(Added a few more things in comments section today, June 4th!)
I was going to post a blog asking for advice on if I should change my doctor at the VA clinic. My last doctor was old and recently retired, so I was assigned a new doctor. My old doctor was very understanding and helpful. A few years ago, when I was experiencing terrible left ribcage pain and thought that it was stomach related, he had me take a CT scan of my abdomen to rule out diverticulosis among other problems. It was during the holidays, so he told me that I could go to the VA hospital ER to get the results, to give me peace of mind during the Xmas holidays. The results were normal. I went to my follow up appointment and he then felt around my back area and asked if it hurt, where he was pressing. I said, Yes. He then explained that there's a nerve in the back that goes all the way around to the front of the body, right over where my left ribcage pain was. I told him that I have a chronic muscle spasm (I told him I have an x-ray result in my file that shows this) and have a lot of pain (I told him pain meds give me bad side effects, I've been on a long time, too), and that if the VA offers chiropractic care, would he be willing to refer me? He said No problem. He said, It used to be Doctor knows best, but now it's Patient knows best! Chiropractic care is only for 12 sessions, then the doctor has to put in a new consultation. He had no problem with this after my 12 sessions were up. Then he retired.
My new doctor had a problem from the start. She told me straight up, I don't believe in chiropractors. I had to convince her to put in a new consult after my 12 sessions were up.
When it was time for my physical exam, I asked her if she could test my Vitamin D levels, because lately all the experts are saying to get it checked, including the Doctors and Dr. Oz. She said, No, she doesn't test for that. She tests for calcium levels, and if my calcium levels come back high, then I'm getting too much Vitamin D. Uh, what about testing it to make sure I'm getting ENOUGH?
Last year she incorrectly put in the computer the WRONG orthotics. She told me to pick them up at the VA hospital, which is an hour drive away. I got there and they gave me $10 orthotics that I could have bought myself at the drugstore. I have CUSTOM MADE ORTHOTICS! FOR THE PAST 6 or so YEARS! It's in the computer!!! Didn't she see? Obviously not!
I had told her that they were wearing out, and that I needed another pair--and that she ordered the WRONG ones. She told me to call the VA podiatrist office myself to see if I could get another pair of my custom made orthotics, and the receptionist told me that every two years I need to actually see the podiatrist, so they can take an image of my foot again for the custom made orthotics, in case my feet have changed. I told my new doctor that I needed PEDALIGN foot orthotics, so I needed to see the podiatrist because they need to take another image of my feet. She made me the wrong appointment at the podiatry clinic, and NOT at the VA hospital/podiatry where they have the PEDALIGN imaging equipment! I had to wait sooo long because of the mix-ups, my tarsal tunnel syndrome was fully inflamed for months!
A month ago, I went to get another consult for my next 12 chiropractor sessions, and right away, the first words out of her mouth was, "Tsk, I don't know how long this can go on for..." I told her the chiroprator really helps me, I don't need any medications--I don't WANT to be on any pain medication. I had to convince her sooo much. Then, as she was trying to put the consult into the computer, I added another comment regarding the benefits. She stated curtly, I know! I'm putting it in! I'm trying to put it in and I can't figure out how to! She finally figured it out, which tells me that she has not referred ONE of her patients in the whole two years that I've been seeing her. Which is sad, because the VA's Chiropractic Care is booked solidly for two months out (you can always call them and they'd fit you in for a quick adjustment, they are very accomodating). It is THE place to be! A lot of older, heavy-set veterans benefit from seeing the chiropractor.
I felt so bad and so drained of energy after that last appointment, with trying to convince her! I felt like a drug addict trying to convince her to prescribe me Oxycontin...for goodness sake, I just want to see the chiropractor for my chronic muscle spasm and not take any meds! She would have much rather written a quick Rx and sent me on my way. I vented to my husband and he was very understanding. He said to switch doctors, maybe I can give the excuse that another VA clinic is closer to my home, no traffic, etc.
Today was my chiropractic appointment, so I told my chiropractor my situation and she suggested switching. She told me to go to the administration department. I walked over there after my appt and it took me 5 minutes to change doctors! No questions asked. I offered the information that it was more convienient for me. It actually is. There's no traffic getting to this VA clinic, as opposed to the one I was going to for the past 10 or so years.
Horray! I don't have to see that doctor again! My chiropractor told me that the doctors here in her clinic are nice and don't have any qualms referring patients to the chiropractor. My chiropractor is a health guru and advises food and supplements for me to take. My last doctor, who I am now rid of, thank God, DID NOT believe in taking ANY supplements. I feel so happy and so relieved that I changed my doctor. Hopefully I will get a doctor who is in sync with my philosophies and needs.