Naughty and Nice Physicians

Well, it’s been busy around here lately. Much like most folks at this time of the year. We had a lovely visit from Pam’s brother and his family for 4 days prior to Thanksgiving and then from excellent friends on Thanksgiving Day.

Pam has been understandably frightened and anxious about the lesion in her brain. We see the neurosurgeon in 2 days. I’ll be blogging about that, I’m sure.

Today was quite an experience. First, we stopped by to pay our land taxes at 1:20 PM. The tax collector is also the owner of a craft store close by. Pam went in to pay while I waited outside in the car. After 5 min., Pam came out and said nobody was in the store. Kind of strange. She went back in and tried calling the phone number on her cell phone. Busy. Hmm?

So, then I went in and looked around thinking that she may have just ‘gone in the back’ of the store and couldn’t hear Pam’s voice calling her. I looked around. Funny. Her purse was on the floor behind the counter. The wallet peeking out over the edge with credit cards and green money.

We went to another place of business next door just to check. They had a sign up stating that they were unavailable and to see the owner of the craft store next door. Now, it’s becoming more strange.

Next, I check in with a butcher shop on the other side of her store. He didn’t seem too concerned and said that she "runs home for a few minutes now and then."

So, we waited. We waited and waited. Finally at 1:40 PM, she appeared out of no where. I informed her that we had been waiting and had checked in with 2 other local merchants to no avail. We told her that we were concerned that something may have been wrong and were about to call the local police.

She said she was only gone for 10 minutes and that if she knew she was going to be gone for more than 5 minutes, she would have put a sign on the door. OK, that’s fine. But I told her we were there for a minimum of 40 minutes and were running late for a Dr’s appointment.

She then copped an attitude and became very angry saying that she was so busy because she was running 3 businesses all at the same time.

Ironically I had voted for her in November for the tax collector position. She gets paid just fine by the County. But I still have enough political correctness not to say anything further. But I did get angry and discussed it with Pam. Apart from shurking her duties as a public servant, she certainly lacked good judgment just to walk out and leave her store and pocketbook unattended. Kindergarteners know how to do that!  Angry

All right then. We went our way and went to our annual ophthalmology appointments. This was our 2nd visit to this Dr.

Of course, he saw us individually. The staff was pleasant and cordial and I felt fine. I mentioned to the assistant that I had some dry eyes, tearing and a strained, tired and fatigued feeling in my eyes and that I was going to ask the Dr. about Restasis. She said OK and then left the room.

All of a sudden, he walked into the room without a smile. Without so much as any other word, he said, "OK, you can take the Restasis. It’ll help your dry eyes." It seemed very unusual for a Dr. to say something like that before he/she spoke with and did an exam on the patient. I was trying to tell him my symptoms and he interrupted me saying that the Restasis was OK. More strange.

So I asked him what the pros and cons were with Restasis versus the OTC eye drops. He looked as though I had smacked him in the face. He began to blubber saying that they are eye drops for dry eyes. Yes, I know that, I was thinking. So I said, since they are a prescription eye drop, how did it differ from other OTC drops. He couldn’t/wouldn’t answer me. He began using an analogy about wearing shoes when your feet are cold and then talking them off when it’s warm. All the while, he was becoming more agitated and attempting to suppress his anger.

I sat there thinking, "OK, David. I know I am diagnosed with dementia but I’ve been doing well since my bad episode this past summer. Have some Lewy Bodies just suddenly make me think I am crazy or demented. Gee, I was fine 5 minutes ago and was thinking quite clearly. I even drove the car to his office. What the heck just happened. Not only was he being rude but he was leaving out sentences and expecting me to read his mind."

Once he began to look at my eyes, he said, "I don’t think I can help you and I can’t make you happy." All in an abrupt irritated voice. I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about so I asked him "what do you mean?" He said tired and fatigued eyes have nothing to do with dry eyes and that I was barking up the wrong tree. Becoming more confused, I said, "I don’t thinking I’m following you. I’m sorry if I’m not." All the while thinking, gosh this dementia must be really hitting me very very suddenly and I don’t even realize it…this must be a new manifestation of it since I’ve always had a clue that my cognition wasn’t right on track. But my cognition has been good. Why would it suddenly happen during 10 minutes with a Dr.?

