*this post mentions poop. if you are uncomfortable reading about poop or the smell of poop well, you probably shouldn’t have read this sentence….oops. Really this is as bad as it gets so if you’ve gotten this far, you’ll be okay.
The past few days I’ve been a big poopy pants. No really. I’ve had some kind of bug that had me running to the bathroom constantly. I’ve been trying to loose weight but this was not the way I planned. I’m sure most of you can relate.
What most of you can’t relate to is how this virus affected the rest of me, namely my vestibular system. When something like this hits me my vestibular system seems to think it needs to attack me too. I was suddenly having vertigo while fighting a vicious virus, well poop. Running to the bathroom with the room spinning can be a challenge. (thanks hubby for all the help, sorry about the smell.)
Any kind of stress can cause a person with Meniere’s to have more vertigo. When my stress levels rise there is a strong likelihood I will have vertigo. When my body is under stress there is even a greater likelihood that I will have vertigo. A virus will often have my head spinning. If I don’t have vertigo when I am stressed at the very least my balance will be more compromised than usual…yes even more than usual, it really is possible!
What can I do? When I have a virus there isn’t much I can do about reducing my stress levels, but I can try. I practice deep breathing exercises, not only does this reduce stress, it helps reduce nausea. I sleep as much as possible. When your sick sleep is a good thing. Really there isn’t a lot I can do, so when the vertigo comes I ride it out the way I do every vertigo attack and hope it isn’t going to be a bad one. Luckily, the attacks I had during this virus were not very bad. As long as I stayed calm, practiced mindfulness, and relaxed as much as possible I was able to get through it with as little extra stress to my body as possible. This was very important, as I was really sick.
I’m pretty darn lucky that I have a great hubby to help take care of me when things like this happen. REALLY LUCKY!
Now it’s time to catch up on life. What’s up with you?
I’ve started this post at least 4 times….how to explain my diet and why it has changed without telling you my whole history with food and health.
Let’s try to put it in a as few words as possible. Years ago I had a lot of pain and health issues including Gastrointestinal (GI) issues that no one could really explain. They gave me lots of labels and none really fit. Eventually I found out I was “slightly” allergic to wheat, so I quit eating it. I felt better. I decided to stop eating gluten all together. For many reasons. That’s not what this post is about though…so to make this shorter I’ll leave that there.
I also have migraines, gastritis and irritable bladder…all of these require me to be picky about certain things I eat. For instance, I can’t have caffeine, red wine, I have to be careful about chemicals in foods, acidic and spicy foods….all kinds of things. Even my beloved dark chocolate can cause me trouble. (I am allowed small amounts. So I savor it.)
What else do you ask? I have Meniere’s disease as you all know. With that comes a low salt diet. I also have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. And last but certainly not least, I have Fructose Malabsorption. I was going to try to explain this here, but again….trying to make it as short as possible, so I found that Wikipedia really did a good job explaining this, so just click on the word and it will take you there and you can read all about it. After being diagnosed with Fructose Malabsorption I had to really change my diet, it was hard. I was put on a diet called low FODMAPs.
I love the description of FODMAPs Kate Scarlata gives on her blog. Check it out. FODMAPs Basics.
Here is the list of foods I was given, what I could eat, what I couldn’t eat, how much of this and that…..I never got this right and found out some of it I still couldn’t eat.
So why did I still need to change? As I said…I couldn’t get it right! I’ve been following Kate Scarlata’s blog for a long time. She is a Registered Dietitian and a huge advocate and authority on the low FODMAP diet. She knows her stuff. So when she worked on a book, a diet book no less, that was based on low FODMAPs I was intrigued. I wondered, why a diet book. But I looked at it and found, this will help me. This book could help a lot of people.
Kate says, “21 Day Tummy is a plan designed for the person with digestive symptoms that also needs to lose weight BUT if you want to just enjoy the amazing recipes and learn more about gut bacteria, inflammation, belly fat and how that all connects to your health…I think it’s a great read with excellent science for just about everyone!” and I agree.
