Friday, April 26, 2013

A Doctor Who Trusts Me - sort-of

Ever since I got hit by that car, I’ve been seeing far too many doctors. Collar bone repair, and check-ups. Hip replacement. And check-ups. Cancer testing and surgeries. And check-ups. 

At the one-year point, my collar bone was declared healed.  My hip replacement is an experimental model so I have to go back every year for 7 years.  It is healed. They’re just concerned about possible problems.

When my mastectomy reached the one-year point, I expected to be set free.  But NO!  The surgeon wanted me to come in every 6 months for the next 5 years.  Why? I asked.  He told me that GPs and Gyns don’t do good breast exams.  So, I asked, What can you do that I don’t do? I found the lump.

He was in a hurry. I’d already waited an hour to see him and he had a waiting room full. Finally, he said, I won’t be insulted if you don’t come back. I have plenty of patients.  Then he offered to be my second opinion if I find something I want checked by professional hands.   Hurray!

Just to prove he is a standard doctor (after making this non-standard offer) he bugged me again about getting reconstruction.   I find the idea of more surgery repulsive and the prospect of a bag of salt water under my chest muscles is disgusting.  And he tried to push tamoxifen or aromitase inhibitors.  I reminded him that there is no longevity advantage and they only reduce my chance of getting cancer again in the other breast by 1.5%.  He tried saying these drugs are recommended and well-tolerated.  I told him I don’t think very many women would take them if they knew how tiny the benefit is and how horrible the common side-effects are.  He gave up. Hurray again!

I think there is something wrong with our medical system if doctors are pushing drugs without giving out the information I found on the web.  It is up to each person to decide which drugs s/he wants to take.  I think doctors should give out the information that I found on the web – not just recommend a drug because it is “recommended.”

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