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To Morgan And Others With This Experience:


LindaJoy
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Hi, Morgan, and others with this sad experience,

I read your note to DoctorGuest about your PCP admitting that no one in your area will take you on as a patient anymore. As of my last hospitalization where I live, I got the boot from EVERY internal medicine doctor in my city----not ONE will take me as a patient anymore. I was left in the hospital for two days without a doctor. I was in severe pain and could not be given a med for pain, or even a heating pad, since I did not have a doctor. My doctor dumped me while there, saying she "couldn't, wouldn't take me as a patient any longer." I'm "just too difficult a case." Then, since she dumped me, politically it would not be right for any other doctor in the area to take me--they may have to cover her patients from time and time, and it would be too awkward. We even tried phoning docs in a nearby town. We were turned down, citing that they were overbooked with patients from their own town without trying to take on other towns' patients, as well. Finally, we thought we had found a doctor who worked from his home, who was willing to take me. While making plans on the phone, or connection was cut and we've not been able to get a hold of him since. We have left message after message, to no avail. I guess he doesn't want me, either. In the meantime, all of the specialists I have--two POTS doctors, a geneticist, eosinophil doc, allergist, gastro, all keep saying, "You really need a PCP. That's important. You need to work at getting one." Hmmmmmmmm, do ya think? Uh, I have tried!!! My specialists are all from Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, and they just don't get that I can't find a local doctor who will take me because of my "rare disorders."

Speaking of that, want to hear something outrageous? While hospitalized this last time, the floor manager came into my room and actually said to me, no kidding, "

"Linda, what right do you have to come here, drop all of your rare conditions in our doctors' laps, and expect them to know what to do with you? You don't belong here. You belong in Cleveland or Columbus, some big city like that." Then, later, she said, "You need to stop reading so much about your condition. You're a patient, not a doctor." My husband told her that if I hadn't read up on all of my health problems over the last year, and with doctors turning away from me all of the time, I would have been dead by now. She continued with her conviction that I read too much and needed to start acting more like a patient. Then, to top it all off, she started bringing me stuff on clinics in other cities, like New York and Colorado, that she wanted me to go to instead of "her hospital."

Oh, and I was kicked out that night at 9:30, still so dehydrated that I ended up at a nurse practioner's office a day and a half later in need of four bags of fluid, and only eating saltine crackers, for which they didn't care. The gastro who finally did come to see me (after my cardiologist begged him to), only said, "There's nothing I can do for you. You just need to keep going from medical facility to medical facility, like you have been. Surely there's someone out there who can help you." SO SAD!!

I think, after stories like these, it shouldn't be hard for Doctor Guest to understand why his understanding means so much to us!!!

Take care.

LindaJoy

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Linda, it's good to see your name popping up again, although I'm am very disheartened to hear about how you've been treated by your medical facilities--frankly, in my humble opinion, your doctors failed you at the most basic level of their "duty of care". Dumping you when they know full well you're in a crisis and have NO OTHER OPTIONS. Good lord we all know a pcp can't be the holder of all the information--that's what your specialists are for...and did they forget how to use the telephone? email? fax machine? or even more old school, how to read? Linda, if I lived there, we'd probably be reading about some crazy, short lady (me) who went ballistic in the local hospital and was arrested for creating a real ruckus by telling all those folks "what for!"

I would suggest that if you're getting to the point where you need hospital care and it's possible for your spouse to take you a bit farther away, a city hospital might be your best option. Certainly, in an immediate crisis, that may not be safe to do though...

Hugs from me and here's to hoping that you have a compassionate doctor who's willing to admit they don't know what to do, but also willing to learn from the other professionals you have on your case.

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Linda, this is appalling, albeit again... not surprising. Do you have a teaching hospital in your area? Usually, that's where complicated patients get more attention and care from residents and clinicians. Many PCPs do not like to deal with unusual and complicated cases because of THEIR lack of knowledge on these diseases and lack of time and desire to learn about these. Most PCPs like simple, standard patients, with hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, etc. This is not an excuse, however, to avoid you as a patient, given that you have specialists working with you. My suggestion is again to find an outpatient clinic, be it internal medicine or family medicine clinic, attached to a teaching hospital/institution in your area because there residents, medical students and teaching attendings usually enjoy a challenging patient and the teaching/learning opportunity that goes along with taking of care of such a patient.

