Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I got up early yesterday morning to call my local oncologist to see what he wanted to do about my illness. Of course I only got to speak to a nurse who assured me that she'd pass my query along. Four hours later I still hadn't heard anything, so Chris called and asked what was going on. It turns out that the nurse didn't bother to ask my doctor since he was in with patients. Are you kidding? Chris let her know what he thought of that which might have prompted her to finally ask the doctor what to do. She called a few hours later to let us know that the doctor didn't have anything further to add and that I should finish out my prescriptions. Okay.

At 4PM we got a call from the same nurse and she was in something of a tizzy. It would seem that my transplant doctor called them to light a fire under their collective behinds. My transplant doctor was asking them for copies of my blood work from the hospital. The nurse was scrambling because she claimed that they didn't have it. After having given her the whole story, she still asked me when I went to the ER and which ER I had gone to. I'm pretty certain that they had the numbers since the ER doctor said he was sending them forward. I know my transplant doctor had them because Chris emailed them over. To be honest, I think my transplant doctor was trying to get my local oncologist to leap into action instead of just sitting back and taking things easy.

My absolute neutrophil count is pretty low so my transplant doctor suggested that my local oncologist give me neupogen shots. It just astounds me that my local office is so laissez faire about what's going on. It would be one thing if I had a competent immune system, but I don't. I don't really want to be the victim of a dithering medical practice. Do something or tell my transplant doctor that you don't feel comfortable calling the shots. I've already been instructed that when I'm in Baton Rouge, I should defer to my local oncologist, but I'm starting to find that hard to do because of a seeming lack of interest. A friend of Dixie's was diagnosed with CLL five years ago and just recently relapsed. The stories that I've heard about her oncologist aren't very encouraging, either.

I'm not some hot house flower who needs constant care. I honestly hate the attention. I just need a local doctor who isn't afraid of stepping on toes. Assess the numbers and go from there.

Needless to say we were at the doctor's office bright and early for my shot. I just thought I'd be going in to get it and that would be that. Not so lucky. I had to get looked over by another nurse and I really have to be sympathetic to her since I got the impression that she didn't know what was going on. It was fairly apparent that there had been a break down in communications somewhere. An hour and a half later I got the shot. I now have to go back tomorrow and the next day to get subsequent shots of neupogen. Bring on the bone pain. I was told that if I took claritin in the AM and PM, I would avoid this. I already take claritin-D for my allergies, so this is just a bonus. I'll let you know if it really works.

So I'm aggravated at all of the rigamarole here in town and I'm cranky because I'm sick. My temperature this morning was 101.0 and 99.5 at the doctor's office. I'm feeling a little better and can't wait to be over this.


pj said...

Tell us how you really feel ...

Too bad you have to go back to that office to get your shots. I don't know what's worse, you being exposed to germs or to idiots.

Anonymous said...

I hope you start feeling better soon. Unfortunately, that is how I feel about doctors in Baton Rouge...they all have a laissez-faire attitude about everything. I have only found a handful of doctors here that are not condescending or completely uninterested. I am from Houston and I feel I was able to get much better care there.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about this experience, Ann. Sounds like this doctor doesn't have the best staff. I promise to be a more caring and on-the-ball physician. Back to studying for med school block exams.....at least this has given me a little incentive to work harder and be better!