Yes I know this is a day late; but when I first wrote it, it was more than 3 full pages long. A cooling off period and some major editing was required – and now I’ve edited it and it’s 4 pages long! Sorry, but I just could not contain myself.
Read on, if you dare (and if you happen to have a goodly amount of time to devote to this post).
You know that appointment with Kaiser’s Geriatric Psychiatry Dept. Resident? The one that took 6 phone calls, spanning 3 months to get the appointment changed?
Yeah, that one.
It was today.
And once again, I’m fit to be tied.
Is it me? Am I really that mean bitchy old fat lady who finds gratification in brow beating innocent Kaiser doctors? Am I that person?
Remember how I finally got an answer from Kaiser that psychiatric appointments are for medication management only? Remember that?
So how come this guy (who was over 10 minutes late joining the Zoom call after I had already waited the mandatory 15 minutes pre-call time – so that’s a good way to put a patient in a good mood, right?), wants to discuss everything except my medications?
Now, first off, every psychiatric/psychology appointment you have with Kaiser is preceded by you having to fill out a form about how you’ve been doing the last two weeks; and I dutifully filled out and submitted that form the day before this appointment.
Dr AH- How are you doing? (Didn’t I just fill out a form giving you that information? Pretty sure I did.)
TFOL – Not good. I’m depressed, not sleeping well, and have no energy (as you might have seen in the fucking form I filled out and submitted per your instructions).
Dr AH – Could you clarify that?
WTF? Did I stutter? This turned out to be Dr AH’s favorite phrase in the world. I should have turned it into a drinking game. At least then the appointment would have accomplished something.
TFOL – I had to put my cat to sleep last week.
Dr AH – Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. How are you dealing with that?
Didn’t I just tell you – like a few seconds ago?
Dr AH – What are you doing for this?
TFOL – Taking my meds and living my life, day to day.
Dr AH – Could you clarify that?
TFOL – Excuse me? I don’t understand what you mean. (I know, I know, I should have said, “Could you clarify that?” Opportunity missed.)
I go on to let him know what it means when someone is depressed and just hanging in there, day to day.
Dr AH then goes on to ask a bunch of questions about my home and work situation.
At this point, I stop Dr AH and I ask him what is he doing. My understanding is that his job is to check on how I’m doing with my meds (something that he has yet to even mention).
He says that his job is to gather information to figure out how to adjust my meds.
(Yay, we have finally achieved a med-centric conversation!)
I tell him that my meds are fine. I have no interest in changing my meds.
I explain that, as I have told many people at Kaiser, that the purpose of this appointment was to check in to see how I was doing on the Anastrozole which I started a few weeks prior; but that since I wasn’t having any side effects, there really is no need for the appointment; and there certainly is no need for him to be going over stuff that has not changed (like my work and my living arrangements) in the 25 years I’ve been with Kaiser because surely someone at some point has written that stuff down and it is in my file for his edification.
He says that things change and that’s why he’s going over it; and I suggest that simply asking if anything has changed would be more efficient.
I told him I was angry and frustrated with Kaiser’s Geriatric Psychiatry Department – and you KNOW he asked me to clarify.
So I filled him in on the saga of how I finally came to have this particular appointment (see above); and how I came to (finally) understand that Kaiser’s psychiatrists are for med management ONLY and thus there was no need for me to be upset when the psychiatrists appointed for my care kept disappearing with no notice.
He could not seem to understand that I have no burning desire to bond with him since we both know that he will be leaving the department shortly (he confirmed he was leaving this upcoming Friday) – what is the point?
Then he asks me what meds am I taking; and I ask him (quite reasonably, I thought) don’t you have that information? (Of course, he fucking does.) He says, I show you are taking Lexapro (see, I knew he had the information) and I correct him and tell him I’m taking escitalopram (the generic version – Kaiser has never given me the brand name drug) and I tell him, I’m also taking Gabapentin.
And, hold onto your crotch y’all, he says, “What does that do?”
You’re supposed to be the guy managing my meds, and you don’t know why Kaiser put me on Gabapentin and what it is supposed to do for me?
So I explain to him what it does for me – that it’s for anxiety and it helps with compulsive behavior.
And he says, I shit you not, “Could you clarify that?”
It went downhill from there (and I foolishly had thought we were already at rock bottom).
Oh, and Kaiser set up another Geriatric Psychiatry appointment with somebody else (because Dr AH is on his way out the door) in November. I tell Dr AH I didn’t ask for that appointment and ask why it was made?
This guy is incapable of saying, “I don’t know.”
Instead he gives me a whole story about how many patients want to check-in with their doctors. (Remember, Geriatric Psychiatry is a revolving door. There is no ability to form any kind of meaningful doctor/patient relationship here.) I explain to him that since these appointments are about medication management, that I would reach out to Kaiser should I start to have issues with my medication it was wholly unnecessary. He offered to cancel the appointment, which I accepted. (I have yet to check and see if he actually did it.)
Then he felt it necessary to give me a big lecture about calling in for an appointment should I have issues with my meds. (Didn’t I just say that that was my plan Dr AH?)
Then he wanted to know if I needed any refills on my meds.
I asked him, yet again, don’t you have that information?
I had told him several time and included on my fucking form that I take my meds as prescribed. Period. Based on that info, Kaiser keeps track on the computer when my refills need to be renewed. Therefore, he has access to that fucking information.
But he just won’t let it go. So I finally ask him, does he want to wait while I go and look at my prescription bottles?
And no kidding – he does!
So I go and look and both the escitalopram and gabapentin show no more available refills. I tell him that.
THEN he starts telling me how I had just gotten the refills on these prescriptions and couldn’t possible need more. (You see? He had the info in front of him all the time, and I am feeling more and more justified in my rage.)
I point out that I am not looking for more meds – I am just telling him that it would be good if he would simply put into the system renewals for the two prescriptions.
He wouldn’t do it!!!! The one fucking thing he could have done, and he wouldn’t. He said when I need the prescriptions renewed (which, hey, Dr AH, I just told you I NEED THAT DONE NOW), I should call Geriatric Psychiatry and they’d help me (because they have been sooooooo fucking helpful so far).
Then he asked what else he could do for me.
I replied, “Not. A. (FUCKING) Thing.” (the FUCKING was implied. I think he got the message – since he didn’t ask me to clarify.)
It wasn’t until later that I realized this dipstick was working from a script and a form. Every time I replied to one of his questions, he started typing away. Dr AH doesn’t have a clue how to talk to his patients; he clearly thinks being a doctor is filling in the forms.
He should have been an accountant.
So. The question remains – Is it me?