Let's start at the beginning…as most of you may know I suffer with a few different types of Migraine and ailments that flare/trigger them. After repeatedly asking my PCP to send me to a Neurologist Specialist I am finally in what I’m told is his office. (This is in 2019) I had seen two neurologists in my late teens and early twenties and have been dealing with migraines since early teen-hood. The first neurologist didn’t even take me seriously, “young, anxiety, female” and the second one was nice, very awkward but seemed to care. He recommended Memantine a generic medication usually given to Alzheimers patients and said it may also help my brain fog and memory. It doesn’t and also barely put a dent in my migraine episodes when I first started it and after 9+years, it helps nothing.
After getting a new referral to see this third specialist, I was uneasy and definitely a bit upset at his tardiness. He’s two hours late and I’m not the only patient who chose to wait out of desperation. He arrives, smiles and it’s almost as if he isn’t sorry, he’s Hispanic and he had a Female Black Apprentice following his every move. He finally gets to me after they placed me in a room...he’s asking me a serious of questions, I provide my lists and logs of my migraine episodes and my symptoms. He is looking at them and he glances at my notebook I have on the patient table and he stops me as I’m trying to explain my pain and show him on my head and neck where I hurt. I’m advocating as best I know how and he turns to his apprentice and says “See this is the type of patients I like to help. She seems smart, aware and knowledgeable and I can communicate with her. She doesn’t seem to be here drug seeking and crying or hysterical.”
The apprentice nodding her head and taking notes but she doesn’t seem to be agreeing completely. I’m now sitting there speechless because I was there for help and I did not receive it. Looking back on that statement now, it’s demeaning, discriminatory and it can affect so many who truly need the help. Does that mean if a patient isn’t familiar with medical terms or lingo, not familiar with their own body too much, he wouldn’t help them? What about the patients who don’t know that logging and listing can help a doctor in the diagnosis process. Would he not suggest that and have them come back in two weeks or just expect it be known and not treat them because its inconvenient for him.
Seems to be smart? That one is a doozy..what does that even mean. The entire appointment made me feel off. He then wraps us the appointment and says “what do you need from me? I’m only in this office once a month, you need long term care. I can give you some pain medication if you like?”
I declined and said that I was hoping to get updated X-rays, MRIs, CT scans and hopefully a treatment plan. “I don’t know what to do?” He continues to say I should go back to my PCP and have her refer to me to another specialist. Tears now rolling down my cheeks but I still maintained my composure. I waited months and then hours to see him and this is it? The entire appointment was an absolute waste of time...Useless.
How can a doctor be so dismissive and blunt in his unwillingness to provide care or as a Neurologist not give some relative direction. How can a doctor judge patients on complete presentation and appearance before even hearing the entire story and then still judging it even after. I think about all the other patients that waited that day.
Why sign up for or agree to Low Income care if judging and dismissiveness is going to be his way of treatment. Don’t send me back to my PCP because thats like playing Shoots and Ladders and landing on the biggest snake and I have to slide back ending up at square 1. Months of waiting all over again.
If you feel judged, dismissed, uncomfortable fire them and walk out. No one deserves to be treated this way and left with nothing but wasted time and energy. If doctors and offices are taking forever call weekly and keep on them. a right to cal I wish I had just walked out and not wait that two hours but sometimes waiting is all we can do. I’m waiting for the right team to come along and work with me and help me get to a better state. Our Bodies and We are the Boss!!
I hope you all know and or now realize you are worthy of great quality care and you should never have to settle for less. Fight for what you deserve. Speak up when you’re disrespected and remember your are in charge of your health!! Only we know what we go through and what its’ like to be in our bodies.
So yeah, there is my story on a horrible neurologist I encountered. I’m glad he didn’t tower out but I am still on the hunt for another specialist who will take me seriously and care and genuinely want to help.
Until next time…