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It is illegal to abandon a patient during an acute illness. This is obviously what happenned to you. I would contact lawyer or medical society. My husband is a pcp and "you was dumped,i.e. ababdoned" Linda don't let them get away with it. You know how to contact me, if you want some help. Have been gone awhile--lost my vision for a while. Can see some now.

Will read other posts later. DLTBGYD Miriam :blink:

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Linda, I have never in all my years of nursing, heard of a doctor doing this! I am appalled.We kind of had the opposite. My pcp called a well known doctor back east and gave him his office number, cell number, hospital pager number, and home number, and never heard back from him to get advice to help me.

But as far as being fired as a patient in the middle of a hospital stay is more than too much. I don't know where you live and how big your town/city is, but unfortunately there is a "good old boy" mentality among some doctors and a "political" thing. I had to be transported, in an ambulance, 5 blocks to another hospital because the neuro that would see me wouldn't do it in the hospital I was in! He then dumped me the next day and all I got from him was a real big ambulance bill and hospital bill and his bill....It's rather pathetic, but just the way it is.

I would give you the same advice as doctorguest, if you live near a University teaching hospital, that's where you need to go. One problem is, if you have insurance, will it cover you out of area? Typically, an insurance company doesn't cover you if there is doctor in your area that can see you. Since you are looking for GP or Internal Medicine care, you may have some problems with that.

You might try a family medicine doctor as opposed to an internal medicine one. If you can get the appt and get in, you just need to explain the situation. You have specialists, you just need someone near home to coordinate your care with them. They basically do the work and the Family practitioner just coordinates it a bit. Try to find someone younger, not out of school for long..they typically are far more interested in learning new things than many of the older more traditional ones. A bit more unsure and willing to be more open as a rule. That's what I've seen anyway, in my nursing experience. Many doctors closer to retirement are just like a lot of people...putting in their time till retirement. It's not that they don't care, they just burn out like everyone else and don't want to learn a whole lot of new stuff at this stage.

In my case, I just don't make any attempt to see other doctors any more. All I have is my pcp, gastro, and a cardiologist I see once or twice a year. So we are a bit opposite here. I can't get specialists to see me and you can't get a regular old internal medicine guy. My pcp is very well known, very admired, and very popular and even he can't get his peers to see me. So I'm just at a loss here for you.

A social worker talked to me about the doctor I am going to see for MD. I actually looked them up on the web and emailed them a letter. I just stated I had autonomic problems, but my biggest problem right now is my paralysis and a social worker suggested that I see them, as it is a complication of a form of MD. I stated clearly that I was a bit complicated and had been referred to as crazy more than once. I also stated I didn't expect them to see me, as it is very easy to blow people off. It wouldn't be the first time. I did however, keep it short and to the point other than that. I did not go into a whole lotta detail about other things.

I actually got an email from her personally and she was very kind. I do have an appt. I have discovered that the less you say, the less you feel you have to defend yourself and the less desperate you sound. Sad, but true. My husband says the more I talk, the less they listen and I have found that to be true. So now, it's just the stuff pertinent to their thing. I don't talk to my gastro about my heart, unless he asks and I don't talk to my cardio about my gut, unless he asks. It's just the way it has to be. You just need to make it clear to anyone you do get an appt with, that you do have specialists taking care of the things they need to be.

This doctor will be the first specialist I have seen in a very long time. I don't have time for doctors that suck my pocket drier than it already is, just to waste my time. But they are correct, you DO need a PCP. As long as you have all these specialists (how does one manage that?) I don't think it really matters what type of pcp you have...Family Practice, General Practice, or Internal Medicine. I may truly lose my pcp because of his new job thing, and I honestly don't know what I will do, because I can't get into anyone specialized in anything. My pcp WOULD have to do everything. This is very scary to me, so I can empathize, because the possibility of this happening is very high. The closest teaching hospital is nine hours from me. I would find a young newly minted Family practice doctor and make sure I see him before he sees my charts! I would not lie, but I don't want preconceived notions blurring things either.

