Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Taking Charge of My Health

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I am a bit of a health/nutrition/diet junkie.  I love the topic.  Sometimes I think I went into the wrong field until I realize that being a mom is the perfect line of work for learning about the body, how it works, what will feed it, and what will keep it healthy.  I have been living a life that is very active in my own health care for over 7 years now.  Unfortunately, I had grown an unhealthy distrust of doctors in the process.  In my mind, they had become too narrow-minded and unwilling to think outside the box.  Imagine the humbling I have gone through as I have dealt with the issues around my arm.

I spent weeks trying to find a solution with my chiropractor.  This was an effort to avoid the doctors office.  It worked out well because it gave Underdog some time to meet our new family doctor.  He's great and fairly willing to think outside the box.  After several weeks and going no where with my chiropractor, I made an appointment with my GP.  It took him all but 10 minutes to determine that he couldn't help me.  He was nice enough about it and I appreciate his willingness to admit he couldn't help.  So he referred me to neurologist.  Things started going down hill for me there.

First of all, I didn't get to the see the great doctor he referred me to.  They stuck with the next available doctor.  Now, my neurologist is a nice and friendly lady.  She's run all the appropriate tests and helped me understand that there is a chance they may find nothing wrong.  All my muscles and nerves are strong.  There is no sign of MS or anything else neurological that she can see on the surface.  She's run my blood work, which came back nearly perfect (just still have a slight case of anemia.)  She ran me through a test that shocked my arm and poked my muscles and all looks great.  In the meantime, my arms seems to go in and out of being great and not so great.  I told her that at my last appointment.  I could almost tell you for certain that the good and bad go along with food that I eat but I haven't had time to slow down and see what food is causing it.  In the end, she decided that she wanted to see me back in one month and send me for an MRI.

So now we come to the phone call today.  The imaging office called to make the appointment.  She got me set up and then had to ask a series of questions.  Most of the answers were "no" until she got to the one that usually applies to me:  "Are you pregnant or nursing?"  Since I am quite proud of the fact that I overcame my inability to breastfeed I proudly said "yes."  She proceeded to give me instructions.

"The order from the doctor is for you to have the contrast so it's important that you have enough expressed milk to feed the baby for two days.  After the MRI, it will be important for you to pump and dumb your milk."

Umm. . . . . . .

Talk about being taken back.  This was NEVER explained to me.  That would be mistake number 1 that my doctor made.  As someone who is highly involved in the healthcare of my family, she should have taken time to talk me through this test.  It's very clear in my chart that I am nursing.  Why ask the question to be in the chart if you aren't going to apply it when treating patients?  She should have known and been able to talk me through all of this.  She would have found out that I don't OWN a breast pump.  She would have KNOWN that I breastfeed EXCLUSIVELY and give NO BOTTLES.  I have always done this.  I see no need to bog myself down with pumping when I am available to nurse and this time really only lasts a little over a year.  Underdog agrees with me.

I told the lady on the phone that I needed to just cancel the appointment until I could work things out with my doctor.  She offered to contact her for me and see if she can send a re-order.  She was very nice and very patient with my concerns in all this.  It took a little while for the doctor to call her back but she did.  Let's just say plainly. . .I AM NOT HAPPY.

The new order is that I can take the MRI without the contrast.  Great.  BUT if the contract is needed I will HAVE to go back for another one with contrast.  Excuse me?  That sounded like a a threat in some ways.  Now, I don't know if it was a threat but it was the straw that broke the camels back in my book.  How useless it will be for me to go do an MRI that may or may not work and possibly end up right back where I am at.  My baby's health is very important to me.  I will not put it on the line for procedures that I am not so certain I need in the first place.  So, I will be calling my doctor's office tomorrow to let them know that I am opting out of the MRI.  I know that won't go over well as I am supposed to go back in one month to go over the results.  But I just can't do it.  She's even leaning more toward the side that there is nothing wrong with me.  So I am going to err of that side of it and not put myself through a procedure that isn't necessary and could potential harm my little girl.

This is why I distrust doctors so much.  For one thing, they don't consider the ramifications of their orders.  My case is not life threatening.  I am smart enough to know that if something more serious were going on then I need to go through all this.  But it's not.  And I think that sometimes doctors don't consider that their actions will have an effect on the lives of their patients.  Secondly, I think it's irresponsible not to really talk to a patient about what is expected before giving the orders.  She did ask me if I have questions but how was I supposed to know what all this entailed?  The last MRI I had I just laid there with my eyes closed for 30 minutes.  I think I took a nap.  LOL!!!  So, once again, my experiences with doctors proves out my ideas and thoughts they are simply stuck in a box.  So I am back to square one:  self-diagnoses.  Underdog is behind me in all this and I am thankful for that.  I am also very thankful that this things has proven to be really nothing at all.  It's been a sanctifying time for me and I am most thankful for that.  

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