It's a GAD GAD World
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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