If your insurance has a case manager program, you might be able to get help there. They talk to doctors and help coordinate care. You might also check into getting a social worker to help you through vocational rehab. Try contacting your local vocational Rehab office and talk to someone there. It's their job to help with these kinds of things and they have certainly helped my son out! I guess that's all I can say...enough already, everyone else says! :blink:

I hope you can figure something out, I fear I will be in the same place very soon....you will be in my thoughts! stillayakkingmorgan

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Oh Linda im so saddened to read how you where treated that is just horrible...

Just wanted you to know that im thinking of you and adding you to my prayers!

manymany hugs

dizz

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Thanks, everyone, for the support and suggestions. Sue my doctor? Hmmmmmm........ :) what an interesting thought--would take sooooo much energy, though, energy I do not have, unfortunately.

As far as a teaching hospital goes, I'm seeing an allergist at the one closest to me, which is Ohio State University. I just became a patient there two weeks ago. OSU is an hour and a half away from me. Not too bad, I guess, but I still want to find a pcp in my area, for emergencies. I'll just have to keep trying. Oh, and I've just become a patient with a POTS doc at Case Western in Cleveland, as well, but that's over 3 hours away. Still, I'm glad to have them in my life now.

My poor husband. He grew up in a very small town, has lived here his whole life (I actually live in his small town now)--it ends in "Grove" if that tells you anything! Anyway, he's just lived with this PollyAnna outlook his whole life, but this experience has really opened his eyes about how "man" can be so mean and uncaring to "man,: how things don't always work the way you think they should. No, a doctor should NEVER quit on a patient in the middle of a hospitalization, but that's what happened. None of us should ever have been treated like we've been, simply because we have something that's so misunderstood, but it happens. It's sad how accepting I've become of ill treatment. I've really lost some of that passion, spark, fight I used to have, through all of this. Sad.

Anyway, take care, everyone. Morgan, hang in there. I really hope you continue on with your current pcp, and that the new specialist is, at the very least, not a disappointment.

Linda

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Bless your heart! That's terrible.

*not legal advice*

Both the doctor and the hospital are responsible here- neither should abandon you, which is what it sounds like happened. I totally understand about the fact that a civil case would take time and energy and, frankly, may not be very successful. BUT let me suggest to you that you do a few things that may actually go a longer way to solving the problem and not take up so much of your time, though still a bit intensive. Gather all the information that you can- get your charts to show you weren't recieving treatment, do an affadavit (just a written, signed, notarized statement- you can write it and take it to your bank to get it notarized) of your story and have your husband and any other witnesses do the same, and get any other information you can think of- bills, communication, etc. Put it in an organized binder and send it to your state's board of examiners, department of public health (or whoever licenses hospitals in your state), and the hospital's accrediting agency, and the hospital. Request a review of the dr's license, the hospital's license, and the hospital's accreditation. You won't have to get a lawyer and, while you may be asked some questions, it'll be less formal and an easier process for you- plus, quite frankly, those things are worth more to them then a civil judgment anyways.

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So sorry to hear what u r goin thru, I have only one doc local and it is the card. so if i have other symptoms i am s.o.l, so basically i guess if i want to drive a hr when sick to the doc who spec in this and has it, but who wants to go a hr, if u r sick u need to go by ambulance,etc, i get there in the er, at first they would admit me but now they say there is nothing more we can do and i get a pain shot and out the door. Only if my bp is almost nothing will they keep me, but i have only had heart doc and oh ok i did have a yeast infection,lol, and got a gyn, isnt that good!! But basically I feel, somewhere even if u have to do as i and go on the site and find ur own doc, as mine was on the computer, my state ins they didnt even take but he took me as a courtesy, after battles with ins and threatening to write the gov , pres, etc. We have to take a stand afterall what is so scary is they think mine may be hereditary, i darn sure dont want my kids to endure this crap, so fight and dont give up, cause u may be suprised to find a doc, who is excited to work with someone like us, who are weird cases. Darn sure dont seem as it can hurt!! Good luck

Donna

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