Warning – ranting and raving is about to commence.
I have had enough.
Two years ago I was feeling like crap, so I went to the doctor. Good idea, right?
- Maybe if you live in a country where people choose a profession in the healthcare system because they care about people and want to help and the system doesn’t suck.
- Maybe if doctors took more than three seconds to decide that you are stupid and don’t know anything.
- Maybe if you were allowed to get help before more things go wrong with your body.
- Maybe if your specialist didn’t go on holidays and move your appointment forward three months because its convenient for him and then you have to keep waiting and suffering.
Canadian Healthcare = Horrible.
For the past two years I have suffered through a horrible system that is designed for doctors and not patients. Did someone forget who healthcare is for?
I won’t bore you with the details of the past two years of:
- Low cortisol
- Testing for brain tumours
- No period for two years
- Hypothermic body temperatures in the house
- Severe fatigue
- Epic intolerance to cold
- Brain fog
- Constant low T3
…all while waiting months and months to see the next doctor that runs tests and doesn’t really care.
This month brings us the saga of Charlene.
Charlene is my large ovarian cyst.
Yup, I am talking about ovaries here folks. Thirteen months ago, thirteen months ago, I noticed some wonky swelling in my lower abdomen and I asked my endocrinologist about it. I was in to see her (finally) and so why not, right? It was ‘nothing‘ and I was supposed to ‘not to worry about it‘. But it kept happening. It was visible to the naked eye, so I kept calling and harassing *ahem* insistently asking them to check it out.
I would have booked an appointment with my GP, but she sent me a letter stating that she saw I had gone to see another doctor and that I could send my files elsewhere. It was very ‘professional‘ but it was pretty much a ‘you’re fired‘ letter.
Finally, after my fourth phone call, a requisition form for an ultrasound was mailed to me. Yes mailed to me. Apparently we live in 1937 up here in the subarctic.
Two weeks later was the first appointment I was able to get, so I grabbed it.
More phone calls and messages were passed to let me know that I had a cyst on my left ovary about 2 inches in diameter, but not to worry about it.
These things happen….
My whole metabolic system is a disaster zone, complete with police tape, and we aren’t going to even blink an eye at the cyst? Or the swelling? Or the pain? Or the wonky emotions that threaten to take over my person?
Wow. I don’t like being normal. Normal feels horrific. I made more phone calls and finally got a pity referral to a gynaecologist to ‘help me out with the cyst‘.
Fast forward a year.
Today was my appointment. I made a list of things to talk to with the doctor and was prepared. I was ready to listen, answer the bazillion questions, and ask my own.
Legs got trained this am, I chose joy, and went ready to get some answers.
A thin, blonde nurse weighed me and brought me to the exam room. I pulled out my medications and supplements for her to write down and answered all the questions she asked.
Then it went sideways.
Bottoms off and up on the table. The doctor will be in with you shortly.
I came to discuss my missing period and Charlene, not talk to a man I’ve never met before while only being half dressed and only covered by a scratchy piece of paper. No, no, no!
Did you know there are Grey’s Anatomy scrubs?
Me either…until today.
I suddenly found myself pouring tears and staring intently at the pocket of the nurse’s scrubs while trying to regulate my breathing. I want to talk about my health and get help, not endure a physical.
Grey’s Anatomy Scrubs Nurse – Are you ok?
DL – Yup. I will be fine. I just didn’t expect, well, I came to talk about my specific concern. I am not here for an exam. I am here to talk about the many, many things that are wrong with me.
GASN – (in a monotone voice) Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?
DL – No. I just…oh man. I should have expected this. I just want to make sure we cover my concerns. If I have to do a physical exam to do that, I will. Talking while being half dressed is not really ok. I am not really comfortable with that. But then he won’t be happy if I don’t do the exam, correct?
GASN – He is pretty impatient, but he could come back I suppose…
DL – Well we can’t make him mad, now can we? Whatever works best for him so that I can get the help I need.
GASN – Whatever you need, I suppose. You will have 10 to 15 minutes with him, so you can probably ask him all your questions. This is about you.
DL – No. This is not about me, not at all. I have waited a year for this appointment and I don’t want to mess it up. I need, desperately need, answers.
I settled under the piece of paper and started to sweat profusely.
Unfortunately tears kept leaking out of my eyes.
The doctor came through the door, barely glanced at me, and started to read my chart.
While questioning me with his back turned to me, he affirmed my understanding of his statements by asking me, ‘Do you understand this?’ and ‘Do you get what I am saying?’
Due to his lack of care about who I was, the best response seemed to be, ‘Yes sir. I do. I fully understand.’ Meanwhile the tears kept pouring down my face.
After 10 minutes of him talking and me staring at the back of his head, he looked at me. Then he noticed my list of questions in my hands.
Are these all the things you wanted to talk to me about?
Then without letting me talk, he took my list away from me and let me know all my problems were coming from a lack of communication between my brain and my body.
An appointment for three months from now, a pap smear, and a requisition form later, I am no closer to knowing what the world is going on with me.
There is no healthcare happening here. The term healthcare denotes ‘health‘ and ‘care’….what we have in Canada is Patient Herding.
And they wonder why we Google and take natural supplements.
I am tired of asking for help and getting distain and dismissal. I know my body and I know what I am going through is not normal.
I refuse to settle for ‘this is as good as it gets‘.
I will overcome and keep going, no matter what happens. I am a conqueror!