3 Reasons to Find a New Doctor

3 Reasons to Find a New Doctor
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The more visits I have with a physician, the harder it is to cut ties. Which is why, between breaths behind a face mask, I was relaying my complaint again.

It was a loop I had been stuck in since summer. Driving to the appointment that December morning, I hoped for change. I left instead with the same prescribed treatment for a condition that was getting worse.

Leaving a physician is easy when you haven’t spent a lot of time in their care. However, the decision gets complicated when you must sort out whether or not their methods are at fault. 

I haven’t shied away from healthcare during the pandemic. Even so, doctor shopping isn’t high on the list of things I want to do. But all of the familiar signs are there that it’s time to explore other options. 

The one-track mind

Sarcoidosis isn’t the only thing that must be taken into account when I’m being treated. More than half of us with this disease have at least one comorbid condition, according to a retrospective analysis of 1,779 patients. I’m in that 54% of the sarcoidosis population. 

When I seek remedies and my various health issues aren’t factored in, problems usually arise, just as they do when doctors choose to go it alone and ignore recommendations from others involved in my care. 

Stubborn as a mule

Some practitioners refuse to veer from the course they’ve dictated, even when it’s apparent other measures should be considered. That point arrives for me when I start getting worse, not better. 

Last month wasn’t the first time I expressed concerns. Being handed the same script as in past consultations made me feel like I had wasted my time and money. 

Nothing new here, move along

Another red flag for me is when physicians rely on a single diagnostic test. And when efforts are failing, they don’t order more thorough radiological exams, bloodwork, or anything else to provide additional information. 

I wish I hadn’t dragged this problem into the new year, with even more potentially contagious strains of the coronavirus out there. My mistake was trying to avoid having to start over at square one with someone new. 

It’s possible that change still won’t bring the relief I’ve sought these past several months. But my long journey to get diagnosed with small fiber neuropathy taught me that sometimes it takes multiple efforts to get it right. 

***

Brighter side: We all could use a break from bad news right now. So, I’ll be closing my columns with a roundup of positivity until we are able to say goodbye to masks, hug our loved ones, and leave our homes without fear.

  • Paid in full: A business owner’s kindness helped make the holidays brighter for more than 150 families in Gallatin, Tennessee. The individual donated more than $17,500 to utility companies to pay off overdue accounts, according to the Gallatin News.
  • Let it snow: Busch Beer is running a U.S. promotion that takes a $1 off its brews for every inch of snow that falls in your state. The rebates are available in 31 states and Washington, D.C., the Patriot-News reported. 

***

Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.

Athena, a former journalist and Pennsylvania native, was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in 2002. She’s admittedly addicted to books, Marvel, and football. She tackles life with humor, passion and curiosity, and hopes to reach others through her writing.
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Athena, a former journalist and Pennsylvania native, was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in 2002. She’s admittedly addicted to books, Marvel, and football. She tackles life with humor, passion and curiosity, and hopes to reach others through her writing.
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  • exercise, COVID-19 vaccine, awareness month, COVID-19, gym, events, daylight saving time, Rare Disease Day, symptoms, victories, slowing down, doctor, health checklist, medical appointments, exercise, holidays, medicare open enrollment, healthy streak, medical marijuana, lung care, insecurities, employment, managing a disease

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9 comments

  1. Mary C Cushing says:

    Indeed, finding your way to a knowledgeable doctor is a critical step. My parting of the ways came after a positive biopsy. I was told wait and see. In response to my request for referral to a specialist nearby whom I had found by reading on pubmed, he refused, said I seemed upset, gave me a rx for an antidepressant, and said to make an appointment in 3 months. I got to the specialist myself and he found advanced cardiac sarcoidosis. I was on my way to a successful heart transplant.

    • Athena Merritt says:

      Wow, I’m speechless! The behavior of some physicians is truly appalling. I’m relieved to hear you received the care you needed in time. Thank you so much for sharing such an eye-opening comment, which serves as a warning to us all.

  2. stephen fiege says:

    I had the same problem with doctors since 8 years old.I studied and proved by myself small fiber in 2008 which had caused growths in my spine and hips so I could barely walk and hold my head up without braces.I also had sinus surgery the same year.In 2010 I had strep that went septic. I thought for sure they would know what to do now but nope with sores everywhere and feet the size of footballs they sent me home over and over.I even had to figure that out on my own. At least this time they didn’t say it was all in my head like all the times before. I later in 2015 connected Sarcoidosis to the small fiber and the sores from before.In 2019 I had my colon removed due to failure from nerve damage.It took many doctors before I found one that would do what I asked.She was the best. The same year I had an ICD put in also just for safety. Not one doctor had a clue what to do and still don’t to this day.I can’t take any of the steriods ect anymore it just makes me worse due to other problems I have. I was suppose to get IVIG this year but due to the virus I have put that off.I have been asking for that since 2008.They don’t know if it will even help. I said you didn’t think any of the other things would work and I am still here. Now I know insurance just won’t pay for many of these tests and drugs which makes doctors just push you out the door with no answers. The doctors today just take care of one thing wrong and if you have many things wrong they are lost due to the screwed up health care we have here in the usa. This Sarcoidosis is a very bad disease that will take you apart bit by bit and piece by piece so don’t let any doctor tell you other wise.

    • Athena Merritt says:

      Thanks so much for leaving a comment. You’ve given me a lot to think about (and explore) in terms of my own treatment. It’s horrible what you’ve gone through to get treated. I’ve also encountered problems with insurance. I hope the road ahead is much easier for you. Best wishes.

  3. Gail Talbert says:

    Thank you for all the information. My doctors have completly dropped me they do not answer my calls or ever call me. i am afraid and only help myself. it is ashamed how your only a number and only worth a dollar. Shame on you Strong Memorial Hospital supposed to be the BEST {NOT}

    • Athena Merritt says:

      You’re welcome! Thank you for taking the time to reach out. I understand what you’re feeling. I had a physician once that not only wouldn’t call back but wouldn’t return my MRI images and reports.

  4. kim says:

    i am having lumps by my ankles and now one on my thumb. my sister had this and i think my mother did. they both passed away from this, i think. what type of doctor do you see the lumps?

    • Athena Merritt says:

      Hi Kim, unfortunately I’m not sure what to tell you because it’s not a symptom I have had before. I usually start with my PCP when I don’t know which doctor is the right one for treatment because she will point me to the specialists I need to see. Whatever you do, be sure to see someone soon. My heart goes out to you for your losses. I hope the days ahead get easier. Best wishes.

    • stephen fiege says:

      I am sorry for your loss.Do you have good insurance? Did your mother and sister see anyone for there lumps? If so get there old records and see what they can tell you. If not try a dermatologist and have them do a biopsy on the lump at the very least. Tell the doctor you think 2 other people in your family have possible died due to these lumps. That should help you get the biopsy done instead of the doctor just guessing what they are and possible being wrong.Good luck.

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