He then said that tired, strained and fatigued eyes are caused by other things like a virus and depression, among others. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Were we communicating in 2 languages and if so, which languages were they? I knew I was speaking intelligible English. What about him?

As a psychiatrist, I know that depression can make anyone feel tired and fatigued all over one’s body. But not their eyes. I looked at him incredulously. I said that I wasn’t depressed and didn’t think I had a virus. At the same time, thinking, my gosh, most anyone has heard of tired and fatigued eyes. What am I missing?

He finally tested me with some strips to measure tear production. He read the strips and said that Restasis wouldn’t help me any more than the OTC eye drops. In my mind, I said—–my Lord, he just came into the room and inappropriately told me to take Restasis and now after he examines me, says that it wouldn’t help. What the heck kind of Dr. is this? I didn’t remember anything positive about him on the first visit but didn’t think much of it since it was just the evaluation visit.

Now he then got up from his seat and went over to a cupboard and said, "I do have a couple of tricks up my sleeve." He handed me a sample of steroidal eye drops and gave me a prescription for the same and said he wanted to see me in 4 months.

He didn’t tell me the name of the drops and why I should take them. Without any other words, he began to leave the room. So, again, trying to be my own advocate, asked him what they were for. Now get this. Like an angry father, turned to me and said,"I told you that you don’t have dry eyes."

I retreated to the waiting room trying to process what had just occurred. My head was reeling while anxiously waiting for Pam to come out.

She said that he wasn’t naughty with her, but that he didn’t greet her or say goodbye. He didn’t answer her questions and fluffed her off as well.

OK. Enough. I’ve worked with nursing students, med students, residents, physicians, psychologists and ancillary medical professionals. I’ve seen rude and arrogant people before, but I don’t ever remember having any so called Dr. treat anyone like that.

I finally looked at the sample drops and noticed they were steroidal drops. And I still don’t know why he prescribed them if I don’t have dry, tired or fatigued eyes!! And I know I’m not crazy. Guess what? That leaves the only other person in the room. Do you think it could be a problem with him? Don’t answer. The obvious is clear.

Will Pam and I return to see him for the 4 month checkup?



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6 Responses

  1. What totally rude, unacceptable behavior!!!! Some people have no bedside manner whatsoever, and feel like they are put on the defensive when asked questions. Um… last I checked, doctors are supposed to WELCOME questions, and answer them so that the answers can be easily understood. Shame on this man!!!

  2. Dave,
    I believe I noticed a full moon. Sometimes we just cannot know what another person is going through. We all have times when we are just not thinking straight or we are unaware of what is most obvious to others.
    I walked by the sea today and it was most restorative. I saw the moon and felt at peace. I read your words and thought how interesting each of our lives really is.
    With love, LH for DonR

  3. My mom takes a homeopathic remedy for her eyes. Her trouble
    sounds similar to your trouble. Optique by Biron. You can buy it at Whole Foods. It helps my mom a lot and it doesn’t have side effects.

  4. Reminds me of a few neuro’s I had before I found the right one. They’re starting to teach “bedside manners’ in school, wonder how long they’ll retain that part of their education.

  5. Must also say if any of my doctors are that brusk with me, I dig for answers; try to leave the room, I tell them to sit back down as I’m not down with them. 🙂 That’s just me

  6. I took my mom, age 86, to the eye doctor yesterday for an ulceration which has been recurring in her right eye. This was not her usual doc but is in the same practice. He asked her the same questions the nurse had already asked about her meds, then said, “Why do you think this infection keeps occurring?” Maybe he expected her to say she was poking herself in the eye????? I don’t know but he was very abrupt and obviously felt he was in a hurry. She told me the last time she saw him, he left the room, leaving her sitting in the exam chair while her walker was on the other side of the room!! From now on, she’ll see only her own doctor.

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