Losing 20 Pounds in 30 Days: Part 6 — Why I Fired My Doctor
Continued from Losing 20 Pounds in 30 Days: Part 5 — Are Your Parents to Blame for Weight Gain?
So why did I fire my doctor? First, my apologies for taking so long to come back to this blog to continue this series, but between the new job, tons of overtime, and bestest friend, my time’s been very limited. But as I promised many of you, I will explain fully why I left my family doctor–fired him–and why I believe anyone who encounters the same should fire his or her physician as well. And just so you know I’m not totally down on classical medicine, I have since found a new doctor who said all the right things, did all the right things, and is monitoring my health rather than dictating my lifestyle for the rest of my life.
(Photo at right: Down 22 pounds as of 11 March…and dropping)
I decided to fire my doctor for essentially four reasons:
1. He didn’t believe me.
Look, I didn’t have to go to the doctor. No one dragged me there or carried me or convinced me to go. I went because something didn’t make sense and I wanted his help to prevent me from becoming very sick or for illness to progress to the point where it could not be reversed.
When I told my doctor that I was gaining weight while doing P90X doubles–and that it was not all muscle but that I was also gaining fat–he did not believe me. The best he could muster was to tell me to “keep doing what you’re doing.” The second thing he didn’t seem to believe was when I told him it didn’t make sense to me because not only was I exercising hardcore for around 15 hours a week, but also I had been “eating clean.” Now, granted, I didn’t realize there were hidden sugars in the healthy vegetables I’d been eating or all sorts of unpronounceable ingredients in my favorite Low-Carb Cauliflour dish as my favorite healthy restaurant. Still, I had been eating well-balanced, healthy meals and keeping my calories at 1500, even with two major workouts a day. He seemed to have this image of me as sitting on my butt all day, eating bon-bons and lard, and joyously wasting his time with lies about diet and exercise.
To put it mildly, his lack of belief in me really pissed me off. This was the same doctor’s office that forced me to pay for a routine pregnancy test six months earlier, even though it was physically impossible for me to be pregnant–it was a few months after I’d ditched The Toad and the only way I wanted some lying dirtbag anywhere near me was if I had a baseball bat in my hands to thwap him upside the head with. Not being believed is one of my hot buttons, going back to my childhood when I was attacked by a vicious dog and was told I certainly must have provoked him. How could I expect my physician to help me find the problem when he didn’t believe what I had to say?
(Note: My new doctor thought it was unusual but believed me. To him, the fact that I was getting lots of good exercise, eating right, and still gaining weight meant we needed to investigate further. Well, exactly!)
2. He was too quick to prescribe a pill rather than investigate more alternatives.
He skimmed over a three-year-old test, one shortly before I began my diet and exercise regimen, where I had some borderline results as a result of bloodwork with another doctor. Based on those results, he told me that I would be seeing a lot of him because I was most likely diabetic and would be on meds for the rest of my life, particularly Metformin. I asked if we should get an updated tests or if there were alternative we might investigate, but he waved me off, giving me instead a prescription for a glucometer and telling me to come back in two weeks, and to expect long-term care.
(Note: My new doctor insisted on getting updated tests, including an A1C test, which showed that I am NOT diabetic. He did offer to put me on Metformin if I didn’t get the results I wanted, but also told me about the side-effects my first doctor did not mention and that I don’t need it to stay within normal numbers. By the way, my last three blood sugar test strips were 81, 89, and 91, and my blood pressure was 106/64.)
3. He blew off my questions.
If there’s any hot button that gets to me more than having my integrity questioned, it’s being ignored. When I began asking him legitimate questions about my lab tests, he ignored my questions or side-stepped them–or, when I asked about a mistake his office had made, my fears were trivialized. Not allayed. Trivialized. Discounted.
If my doctor cannot or will not answer simple questions and expects me to just “trust” him, when he doesn’t trust me enough to believe me when I tell him what my diet and exercise are like, then no. Trust is a two-way street. My doctor works for ME, and I’m paying to get answers, not to be blown off when I ask a legitimate question.
4. He failed to send me for IMPORTANT follow-up tests.
While asking questions about my lab results and an ultrasound from six months before, I peered over his shoulder because he was being evasive. They’re MY lab reports and I paid for them, so I expect to know what’s in them, not just that “they’re normal” or “they didnt’ find anything significant.” This experience, if nothing else, taught me to get copies of my test results for myself, and my new doctor volunteered my first set of results from tests he’d ordered.
It was fortunate for me that I saw the last paragraph of the ultrasound results and stopped him before he could move on. I was particularly interested in the sentence that said I needed to have a follow-up scan in 6 months, and it was–on that day–6 months since he’d had the test results. The results were non-conconclusive, so they needed me to return in 6 months to see if suspicious spots had grown (an indicator of cancer which could be treated immediately) or not (benign). I had not heard from his office so I had followed-up myself and been told that nothing was found when in fact, something WAS found and I needed a re-test to rule out cancer. The re-test came back showing no growth (good!), but I was livid. I would never have gone for a second test had I not asked about it while reading over my doctor’s shoulder. What if it HAD been cancerous? I would have lost valuable months of treatment, or it may even have been too late by the time I could feel the spots.
That was the last straw in a really disappointing doctor’s visit. I was lucky. Lucky that the results turned out to be good instead of dire. Lucky that my doctor was having such a bad day with me–or else I would not have left him and I would stil be 26 pounds heavier (yes, as of today, I’m down 26 pounds, thanks to what happened next that changed my life), and I never would have left him for a new doc who is really on the ball, very positive, and truly understand what I mean about the “sick care” style of medicine that is practiced here rather than real “health” care.
My next health-related post will explain the rather bizarre turn of events that got me started on my detox program.