Saturday, December 17, 2011

NaBloPoMo Round 2, Day 17: Firing a Doctor

Jillian Michaels's latest podcast had a segment on how to know when it's time to find a new doctor. It's funny because I just had to switch.  It was (and is) sad to me that I had to do it, but I hope it works out for the best.

I have been having recurrent issues with redness and irritation in my eyes, mostly the left. I have been back and forth to the doctor for six months or more, once with a corneal ulcer. Every time I have a problem, he prescribes a different antibiotic eyedrop and/or steroid, suggests artificial tears, and sends me on my way.  This latest time, I asked if he could tell me why I kept having this problem. He couldn't. I asked if he could refer me to an opthamologist (he's an optician).  He said no, that this is something he could handle and that only an "unethical" opthamologist would see me unless I was having eye surgery. He gave me a combination antibiotic and steroid and sent me on my way.

I liked my eye doctor. I had been seeing him for almost twenty years. However, the fact that he was unwilling to consider that the problem I was having was outside his area of expertise, even though he had no diagnosis for the problem, frustrates me.  Continually taking antibiotic drops for something that may or may not have been a bacterial infection also concerned me.  My veterinarian sends out samples from my cats to a lab when an infection is suspected, so why, when dealing with a human eye, would a doctor try to treat without knowing the cause? What if there is a very serious issue that is not getting addressed because of the "here, try this?" approach?

I tried to figure out the motive for this attitude. I know that since I have vision insurance, I am a valuable customer and he might not have wanted to lose me. If I had been able to get a referral, though, I probably would have stayed with him for my glasses and contact lenses. This situation has made me want to change doctors completely, for everything. I have an appointment with an opthamologist in a couple of weeks. Until then, I will probably just wear my glasses.

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"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07