This book starts off with a very scaled down version of the low FODMAP diet. It has now grains in the first 5 days. It does have potatoes. You have a Belly Blaster Smoothie for Breakfast every day for a while. I thought this would be torture for me, I have always been a big breakfast person, but even after I was able to start eating other things for breakfast I have stuck with my smoothies. If I eat a “real” breakfast, I normally have a smoothie for lunch. I really like them. They are good, and like a meal in a glass. I have one and I’m not hungry for hours! I do mean HOURS! It’s funny, I turned to Stuart the other night and said, “How come I can have a smoothie for breakfast and not be hungry for hours and have a full dinner and be hungry in less than 2 hours?” He said, “Me too!” Funny huh?
So I have used this diet as an elimination diet. It has fewer foods than the low FODMAPs main list to start. It has great recipes! Everyone knows how tight we have been on money, so I checked this book out of the library 3 times! Then I got a $50 Amazon gift card for my birthday and finally bought it. I also bought the cookbook. We’ve been cooking exclusively out of these books since the beginning of June. However, we have eaten out a few times. Try moving like we have and not eat out a few times. But I have stayed pretty true to the diet.
How has it worked? Wow! I have more energy than I have in so very, very long. My tummy is flatter than I’ve seen it in years. I lost 5 inches in my stomach the first week. When I eat something that doesn’t agree with me I can bloat so much that I will suddenly gain 6-10 inches in my waist, I have measured it. It is so painful! This has stopped. I accidentally got something the other night and was shocked.
I’ve lost 26 lbs since the beginning of June, most of that in June. When I started the diet it started coming off very fast, I’m glad it slowed down, I was getting saggy skin. My body couldn’t keep up with the rapid weight loss. It is still coming off, slow and steady. However, I have lost my “food baby”. Yes that’s what we used to call my tummy. Almost every time I ate, I would suddenly look pregnant. I don’t look that way any more. I still have weight to lose, but my digestion is so much better, and I just feel better.
I had a physical in June, just a few weeks after starting this diet. My triglycerides where in range! They were lower than they have been in 20 years! Yes 20 years! I have weighed much less and been much more physically fit in those years. My doctor was thrilled. My bad cholesterol was a tiny bit high, but just a very tiny bit. Every thing looked really, really good.
Is my diet the catalyst to making me feel sooooo much better. Where my gut is concerned, YES. Has it helped my fatigue, I would say Yes! Does it make me feel good, Yes. When your stomach doesn’t hurt and you aren’t worried about passing gas or running to the bathroom, or if your pants are going to fit after you eat…you feel better. Plus, I’m in smaller clothes. How cool is that? But really, that’s just the icing on the cake. My tummy doesn’t hurt any more. I am having regular poos. I know that what I’m going to eat isn’t going to hurt me. And I love my smoothies. haha Getting some of my figure back is nice, and yes, it is giving me some sexy confidence back. So that is pretty darn special.
Is it helping my headaches? Maybe. Is it helping my dizziness? Maybe. There are too many other factors going on at the same time to be able to tell, if the diet has helped This is not a diet for Meniere’s or Migraines, but I think everything is interconnected, so I’m sure everything I do affects all of me.
I know you are all wondering….what exactly are you eating?
are you really wondering that? I could give you a list of the foods, but without the book to explain things to you, and tell you why certain foods are good for your tummy and why other foods are bad for your tummy….I don’t think it would help that much. I know having the list of foods given to me didn’t help me much at all. But the book really helped. Remember, I just checked it out of the library….3 times….before I bought it. If you, or someone you love, have any tummy troubles, I think it’s worth checking out.
The low FODMAP diet is the diet for people with Fructose Malabsorption, no doubt about it. However, it is also becoming the main diet to treat those with IBS. They are finding that it is also helping those with many other intestinal disorders: IBD…Crohn’s, Colitis….ect. Oh…many people were also raving about having their acid reflux go away. Unfortunately mine didn’t, but as I said, I have gastritis. I need to have another endoscope, that part of my tummy issues didn’t go away. Drat.
The low FODMAP diet is ideally supposed to be followed for 2-6 weeks under the guidance of a registered dietitian or nutitionist, and at that time they will advise you how to introduce foods back into your diet to recognize your personal triggers. This is often hard because there are so few dietitians or nutritionist who are well versed in the low FODMAP diet. Luckily, this is changing as the diet is becoming more understood and well known in this country. The 21-Day Tummy book does have guidelines in the back to help you reintroduce foods to see what may be your personal triggers.
