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Friday, May 8, 2015

Doctor shopping. Should you do it? (Why I left my last 3 Endocrinologists.)

I don't want anyone reading this to get discouraged about their health if they are suffering with autoimmune diseases.  I want you to take it as a learning lesson.  My life is not yours.  Don't think that having thyroid disease, Hashimoto's, Graves' disease, or whatever you have is going to bring you down the same paths I have been.  I've had many doctors tell me that thyroid disorders are some of the most difficult diseases to diagnose and treat.  You may have a fantastic doctor who is just trying to find the right treatment for you and these adjustments in your treatment, or medication, may take months to kick in.

What you NEED to do is look for warning signs that your doctor may not be right for you.  You're paying them to make you better so you deserve the best treatment you can get!  If you don't understand what they are doing or why they are doing it, ASK!  How do they respond to your questions?  Do they give you a clear explanation?  Do they take their time with you and not rush you out of their office?

Why I left my last 3 endocrinologists:

1) When my 1st endocrinologist told me my Graves' disease / hyperthyroidism had nothing to do with my anxiety.
Oh ok, you're the specialist and how dare I question your treatment even though my body feels all messed up still.  Why am I leaving your practice you ask?  I don't think I need to give an explanation.  He even had the NERVE to call my pharmacy to put in to NOT refill my thyroid medication after I told them I was leaving.  This caused problems when I got the new script from my 2nd endocrinologist.  Luckily that was quickly cleared up.

2) When my 2nd endocrinologist lied to me.

He was the one that pushed my thyroidectomy, and after that, when I was feeling symptomatic and had all these new issues,  I asked if he was testing other levels instead of just TSH.  "So you just tested my T4/T3 & Free T4/T3 and all my vitamin levels?" He said, "Yes." Got my labs and only TSH was done.

I might still have been with that endocrinologist today if he hadn't lied to me.  How hard is it to write on a script to have certain things tested for when I ask for it?  They aren't paying for it, my insurance is.  He could have at least humored me and ordered it and then just not look at the other results if he really didn't care.  But to lie to me?  It's unacceptable.

3) When my 3rd endocrinologist just wouldn't listen about how I was feeling.

My last health post was pretty much dedicated to the fine disaster that came from this doctor.  I would love to have said I TOLD YOU! to him but I'm not an asshole.  I could tell just by the look on his face at my last appointment that he knew he made a mistake.  His lesson will be losing me as a patient.


These doctors were not right for me.  It doesn't mean that that are not right for other people.  Some people do fine on synthetic T4 medications, some don't!  (Before I had my thyroidectomy, and before I had Graves' I did just fine on synthetic T4.)  Since I am going to live with this the rest of my life I need to understand it and I need to have doctors help me regulate it and understand it.  Again, everyone is different.  Reference ranges for blood tests don't mean you are necessarily going to feel fine within those ranges.


Now I know it's easier said than done to say, "Hey! Don't get discouraged!"  My panic attacks have gone full blown again.  I had, maybe, 1 day last week where I didn't have at least one.  That in addition to my depression is keeping me inside most of the time, unless someone drags me out of the house.  Due to this my doctors have pulled me from work for at least 2 months to give me time to see my new doctors and get tests done and, hopefully, get the right treatment.  I also now have a swollen lingual tonsil that is driving me insane and I went to my ENT about it maybe 3x and feel like going in again because it has been over a month and isn't getting any better.  If anything, it's getting worse and causing my speech to be more raspy.  All of this, and personal matters brought me down so low there was a few times I really scared myself.

Then a day before my appointment with my new endocrinologist I got a call saying she needed to reschedule.  Ok.  So, what's the earliest we can do that?  The woman tells me at the END OF JUNE!  No!  This can't be happening to me!  Instant panic and I'm crying on the phone with her.  I'm out of work.  I already cancelled my appointment with my old endocrinologist.  I set up the appointment but I'm wondering what can I do to get treated before.  Who's a good endocrinologist who I haven't gone to see yet, or naturopath / neuropathy that maybe can help me?  I left a message for my therapist advising what I was told and I felt lost and on the search again.  An hour later, they call back & tell me they can get me in on Monday!  What a relief!  Though everything worked out for the better and I could now relax, not much later the pain of another panic attack hit.

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