Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Dr. Grumpy's blog cracks me up. I love reading it and do so almost every morning. He's hosting a grumpfest for Grand Rounds on Tuesday and wants to know what medical things make me grumpy. With six years between me and cancer, I've had plenty to grump about and do so quite often.

One of the medical things that makes me grumpy is being treated like I'm an uninformed idiot. It happens all the time when I have to deal with new medical people and it makes me down right irate. It's the EMT that when I told him that I have lymphedema in my left arm insisted that he needed to use that arm for blood pressures and to start an IV. His reasoning was that the ambulance was set up to use the left arm. Seriously? Pretend that there isn't an arm there and do what you'd do to work around that, because you can't use the left arm. He isn't the only one who has argued with me about that. The nurse in my former PCP's office pretended she couldn't get a blood pressure reading from my right arm and argued with me to use the left arm, every time I went in. She's one of the many reason that PCP has "former" in front of her title. It's the partner of another former PCP who when I had to go in after being in the hospital for a week didn't even bother to look at my chart. He asked me why I'd been in the hospital and I told him that my potassium level had gotten so low that I was in pain and was experiencing a lot of anxiety and I would like to figure out why my electrolytes keep becoming so imbalanced. He looked at me like I said that I'd just dropped in from Mars and would like the warts removed from my tentacles. He came just short of patting me on the head and told me I had chronic fatigue syndrome and a viral syndrome. It was another two years before a very smart PCP finally sent me to a nephrologist to find out that I have hyperaldosteronism and that is why I dump potassium. If you don't know the answer and don't want to take the time to find out just say "I don't know and I don't really care." "Viral syndrome" tells me that you think I'm too stupid to know that you just made something up. I quit going to that primary care office because every time I needed an appointment he was the only doctor available. No thank you. It's the cardiologist who did my angiogram and called all of the doctors and nurses in the room over to take a look at my unusual heart. When I asked him what he saw, he acted like he didn't even hear me speaking. I got really upset about that, so another person in the room actually did pat my arm and said "It's nothing to worry about. Your heart has always been that way." No kidding, so tell me what it is.

But the medical thing that makes me grumpiest are all the doctors and nurses who want to ignore the fact that I have Long QT Syndrome. They will lie to me and say that they don't see the QTc of 550 and the inverted T waves. They will tell me that a medication isn't on the list when they haven't even checked the list. One even told me that beta blockers aren't the appropriate treatment for LQTS. I understand that treating someone with LQTS is a pain. There are whole categories of medications that get taken off the plate and inevitably the medication that you prescribe to everyone that walks in the door just happens to be on the Arizona CERTS list. But in my reality, my grandfather, father and brother all just dropped dead from LQTS, and I have it too. I take this seriously even if you don't. No, I can't take an antidepressant for tension headaches. And yes, I have taken Bactrim before and didn't die from it, but it doesn't mean that I won't next time I take it. I want you to take something that I could die from seriously.

These are just a few of the things that make me grumpy, and I didn't even mention the scheduler at my oncologist office who can't figure out that I do have a scheduled appointment, or the surgeon who routinely cancels my appointment, can't reschedule until at least 3 months away and then fusses at me for missing my mammogram. Lord, I could go on for years with this grumpfest.

Oh, but one more thing that makes me grumpy, that Dr. Grumpy isn't my neurologist.


  1. I love that dude! He makes me laugh out loud at times. A lot acutally.

    Now that's a list you've got there, Emmy. Thump on the head to the EMT and nurse. You can take blood pressures on either side in a rig.

    Your not alone...I was in the hospital recently, and they did have to use my one arm for an IV...I wanted to smack the nurse when she says cheerfully...about what a great program they have - should I get lymphedma from it. Like that's a comfort to me. Lady....the whole idea is to never get it! She wouldn't be so cheerful and blaise if it was her, and especially if that side was now your "good" arm.

  2. I meant blase also. Sorry, Emmy. I am tired today. When I'm tired, I goof.

  3. The EMT should also know that you can take a BP from the lower leg... If he's so stuck on using the left side...