I haven’t been willing to try to add new foods into my diet yet due to all the stress of moving, I will start adding in new foods soon and will hopefully finalize my diet in the near future.
So now you know a little bit more about my diet. If you have questions, feel free to ask.
Next part 3 in the Feeling Better series….Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.
Things haven’t been perfect this week. I did have a night filled with cluster headaches. But I got through it, and since then I’ve been feeling, well, pretty darn good. Until I got this little virus, but I already wrote about that, and I’m grateful that it will run it’s course and I’ll be done with it! Plus I’m very Grateful that it really hasn’t been that bad, a couple of icky days, but that’s about it.
I am so very GRATEFUL that I found something that is helping me with my tummy issues! I found a book that addresses the food issues that I have, but I plan to write a whole post about this, it’s so exciting! And I think it could help others with dietary issues.
I am GRATEFUL:
that I have a new psychiatrist! She is so professional. I’ve only seen her once, but she took a very detailed patient history, discussed all my medications in detail, discussed my concerns, and our future plans. I was very impressed. After the last fiasco with my previous doctor, it is such a relief to find a doctor who is not only professional but enjoys her job.
that I have been on more regular sleep schedule. This is something I haven’t had for a very long time.
I am waking up with more energy. Of course, this is probably because I am on a more regular sleep schedule, but it sure is nice.
I’ve been able to go down stairs every day this week. Most people probably don’t know just how disabled I have been, but tackling the stairs have been a huge task for a long time. Most weeks I’ve been lucky if I’ve made it downstairs one or two days. So making it down stairs every day for a week, that is a great accomplishment!
I have gotten out of the house many times this week! Not only have I made it downstairs every day, but many days I’ve gone out. I went to the grocery store….a HUGE accomplishment! I went for a ride with the top off of the car! I went to the Thrift store and got a new pair of pants. I went and looked at glasses. (I have an eye doctor’s appointment tomorrow, and will need new glasses.) I even went out to eat, this is hard because of all the noise. I’m also proud I went out to eat and stayed true to my diet, I didn’t eat anything that would make my tummy unhappy.
I exercised a little this week….a very, very little…but I did something! Not only did I do a lot more in general, and you can call that a lot more exercise…I know my body is! I did a few yoga poses almost every morning. Just a few. I’m trying to learn to balance more with my eyes instead of relying on my ears so much. So I’m doing some of the standing yoga poses while focusing on a focal point. Maybe it will help. By going out an doing more I’m also working on increasing my stamina.
I didn’t let a virus ruin my week. I was having a really great week, then I caught a virus and suddenly I felt crappy. I thought, am I going to start feeling really bad again? Then I caught myself….Stop thinking like that. I can’t predict the future. And what has been happening has been great, but it doesn’t mean it will continue. I will live in this moment. and I’ll enjoy it. If it’s a bad moment, I know it’s a moment. It’s my moment. And it’s OK. (A note to Laurie at HibernationNow….Yes, I did over do it…You were right! so I’m very tired today…but it was worth it, yesterday I had a a very fun day!)
I realized that even having a virus I still don’t feel as bad as I have felt. No I don’t want to live in the past, but it was a bit of an eye opener when I realized I was lying here sick and I didn’t feel as bad as I have for a lot of the time this past year….heck the past couple of years.
My head hasn’t hurt much at all! As I mentioned above, I had a night of cluster headaches, but since then….my head has been so good to me. There’s a couple of reasons I think this may be, but I’m just grateful that it has happened! I’m sure I’ll have headaches in the future, but to have the relief I feel now….so GRATEFUL.
I made my lunch today all by myself. I cut up my own chicken today, and warmed up my own lunch. Because of my balance issues and sudden vertigo I haven’t trusted myself to use a knife in a long time, at least without supervision. Today I made my lunch with Stuart upstairs.
To hear my husband say, “It’s so nice to be able to do things with you.” Remembering to be in this moment…..
