Monday, July 18, 2016

It Is The Doctor's Responsibility To Give Patients Information

I understand doctors are busy. They see patients and deal with patients' prescription refills. I know they have heaps of paper work to go through to get paid for the insurances to pay for meds or pay their fee. 

However, I believe if they order a test or x-ray it is their responsibility to give the patient results that are clear and complete.  If they have their nurse call he should tell her exactly what to tell the patient in detail.

I understand most patients don't want to know or won't understand it clearly. But it is their right have a choice.

For over a year I've had neck pain that has gradually radiated to my back, arms and legs.The pain has worsen and numbness, tingling and weakness has developed.

Last year when my dad had his bad accident, my awesome physician said it just might be stress and put me on Baclofen but it wasn't for me. I let time pass taking hot showers and swallowing Ibuprofen to ease the pain.

Recently  I went back to my family physician and he decided to do a MRI of my neck. It showed degenerative disc disease which is normal for my age but after discussing further he referred me to a orthopedic doctor.

The good patient I am, I obeyed and saw the orthopedic doctor. He informed me that most pain and symptoms I've been having usually comes from the neck. However, to cover all the bases he ordered an MRI of my back (since I'm not your ordinary patient.) What is minor for "usual" patients, it is worse for me. It's been my life for 53 years.

The nurse called me a day later after my MRI and told me the orthopedist decided to send me to a orthopedic surgeon because the problem is coming from the neck. I asked her for more information but she didn't have any.

I was furious. But what can you do? If I see the orthopedic doctor again I will have a discussion with him.  

I've been fretting over what could be going on.  When I talked to the orthopedic doctor I was adamant that surgery would be my last option. I am (probably unfounded) paranoid about someone doing surgery on my neck and back.

Since the office has a patient portal I was able to see the orthopedist's diagnosis and it is scaring me. I looked up every diagnosis although I knew something about all of them. This fear would be less if I was given more information besides "it is the neck." I knew that already.. "SIGH"

Have anyone had this happen to you? Has your doctor given you meds, instructions or referrals without a full explanation?

Until next time..

Word Count: 459


  1. I am and will be writing a book that would make your skin crawl from all of the lack of information that was either not given or deliberately withheld in the care of my husband.

    Remember and keep in mind that it's easier to pass the patient on, especially one who asks questions. For all the brouhaha about patients being informed and asking questions, most doctors hate it.

    Having said that, I watched my husband collapse and pass out from a degenerative neck. He ended up having a C4-5-6 corpectomy, stabilized with rods and plates from C2 to T1. That means they took out the front part of his neck and replaced it with donor bone, fused the back with bone from his hip. The 12-hour surgery went very well and he was able to move everything. It was the after care and medical mistakes that ended up making him a quadriplegic. Since he would have been paralyzed from the neck down if he had not had the surgery, we had no choice.

    Get a second opinion. Research your doctor/surgeon. Listen to your gut. Sometimes your gut is better than what you're being told by the "professional". Network with people who have been through the same thing. Have an advocate with you every moment possible. One who knows what's going on.

    But never threatened to sue the doctor. They'll drop you like a hot pancake. And you will be blackballed.

    Joanie from Randal's Reunion

    I have no idea what Closing Down (Google) is or where it came from.

    1. Oh hey Joanie! I wasn't sure if you were a scammer or not.I sometimes get those. That's odd that you don't know where Closing Down came from. Darn internet! You never had a google account? I would look into that.

      First, thank you for sharing your story and giving me advice. I promise you I've been through many surgeries and have asked questions. Depending on what the doctor says I told Randal that I may get a second opinion. I know not to sue the doctor. I was a nurse years ago and all my life I've dealt with medical issues and doctors so I'm aware of what not to do but thank you so much for the reminder.

      I am so sorry about your husband. That's one thing the doctor said. Although I have no swelling if it does occur it could be fatal or paralyze me. Once I know what's going on I'll be okay.

      Thanks for dropping by :)

  2. If I can be of any help or give you any information or pointers from our experiences, please let us know. Just know that you are not alone and you are not alone in questioning the medical community.

    1. I certainly will do that Joanie. Thanks!

  3. It is very frustrating to not be given the whole story. I'm guessing that the doctor didn't want to say more because he didn't know exactly what was going on. However, he could have said that with a few details

  4. Yea i think so too but I'm one of those patients who want to know. I will be writing a letter to him suggesting what his office could do better :) Thanks for dropping by :)


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