I’ve had a difficult time breathing for a while now, a few years actually, but much worse recently. We have a mold problem in our house so I attributed it to that. Two weeks ago I had a transfer exam at the Chiropractic College my husband attends. My intern found a problem in the top of my right lung, which was confirmed by a clinician. Two weeks later the problem had spread to four parts of my lungs. They told me to see my PCP to have x-rays done to find out what the problem is. I don’t trust M.D.s because as a child they told me everything was in my head, and my mom trusted them over me. No medical doctor/allopath has ever once helped me with any problem I’ve had, and I’ve had many. We are on state medical so I was extra apprehensive about going because in my experience the quality of care is very low. I had an appointment set already to have the lump in my abdomen looked at so I figured that would be perfect I could just have both things check out at once.
So I get to this place, a cold no-so-sanitary looking office with sparse and cheap décor and a fogged glass window blocking off the waiting area from the receptionist. I wasn’t expecting it to be a warm place judging from the treatment I’d gotten over the phone when I made the appointment, but it was colder than I’d anticipated. There were two other women in the waiting area, one of which was not seen until an hour after her appointment time. She was irate (as she was there with a small child) and said that the same thing had happened the last time she came and she’d come on her lunch break and was very late getting back to work. She knocked on the window after about 45 minutes and asked the receptionist if she knew about how much longer it would be. The receptionist snapped back that she’s not the doctor. The lady explained to her that she understood that but that she is the receptionist and she is the only person patients can talk to, that she represents the doctors and the office and told her that her comment was very rude. There was a little altercation between the two of them. When I handed in my paperwork and she asked about having my records sent from my previous doctor I told her I hadn’t seen a doctor in like 10 years. She exclaimed, “You haven’t had a check-up in 10 years!” I told her I had but that our Chiropractor is our primary care physician. She looked at me like I was an alien and made a rude comment under her breath.
When I first got there I was informed that I was supposed to have been there at 12:30 for my 1:10 appointment and that there were several people who had appointments who had not shown up, but that if they did they would go before me. This was upsetting considering over the phone I was told to show up at 1:00 for my 1:20 appointment and I needed to pick my children up from school 25 minutes away at 3:35.
Finally, an hour later, I get called back by the nurse. She was upbeat and friendly, HOWEVER, when I explained that my intern had found a lung problem she says, “What are they pretending to be doctors now?” I countered with, “My husband goes to that school, and they ARE doctors, just not MEDICAL doctors.” As she was leaving she apologized for sounding like she was against Chiropractors and told me her sister is dating one and he’s great and what he does is great, but added, “But medical doctors are BEST.” She repeated this several times. I didn’t respond. It’s just plain ignorance. Anyone who receives a doctorate degree is a doctor, whether they are an allopath, a naturopath, chiropractor, psychiatrist, paleontologist, or whatever. There are doctors of all kinds of things. Is one better than the other? If I have a mental problem, should I see a paleontologist because I believe they’re the best? NO! If I’m having a baby should I see a psychiatrist? If I cut my hand open making dinner should I see a Chiropractor? Absolutely not! There are different doctors for different needs. I needed imaging done, so I went to a doctor who has those resources.
So I wait again and finally the doctor comes in. He’s young and friendly and I like him. I asked him a lot of questions and made it clear what I was all about. He felt my abdomen and told me it was likely a spasm caused by IBS and that it should be fine as long as I’m not vomiting or in so much pain I can’t stand or as long as I don’t go several days with no BM (he also offered me spasm meds but knew well enough by this time I would decline them). Agreed, HOWEVER, the problem has worsened and is low larger, lower, and sometimes mildly painful. It was not like this until recently, so obviously the problem is worsening. He did not feel imaging was necessary. He listened to my lungs, but only did one of the three tests the Chiropractor did. He did not do the two tests that caused them to find the problem. He said my lungs were clear and sent me on my way. I had been coughing stuff up for two days, so I thought there’s a chance I got whatever it was out. This morning my husband checked me again and confirmed that the problem is still in four areas. It’s called “egophony,” which means that when I make the sound “eeeeeeee” it sounds like “aaaaaaaa” in the stethoscope which indicates fluid in the lungs, which can have many causes including pneumonia. X-rays are necessary to assess the problem. If the cause cannot be identified and treated they need to insert a needle into the lungs and drain the fluid.
So now I’m wondering, do I go back to the same doctor, explain all this and hope he even knows how to test for egophony? Do I go back and insist on x-rays? Do I call the state insurance and request a new PCP and risk an even worse experience? Also, my son’s school now wants him to have hearing and vision testing to rule out a hearing problem as a cause for his speech problem, which means I get to deal with another state insured doctor and get the pleasure of telling them he has not received any vaccine ever, and no I would not like any, and no I’m not an imbecile.
Sigh. I don’t know what to do now.