Many illnesses are treated with a cocktail of medications, Bipolar type 1 is not different. For me, I must have a mood stabilizer, an antidepressant, an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety drug), and….I can’t remember if there is anything else. I think that’s it. Right now the mood stabilizer is working. The antidepressant isn’t working, and the anxiolytic is trying hard to work but I have a lot of reason to be anxious. (that’s what my therapist told me on Thursday anyway). Of course, you could say I have a lot to be depressed about too, but I don’t normally let depression take over my life. I’m fighting hard to keep telling myself, “This will get better.”, but it has been a bit overwhelming lately.
The tears, so many tears have fallen. The words, “I’m sorry.” have passed my lips so many times I’ve begun to wonder if I can finish a conversation without saying it. I’ve been told by professionals that I don’t “wallow”. Oh if they could see me some nights, they might just change their minds.
Recently I completely lost control. In a complete panic! I needed to leave. I needed to get away from my husband before I hurt him any longer. I know I’ve become such a burden, I’m not a fun person, I’m worthless, and useless. I wish this wonderful, caring man had never met me.
How could I leave? I can’t drive. Where would I go? I have no money. What could I do? The only answer. Take the dark lady’s hand, I hear her promises to make it all better. To help my husband. To end the pain for both of us. I reach out….and suddenly I stop! NO! This is my illness talking! It will get better. My husband loves me, and if I leave with her, he would be devastated. I can’t hurt him. “NO! my lady I will not leave with you. I’m stronger than you!” … at least for now.
I knew my resolve was weak. I knew I couldn’t trust myself. I grabbed my computer. I searched and searched….I needed an inpatient hospital. Somewhere I could go for just a little while. Somewhere I could be made to not listen to the dark lady beckoning to me with empty promises. I found a listing, I hit on it…..Site Not Found….What??? I went to the next place on the list…it wasn’t an inpatient facility…the next, same thing….again…again! I threw my computer!
I was so livid! And so…..I don’t know….I really don’t remember what happened immediately after that. I know I ended up getting in the bath, (for those who regularly read my blog you will know how odd this is for me, I’ve become quite phobic of the bath due to my vertigo, but in the bath I was.) and my husband joined me. He held me, and we just laid back in the water. I talked, he could only listen. (I can’t wear my cochlear implants in the tub, so even if he talked I wouldn’t have known.) I cried, he held on tighter. I told him everything. He knew most of it already. He did witness it. When we got out of the bath, and readied for bed, I gathered all my medications and gave them to him. I took out 3 pills that I might need during the night, knowing that even if I took the 3 together I would not cause myself harm. I told him to lock them away, until I was better. Only giving me the medications as I needed them. (this happened a few days ago)
My cocktail will be remixed on Wednesday. It will take a while to know if this mixture is working. Until then, I will be cautious. I’m still crying a lot. The words “I’m sorry” are continuously spewing from my mouth. I not only feel sad, angry, lost and riddled with panic….I feel sick. My body feels as if it is fighting off an invader. I keep running a low-grade fever, on and off. I am hot….I am cold. My head, throat, all of me hurts. I had one of the worst asthma attacks I’ve had….ever…yesterday. It scared me….suffocation is terrifying. Once I knew my rescue inhaler was not going to work, we rushed to get the nebulizer up and running. Luckily, I began to feel relief very quickly. A trip to the ER was narrowly avoided.
Yes, I have an emergency plan in place now for my deepest levels of depression. Of course, I have my husband watching my behavior. I have all my medications that could harm me locked away to be given out only at specified times. We have the address and phone number of an emergency psychiatric hospital. At times I am thinking clearly. Other times I feel so engulfed by the depths of depression I cannot imagine a way out, it feels as if I’ve stepped in a tar pit and it is constantly trying to pull me under. I have to keep my mantra in my head….”I know it will get better.” I’ve had problems with my medications before, I KNOW THIS WILL GET BETTER!
The prompt from BlogHer today is “Does blogging bring out your best or worst self?” This was an easy one for me to answer….Blogging definitely brings out the Best of Me!
