rds of the lab range. With my lab, that would be above 3.04. My Free T3 is right where it should be. That was not high.
I actually sighed a huge sigh of relief after getting the labs. I did not like you. Had you actually turned out to be good with thyroid, I probably would have kept my next appointment but I would not have liked it.. Did I say, I did not like you? I was actually relieved that there was no reason to go back to you.
Ex patient, Kelly Booth
This post is my Tuesday, May 10th entry for the 2nd Annual Blog Week. You can check out more posts at Bitter~Sweet.