It's a GAD GAD World
Wednesday, December 31, 2003

So here's what's going on...

The morning after my last post, I cancelled my appointment with my doctor. My next appointment is this upcoming Monday.

Last night I spoke with my one friend who knows my whole story and I told him what happened. He raised an interesting question: What do I have to gain from confronting my doctor, aside from the truth?

The answer: Nothing. Not a damn thing. And I actually have something to lose in that if I discontinued my relationship with him, I would no longer have access to free meds.

So if I want the hamburger, I gotta have the wrapper too. My inclination right now is not to say anything unless for some reason the opportunity presents itself (like if he tries to give me another lecture on "playing by the rules" as he did during my Sybil episode--why the hell should I play by the rules if he can't be bothered to do so?).

In other news, my job at the university is going to end soon. Monday morning I go into work and the Boss from Hell calls me into his office. "[Your colleagues] have been telling me that you are wanting to know when your job will finish." (I later found out from my colleagues that they never said a damn thing to him.) He then goes on to say that that the new mommy will be coming back the 14th, that this will be my last week and asks if I have anything else lined up. I tell him no, that I hadn't been looking because I didn't know when my assignment was going to end. (Not exactly true--I started sending resumes out this past weekend.) Then he decides that he can stretch me out one more week and says my last day will be Friday the 9th. Which conveniently will also be his last day. (I forgot to mention--the dickhead resigned.)

Then I find out from my colleague that we're getting out early on Wednesday and that we have Thursday & Friday off. THAT BASTARD WAS GOING TO CAN ME ON 2 DAYS' NOTICE!!! What a SHITHEAD!!!!!!!!

So later that day the vice chairman comes into the office. (A REALLY nice guy--very intelligent, very fair, and has a healthy dose of common sense.) I tell him that my days are officially numbered, and I ask if I can use him as a reference since my boss will be leaving soon. Not only does he readily and happily agree to be a reference, but he seems very surprised at the news that I'll be leaving soon. "Did your boss talk to the chairman about this?" I reply that I have no idea. He says, "Well, we'll see what we can do about getting you to stay a little longer."

About an hour later, he has a behind-closed-doors conversation with the chair. Then he has a behind-closed-doors conversation with my boss. About 15 minutes later Boss comes into my office and asks: "If you stay here after I leave on the 9th, do you think you can manage things?" I answer yes. (Stupid question, asshole! With you leaving Friday the 9th & Mommy coming back on the 14th, that leaves a whopping 2 days that I have to cope without you! 2 days that I am GREATLY looking forward to, I might add.)

Yesterday I run into Vice again. He asks, "So, did your boss talk to you about how long you're going to stay?" I say no, he only asked if I'd be able to manage without him. Then Vice tells me that I'll be staying at least one more week, possibly two. GO VICE!!! He is DA BOMB!! :)

Monday, December 29, 2003

I think I've been screwed by my doctor.

Shortly after the Sybil episode, I had the opportunity to consult with another psychiatrist. We talked about a lot of stuff. Remember how my doctor pulled me off riluzole because I was showing early signs of liver failure? Well, the early sign was blood work that indicated I had a raised LFT enzyme level. (I have no fucking clue what an LFT enzyme is, I only know that when it's up, there's something funny going on with your liver.)

According to the other doc, a raised LFT in and of itself and in the absence of any other symptoms in an otherwise healthy patient is not necessarily sufficient cause to discontinue a med. It's a yellow light, not necessarily a red light. And when my doctor called me back in August to tell me my LFT was up, he did specifically say that my level wasn't alarmingly high, just higher than normal. And I specifically told him that I was feeling fine at that point (i.e., no other symptoms of liver failure).

Last week when I met with him, I mentioned my conversation with the other doc & what he told me. He didn't seem surprised, as though he already knew that a raised LFT by itself wasn't cause for concern. He then went on to say that he couldn't put me back on riluzole because it was too expensive & I couldn't afford to buy it & he could no longer afford to give it to me.

Which is now leading me to wonder: If he knew that a raised LFT was only a yellow light, why did he pull me off the riluzole?

He told me (or at least did a damn good job of leading me to believe) that I needed to discontinue the drug for medical reasons. But now I'm beginning to think that it was for financial reasons, & he just used the raised LFT as an excuse.

Ideally, all treatment decisions should be based on medical criteria. I understand that sometimes treatment decisions have to be made based on financial criteria instead. It's an unfortunate fact of life. But to lead a patient to believe one thing when it's in fact another is downright dishonest.

I have an appointment scheduled with him tomorrow (or today, if you wanna get technical about it). I'm debating whether I should cancel and reschedule. I want and need to confront him on this issue, and it may result in me terminating my professional relationship with him, but I'm also wondering if I should take some more time to think about it.

Wanna know why I hate doctors? Wanna know why I don't trust them? THIS is why. In the end, they don't give a damn about their patients. They just do what they want and who cares if the patient gets screwed as long as their asses are covered.

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