As any long time reader of my blog knows, I tell all the details of my illnesses, I don’t sugar coat it, but blogging helps me put it all in perspective. The people I’ve met through my blog encourage me, support me, and have made me want to be a better person. A better advocate for those with the same illnesses. A person who doesn’t give up, one who always strives to make life better….even if there is no way to make an illness better.
When I feel down about things, I tell about it here, but by telling it here makes me want to feel better about things. I don’t like it when I feel I’m not handling things well. A friend says that she will “Fake it until she can Make it.”, meaning she will Fake feeling good until she really starts feeling better. We both realized that when we catch ourselves slipping into that dark, sad state, if we try to keep our thoughts positive, we will soon feel more positive. No, it doesn’t alwayswork. But it works enough that I keep doing it, and have noticed a big difference. (I must note here, I do have a mental illness, Bipolar I, therefore sometimes it doesn’t matter how much positive thinking I may do, nothing can help if my medication isn’t working.)
Blogging makes me stretch myself. I think about things I may not normally consider. I dare to write about things I may not have even talked about before. Why? Because I know there are others out there who are going through the same type of things I am, by telling my story, in detail, I might reach someone who really needs to know they are not alone.
Having multiple chronic illnesses has reduced my self-esteem immensely. Through blogging, I now feel I have something to offer, my experiences, and I have found I can write pretty well. No, I’m not the greatest writer, and the way I write may not appeal to everyone, but some people really find my writing interesting and easy to read. I’m thrilled to learn this and hope I can continue to reach those who may benefit from what I’m writing about.
Blogging makes me accountable, it makes me follow through on what I start….most of the time…if I tell my readers I’m trying something, I do it!
One day I decided to start a blog, an on-line journal if you will, to keep up with everything I was going though…..then one day someone took the time to email me about what I had written. She told me how alone she had been feeling, and how my blog had helped her. After that day, each time I write I think about how my words may reach someone who needs to hear just what I’ve written….Yes, blogging brings out the Best of ME!
I read about this a lot, and I wonder about it myself….when we go places, especially to the doctor and we tell the staff that we need special attention to be understood, or to understand….or to walk, ect… Why do we have to say it again, and again, and again!
Why don’t they listen to what we say? It has always bothered me, even before I became as ill as I am, that first you would fill out all the paperwork stating why you are at the doctor’s office, then you have to go over it with the nurse, then again with the doctor….why don’t they just communicate? Do they think I’m lying? “If we ask her the same questions over and over we might get different answers.” Just talk to each other, and listen to your patients, please.
Now that I have issues that must be addressed for me to get what I need from a doctor’s visit, it’s worse. I try to be very understanding about people forgetting that I can’t hear, or that I have balance issues and use a walker, therefore I walk very slowly. I realize that humans take a long time to develop habits, and most nurses and staff I see change a lot, or I don’t go to their office much, under these circumstances I do my best to pleasantly remind them, over and over, that “I can’t hear you, I need you to look me in the face so I can read your lips, and I need you to talk slowly.” They will say they understand, but then they will look at their computer and talk instead of talking to me. Often I will just act like they said nothing to me. My husband will turn and tell me what they said and I will answer, “Oh, I noticed you were speaking but since you weren’t speaking to me I thought you were talking to my husband.” I get a blank look, then a light bulb….OH yeah! She’s deaf. Then they do it right for a question or two, then it goes back to talking where I can not understand. A friend of mine who writes at: Another Boomer’s Blog, says she wants a shirt that says DEAF on the front and STILL DEAF on the back! Yep, Still Deaf. She also has some great posts about this subject, you should really check her out, especially if you have hearing issues.
As I said, I do understand that most people are not used to dealing with people like me. They aren’t used to dealing with the deaf, and they aren’t used to dealing with someone who has to walk slow with a walker, or suddenly sit down because of balance issues. Yes, I have nurses try to show me to my room and just take off and leave me. I just say, “I’ll get there sometime.” If they turn a corner, I sometimes just stop. When they return, I simply tell them, “I didn’t know which way to go, I couldn’t see you.” I really don’t mean to be rude, and I am compassionate, they are used to doing their job one way, and I’m asking them to change. However, what happened to customer service, why are people not mindful of what they are doing….everything they are doing? If a patient comes in, you pay attention to their needs, PERIOD. Just as you should for any person you meet. (you open a door for someone who needs it, you pick up something a child dropped…..you help people out when you see it, why doesn’t this happen all the time? Or am I just assuming most people would treat strangers like that?) We need to pay attention to others. Show love and compassion, why do people often have to be the “squeaky wheel” before they are paid any attention to?
