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Re: Argh (doctors? Anyone?)

Posted by JohnL on June 20, 1999, at 15:52:55

In reply to Argh (doctors? Anyone?), posted by Racer on June 20, 1999, at 14:33:36

> Hi again.
> Well, I'm at my wit's end here, folks, and I just need to vent a little.
> I called about being transfered to the county seat, because of the doctor I'm seeing now. They don't want to transfer me, since I live closer to this one. I told the clerk who talked to me that it just wasn't working out, but she had to check with her supervisor. She hasn't called back.
> I want to talk to her supervisor, since I can tell him about the things this doctor has said to me, and express my side more clearly than any clerk can. So far, no luck on that either.
> To make all this worse, there's a physical thing that happened recently that makes it worse for me. After an injury, I called the physical doctor and asked for an anti-biotic. It was an injury similar to one I'd already been treated for. All I needed was $20 of doxycycline, a cheap generic anti-biotic which I've had before. The Physician's Assistant who called in the order decided to change it to cephalosporin, a $120 anti-biotic which I had no experience with. I didn't notice the change, though I thought the bill was a bit high. Well, to make a long story short, I ended up in the emergency room for five hours with an allergic reaction and an infection which now required surgery, and the clinic says that they did the right thing. Of course, from my standpoint the clinic was wrong. They steadfastly maintain that they did everything right and I'm crazy.
> So now I've got the p-doc saying I'm a problem case and the med doc saying the same thing. Who would want to see me now?
> The good news is that I'm not sitting here thinking I'm crazy. I'm sitting here thinking I wish I knew a good lawyer. I'm thinking that the medical system for indigent patients around here is really lousy.
> I'm so frustrated, though, because I have no other options. I just can't stand this!
> All right, I admit, I do want to know what drugs are being given to me. I want to know what the side effects are. I want to know what to expect from them. I want to feel that the doctor is trying to make this work. Does that really make me a problem patient? Doctors? Would you still be willing to see me? Any suggestions anyone?
> Thanks

Hi Racer! You're having a real hard time and I feel for you very much. We're all different, but in your shoes here's what I would do. Get out a map, yellow pages, whatever, and find every university, clinic, doctor, psychiatrist there is within a reasonable distance. Very concisely explain in one type-written page your diagnosis, history of treatment, frustration with local providers, and lack of finances. Make it clear you are desperately looking for a physician who is IN LOVE with their job and would find gratification in taking on your case, with the implication it would be out of compassion and professional gratitude and not likely financial reward. You know, there IS someone out there who LOVES their job and finds great satisfaction in helping someone like you, and they get plenty of money from other sources. The only problem is they don't know about you. YOU have to make the connection. It's like a shotgun effect. Make lots of copies of your letter and mail them all over the place.
It might sound crazy, but you have to find treatment. There are pros out there willing to wave pay in special cases, and it is because they are in it for the love of it, not the money. They do exist, I promise you.
They are very busy though, that is why your letter must be concise, to the point, polite, and ONE PAGE ONLY. It's hard, but you have to state your case and make your plea in 8" X 10". End it with a request for the office to call you for an appointment.
If you don't write well enough, have someone do it for you who is good with words.
I know this works because I did it myself. People laughed at me and said no doctor in his right mind would purposefully take on a pre-advertised difficult case with difficulty in paying. I truly didn't expect any response either, but I was desperate, and this creative survival project at least distracted me for a while from my suffering. That is good you know. You NEED a creative survival distraction right now to occupy your mind, work towards a goal, and distract from the problems at hand. There is plenty of hope. I got the last laugh, because several days after mailing my shotgun letters out, I checked my answering machine to find secretaries from several of the doctor's offices had called me saying the doctor would like to see me, please call back to make an appointment as soon as possible. I couldn't believe it!
There is hope. When there's a will there's a way. I bet someone right here at this site could put together a great help-request letter for you if you needed help with it. You just need a bunch of addresses, copies, and stamps. If you mail out 30 copies, you might get 1, 2, or 3 responses. Maybe more, maybe none. All you need is ONE. I guarantee you whoever that one is, they are IN LOVE with their job. THAT'S WHO YOU WANT!
It all hinges on two things: 1) Making the effort and risk, 2) The quality of the letter. Go for it! Call me crazy if you want, but I already knew that. Got nothing to lose and everything to gain. JohnL




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