My Worst Appointment Ever

On February 5th last year, I had the worst medical appointment of my life. I had cut my trip to New York short to get back to LA and meet with a doctor. Since my primary care physician was out of the country, I met with a female doctor in the same office.

After spending the last week feeling scared and nervous, I was hoping to have a conversation about my diagnosis. Unfortunately, the doctor wanted no such thing. I was clearly upset and on the verge of tears as I tried to ask questions. She had no patience for me and said I would have to adjust to “this lifelong disease.”

The doctor left and sent her nurse in to do a finger prick. I remember the reading was in the 90s. (I also remember Cedars Sinai charged me $7 for it.) Then the doctor returned with a prescription for a blood glucose meter. She didn’t tell me how to use it and cut me off as I tried to ask questions again. She told me to continue taking Metformin, which I’d just started taking and was making me sick. She also gave me a referral for an endocrinologist, who I would later find out wouldn’t be able to see me for more than a month.

I held back tears as I left. The doctor probably spent five minutes with me total and made it clear I wasn’t important to her. She showed no compassion or empathy, and acted annoyed when I asked questions. She didn’t seem to think it was odd that a slim, healthy 26-year-old with no family history of diabetes had just been diagnosed with the disease.

I felt crushed and even more confused than I had been leaving urgent care a week prior. I decided not to get the blood glucose meter yet, but did begin researching endocrinologists in the area. I knew I needed to find a doctor who would listen to me.

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4 responses to “My Worst Appointment Ever

  1. Crappy Experience. I am sorry you had to endure such a, I am trying not to swear, uncompassionate physician. I work in an office with twelve docs, they see 30 people a day, and the system is terrible. But I get to see em for an hour at a time to support, answer questions, empathize, the things that all newly diagnosed, actually anyone human requires to feel heard, supported and validated. Once again, hope you are Ok. Take care.
    PS: I have added you to my blogroll, to keep updated. Cheers.

    • Thanks for the comment, Trev, and for following my blog. I agree with you, newly diagnosed people definitely need someone to listen, show support and take time to answer questions. Thankfully, I found a great endo who did, but it took me a couple of weeks.

  2. Hi there, it’s me again…man, I am so sorry you had such a rough start to the introduction of your lifelong diagnosis. I had the same experience; annoyed physicians who didn’t want to answer any questions I had, rushed appts with little or no instructions, and a “get over it” attitude from my endocrinologist .
    I think it took me longer to adjust to my diagnosis b/c of my bad expereinece.
    But that was then, and this is now, and I barely even remember it.
    I swear it will get easier and easier as time goes on.
    Thank goodness for the DOC and all the people on here who care : )
    Hope you have a great rest of the week.
    ~ erika

    • Thanks, Erika! I totally agree that it took longer to adjust to the diagnosis because of the bad experience at the beginning. That’s terrible that even your endo treated you poorly. I was fortunate at least to find a great endo a few weeks in.

      Thank goodness for the DOC, is right. 🙂 It’s amazing to have so much support from other people dealing with D.

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