At my otologist’s office I do not accept that the staff is not trained to deal with people who are Hard of Hearing or Deaf. When I check in, they are looking at their computer….these same people have been working with me for over 3 years, I normally check in with the same person, he knows my name, he knows my husband’s name, but he is not trained to deal with a deaf person. He does finally understand, and he moves his mouth more clearly than the other front staff, that’s why I try to check or out with him. But why are they not trained better? I have one nurse who normally works with my doctor, she is a dear sweet person. She really cares. Sometimes she will slip up and speak while not looking at me, but she usually catches it and quickly changes. Also, she will come and get me in the waiting room, the other nurse that calls me back occasionally, just calls out my name. I can’t hear her! Why does it not say in big red letters on my paperwork, DEAF….and any other instructions they may need. Why?
I had a test performed a couple of years ago at a different hospital. I had to check in and I was shocked at how trained the check in person was. I don’t know if everyone there was as great as she was, but she said they all had training on how to deal with certain situations. She spoke clearly, looked at me, marked it on my chart that I could not hear and would need assistance. My husband was with me, but that didn’t make a difference, they treated me like I was the patient and I had needs, they didn’t treat me like my husband was supposed to pick up the slack for me. This hospital assigned a volunteer to walk me to my testing area, to stay with me until I was called back, she escorted me to the room I was to be in and explained to the person performing the tests about the situation. You could have blown me over with a feather!
So now, I ask why? Why don’t people listen to us? (no matter what your special need) Why aren’t more people trained like the staff at the other hospital I went to? Why aren’t we all more compassionate towards others?
Yes, people should understand when we need special arrangements so we can be less disabled and more independent. Not only that, but we need to get the same care any other person would, that is our right.
On the other hand, we also need to give people some slack, no I don’t mean the whole rope…just help them learn. Think about the person who is treating you this way, how have they been trained? How hard would it be for you if you were in their place to suddenly have to do everything different from you are used to? What if this person has just dealt with an emergency and they are still shaken up but trying to do their job without letting you see it? There are just so many things that can contribute to why someone isn’t understanding about what we are going through. Don’t get upset….at least not at first….realize, it’s not about you, it’s the fact that they are human and humans are not used to change, and we simply don’t get it all of the time. Try to pleasantly remind them what you need.
My husband used to always step in and try to make things right, but I want to understand the doctor and nurses myself, I don’t want to need him to always be there….plus, I’m not sure he always remembers everything they say. So I started telling him to be quiet unless he was asked something, or if he needed to ask or input something (he is my caregiver after all), but if he talks he will have to stand by the doctor so both of them can face me, so I can hear both of them at the same time. No more him beside me, and the doctor in front of me. There are types of interpreters that I can request to help me at the hospital or doctor’s office, I will explain these in a later post, and why I haven’t taken advantage of them.
I have found that simply not answering, or acting like I’m lost because I can’t keep up, has helped. Just asking again doesn’t seem to do it most of the time, but if you make it harder for the person who is learning how to deal with you, then they are more likely to change their ways faster.
Of course, some people will never learn.
and often the people closest to us are the hardest people to understand a lot of this….but that’s for another post.
Why do a lot of doctors and/or their staff think they are doing patients a favor by seeing them? We are their customers, we are paying them, there are plenty of other doctors in the same field; we do not have just one choice! (I do recognize that some in rural areas do often have just one choice, I grew up in an area like that. We had to drive 2 hours for me to see an orthopedist, but still, they need to treat us with respect.)
I am so tired of going to a doctor’s office only to wait way past my appointment time, then I’m rushed through my appointment, and when I leave I feel like I wasn’t seen as a person, I was seen as dollar signs.
I have felt this way too many times. Often, I only feel this way with the doctor’s staff. I’ll love the doctor, but their staff is rude and inconsiderate.
