My doctor left our insurance group last year and I had to choose between staying with my obstetrician or following our GP. Since our GP was treating me for sore throats and my OB would be delivering our child, I picked the OB. Call me crazy.
So this year, we were in the market for a new doctor. We managed to get into a well-rated practice with a doctor who came highly recommended. Here’s an outline of how that went.
Me: I seem to have developed eczema on my hands, which is weird, since I’ve never had any skin problems. But a friend of mine got it postpartum and I’ve done some research and it seems like that’s something that happens. It gets better and then worse and my hands hurt so much sometimes, it burns just getting water on them.
Him: You don’t have eczema.
Me: … [long pause] Is there anything I can do for it?
Him: You don’t have eczema.
Me: I’ve also been having severe pain in my hands, so much so that it hurts when I type. It’s hard to pick up A. too. I’m wondering if there’s a possibility of arthritis or something similar?
Him: [picks up one arm, turns it over, looks at my inner wrist for five seconds, puts it down] It’s not arthritis. You’re doing something over and over again that’s causing it. You should stop doing that.
Me: Yes, well, I don’t know what that would be.
Him: You’re texting a lot.
Me: No I’m not.
Him: When I came in, you were on your computer. You’re getting carpal tunnel from typing too much.
Me: I have a one year old. I barely have any time to type at all.
Him: Well, you’re doing something that’s causing it, so you should stop doing that and it’ll go away.
Me: I’m having difficulty sleeping, even when A. sleeps and I have the time to sleep. This has happened before – I get out of synch and can get back-on track with a prescription for a few weeks. Can you prescribe something short-term?
Him: You’re up at night because you have running thoughts.
Me: No, I don’t.
Him: That’s why you’re up. You’re anxious and have running thoughts.
Me: I don’t have running thoughts, but yes, I guess I am anxious.
Him: What are you anxious about?
Me: Well, normal new parent stuff. But that’s not what’s keeping me up. But OK, lately I’ve been worried about A. sleeping on a different floor from us, in case there’s an emergency. Like a fire or an earthquake or something.
Him: Maybe next time you shouldn’t buy a house with her bedroom on a different floor.
Me: … That’s your suggestion to help with my sleep issues? Buy a different house? We just bought this one. We’re not buying another house.
Him: You might think about not buying a wooden house as well.
In the end, he prescribes Ambien which I tell him won’t work because I’ve had it before and it doesn’t work. He tells me to call in a few days to report back.
It doesn’t work.
I call back and tell him it doesn’t work.
Him: Well it’s not the Ambien’s fault.
So that’s how well that went.
Now I have an awesome new doctor who is, coincidentally, a bad-ass. It turns out I do have postpartum eczema and there’s a diagnosis for the hand thing and I’m sleeping better – and I didn’t even have to buy a new house. Fancy that.