I'm sick. I am scared. I wish I knew the culprit, but the diagnosis hasn't completely shown itself yet. I worry that I may be facing an impending battle. The doctor said, "I think it could be one of three things, but none of them are good." Not exactly something you want to hear. Of course, this doctor left a lot to be desired, both professionally and personally, so I am trying to keep her warning in perspective.
At lunch on Thursday, I suddenly became extremely thirsty. I drank 6 glasses of tea in an attempt to quench my thirst, but the need to consume liquid didn't subside. Unfortunately, the tea consumption led me to leave the restaurant with a distended stomach.
My stomach was so swollen that Scott felt the need to take a picture. We put the photo up on my sister's Facebook page, sure that she would think it was an announcement of pregnancy. We were waiting for her response, and I was waiting to pee. She called that evening and, as anticipated, she thought that I was expecting. The urine never materialized.
I continued to be bloated on Friday, and my desire to drink never subsided. I lost my appetite, and I was experiencing brief periods of dizziness and blurry vision. I was hoping that the symptoms would subside, and that I would be able to use the bathroom.
Saturday morning, Scott took one look at me and insisted I see the doctor. Since my doctor is not available on the weekends, I went to the emergency room. Here, "Dr. Lisa" was assigned my case. (I am not using her last name to protect her anonymity, although I want to scream it from the rafters and warn any potential patients.)
As much as I tried to explain my medical symptoms, she became stuck on one notion. She did not believe that I was bloated. In fact she grabbed my stomach, jiggled it, and remarked that I "was fat." I tried to explain that I had gained 5.5 inches in my waist in two days. She retorted with "I suspect you are eating as well as drinking more, my dear."
I became frustrated, because I knew that the bloating was a symptom or, the result of not urinating after consuming an inordinate amount of water. I attempted to explain that I have recently lost over 100 pounds, and that what she was grasping was excess skin. Dr. Lisa combated with "If I had 10 dollars for every woman who has given me that excuse in my 25+ years of practicing medicine, I'd be a rich lady."
She quickly changed her approach, and perseverated on my amputated leg. She listened to my heart, but did not hear any abnormalities. My lungs were clear, and I explained that I been riding 25 to 30 miles daily on my bike. She then grabbed my stomach, again, and said, "I am sure that it feels like 25 miles but, in reality, it is probably only 2."
Dr. Lisa then explained that she believed that I should have a cardiac stress test yearly, to monitor my body's response to the amputation. She contended that my surgeon, a hero of mine, was providing me with inadequate care. Under her breathe, she muttered, "Not everybody is as thorough as me."
At this point, I found myself relieved that I was in a weakened state. I fear that, if I had been completely able-bodied, I might be facing charges. Sitting on the examination table, I began to fantasize about taking off my prosthetic and hitting her over the head with it. I also considered wrapping her with an ace bandage and stuffing gauze in her mouth. This was the only time I have completely smiled in 2 days.
Dr. Lisa drew blood, and I returned on Sunday morning for a fasting blood test. During this visit, I was told that I must have gone on a diet, because my stomach was noticeably smaller. I informed her that, after her examination, I went and spoke with my pharmacist. He suggested that I take Gas-X because it couldn't hurt. Thankfully, it has alleviated the bloat, and I am finally able to urinate. She retorted with, "Everybody thinks they are a doctor." I looked at her and said, "Yes, and now I understand why doctors call it "practicing medicine."
I shouldn't have been so witty before the blood draw. It took her 3 times to find a vein, and seemed to revel in moving the needle around while it was in my arm. As I left the office, I was told, from out of nowhere, that my husband is impatient. Scott was sitting in the car entertaining Robby. Her remark still confuses me.
I am blessed to have worked with a number of compassionate and informed physicians. In addition to leaving both appointments sick, I also left aggravated, frustrated and angry. Perhaps there is little more frustrating than being sick and being disregarded. Dr. Lisa refused to listen. She also waved off my symptoms with rudeness and snide remarks.
We are going back to the office tomorrow morning. I want to get physical copies of all of my lab work. I am going to call my regular physician and explain my predicament. I am sure that they will be able to fit me in. Hopefully we will be able to determine why I am so thirsty, dizzy and tired.
I am scared to find out what is wrong, but I also know that I need to know so that the necessary treatment can begin. Despite Dr. Lisa's comment about any diagnosis "not being good," I am remaining optimistic. After all, she didn't instill any sense of medical competence.