I can give you many examples of this, but I will just give you 2 that have happened to me recently. I wish I could say these were isolated events, but unfortunately they aren’t.
Recently I was looking for a new gynecologist. The last time I went to my old GYN I had trouble with billing (during my annual visit she found something, I had to go to her office to give me a paper on it, I was subsequently sent a bill for an office visit…What?? Even if I was to be charged this, why was I not told in the office?), and feeling like she wasn’t listening to me or answering my questions. But, this is a different story. I asked my migraine specialist if she had a recommendation for a GYN who would work with my hormones to possibly help with my migraines, and who knows more about menopause than delivering babies. She recommended someone who sounded perfect. My husband made an appointment, unfortunately I was not feeling well the day before and knew I would not feel well enough the next day. He canceled before the 24 hour required notification, and rescheduled. The next time I woke up with a vicious migraine, and soon had an asthma attack. No way I could make it. Stuart called and explained, they said they understood and would not charge the late cancellation fee. He decided to wait to make the appointment again. In a few days he called to make an appointment, and set one up. The person making the appointment said that they realize his wife has health problems but she really needs to make sure and keep this appointment. Stuart wasn’t happy with this, “You can’t say you understand and then follow up with something like that.”……Then he received a call from this doctor’s office saying that the doctor would not see me. He told Stuart that we had canceled 3 times with less than 24 hours notice. Yes, my husband was livid. He got off of the phone and told me about it. He then called the office back and asked to speak to the office manager. First, he told the person he wasn’t upset with him personally, but he was upset, so please don’t take what he was going to say personally. (he is so thoughtful, I would have been upset with him, the man is the office manager, he needs to take care of these things.) Stuart then complained about the way he was spoken to, and proceeded to explain that they lied. He explained what was said, and what the truth was, and also said it wouldn’t matter now because I would not go to a doctor who allowed their staff to do such things.
Unfortunately for me, she was the only gynecologist I have found who is just a GYN and not an obstetrician too. But I did find one who practices Integrative Medicine, and works with balancing hormones. I will be seeing her in 2 weeks. Let’s hope things go better at this office.
The other incident happened at my General Practitioners office. I went to see my doctor about my asthma, I was still having a VERY hard time. I walked in the office (with the aid of my spiffy walker) and the perfume smell hit me in the face! I started to cough more and wheeze. I was having a very hard time breathing. I asked the front desk if there was somewhere else I could wait because of my asthma….I explained I couldn’t breathe with all the perfume in the waiting room…and it was obvious! She got all snippy and said no. So I said I would have to leave. Then she said, “well only if a room is empty” and she went to check. I felt like she took forever. I could tell I was making people in the waiting room uncomfortable. I had to use my inhaler 5 times just so I could catch my breath. Then she comes out and gets me. I was a mess, and ended up blacking out in the exam room, luckily my doctor and Stuart saw how pale I was getting and got me on the table lying down and helped me before I hit the floor. My doctor was not happy. (I must say that since this incident the staff there have been much more supportive. I think my doctor said something to the front desk. Plus, I think we have been lucky to talk to staff who are much more likely to help.) Now when I go there I wait in the hall until they can take me straight back. Luckily, my doctor is in a building that has a huge hallway.
Do others notice that you get poor customer service from the health care industry?
Yes, I have had some awesome care, and awesome customer service. I have some nurses and doctors that make me feel like family. But, it amazes me how many times I’ve gone to a doctor and felt like I wasn’t wanted there….that I was a bother. (once I actually had a doctor, who I was referred to, ask me why I was there??? Ummm, because my doctor told me I needed to come see you. This was after she left me in the room with the door open and talked to a friend in the hall for half an hour. She left a lasting impression on me, and not a good one. I’m often very nervous now about going to a specialist now, thinking they may wonder….why am I there? I’ve never been so embarrassed or pissed off (well I’ve probably been that pissed off, but boy was I ticked, and for some odd reason, my feelings were really hurt.)
Please note, I do understand that the staff at many doctor’s offices deal with a lot of strife, but every patient is different and should be treated that way. I’ve worked in customer service, and I would be ashamed if I treated anyone the way I have been treated at some health care provider’s offices.