I want to bring some attention to this story….
I am not usually the type to call someone out in public, it is not usually my style. But I have a friend in the WLS community whom I will not name at this time because I do not have her expressed permission to do so. But I got a note from her on Facebook today asking me to go read a post that she had written on a group I am not a member of. She was very upset, when I finally read the post I understood why.
“Not having a good today. I have been so upset and crying all day because I went to a new primary care doctor today (that my mom has seen for years), since I don’t have one and my GBS surgeon has moved to another state, and I could barely hold the tears back to get out of his office and to my car. I went to him today to talk to him about taking over my pain management care for the broken bone in my back and my post GBS care to do all of my yearly labs and treat my ulcer pain I am having once again because of a new muscle relaxer that my horrible pain management dr. has put me on. I have never been so hurt emotionally by a “physician” in all of my life! My whole visit was NOT about my health and my care. It was about him degrading me for needing pain management for the broken bone in my back and degrading me even more because I had GBS. I am so hurt at that man! For someone who is supposed to be a physician and taking care of my health, he sure hurt me emotionally! Every problem I told him I have since my GBS, such as anemia, ulcers, dangerously high calcium deficiency, he mocked me and offered no help or solution. He disregarded my pain management and told me point blank that I had a dr, (which I told him I was not happy with and is why I was coming to him) and he would not get involved and that his office could have told me he does not do pain management if I had asked, which I did! I even asked his nurse point blank if he does pain management when she took me to the exam room AND it was also on my paperwork that I filled out and mailed in two weeks ago! Then proceeded to tell me that he was NOT a fan of GBS in a very nasty voice and that I had parts of my body cut on that were not the problem and I should have had emotional treatment instead of GBS for morbid obesity! I tried to reason with him for a few minutes and realized that it would get me nowhere, so I finally told him that I was thankful I had GBS because it literally saved my life and that I realize there are other underlying issues associated with morbid obesity, but some of the components are also genetic, and that I could argue with him all day, but it would probably not change his nor my opinion on the matter, and if he was to the point of being in a wheelchair, not able to walk, not able to drive, and wondered every time he went to sleep if he would wake up or leave his children without a dad due to sleep apnea and other co-morbidities, he would have made the choice I made too! I told him I am thankful that I am alive and I will be able to watch my grandbaby grow up!!! At that point, he stood up and sorta stomped his foot, as if to gesture our visit was over, and he handed me a prescription slip for an acid reducer, which I had bought over the counter at Dollar General last night and a high dose of steroid. When I told him I wanted Carafate to heal my ulcer, he stated that I just needed the antacid. I told him that I had bought the antacid at Dollar General last night and it does not CURE my ulcer once I get it, it’s only a preventative medicine BEFORE the ulcer forms, and he informed me that it was for the prescription strength of the antacid and he gave me a lab slip with $400 worth of labs ordered and walked out. I sat there for a few minutes wondering if I should even pay for this visit, which I did not really have the money for, but I decided that I was taught better than that and I got myself together and went to the checkout window and I paid the lady $100 and told her I would not be getting the labs done! I could barely talk to the lady because I was fighting back tears. I could have just walked out and not paid for that visit, what could they have done??? The door was right there, but I choice to do the thing that my conscious could live with. I think I will write this dr an informative letter and let me know exactly how I feel about the way he treated me and the things he said to me and how I felt after leaving his office. I am so upset…….I am on the verge of tears every time I think about the way I was treated today because I had to have GBS to save my life.”
I am absolutely appalled by the way this doctor treated this woman.
Let me first say that my own Primary Care Doctor was not always a fan of weight loss surgery. In fact, when I told him that I had decided to do it, he let me know, very kindly that it wasn’t something he particularly believed in but that as always he would support my decisions and he understood why I was doing it. A year later when I weighted 195 lb. instead of 420 lb.. and he was no longer seeing me constantly, wasn’t having to prescribe insulin and diabetes medication, high blood pressure medication, water pills, potassium pills to go with them, muscle relaxers and Vicodin for the chronic back pain I was in his opinion drastically changed. In fact I just saw my PCP last Wednesday because he likes to see me two weeks after any plastic surgery I do now so that if there are any excess swelling issues like there were during my first set of plastics back in Feb he can address them. When I saw him last week he was joking around with me about how Bariatric Surgeons can cure diabetes and regular physicians can only treat it. He goes out of his way to help me in any way he can with my weight loss journey and constantly comments on how seeing me go through the process has dramatically changed his opinion on Bariatric Surgery. I will note as well that I was also his first patient to have any sort of weight loss surgery. He runs all my lab work for my yearly tests. THIS my friends is how a person SHOULD be treated by their Primary Care Doctor.
To the Doctor that treated my friend this way. And when I get your name and address I WILL publish it here on this blog and I WILL be writing a letter to you personally to make sure your attention is drawn to my blog specially so that you are well aware of how absolutely ashamed of your medical practice behavior I am. How dare you treat anyone in such a fashion let alone send a patient running from your office in tears because you have degraded her. No matter what your views are on obesity, bariatric surgery, or gastric bypass you have no right to emotionally assault a woman who has made the choice to undergo gastric bypass to get her life back. You took an oath to save lives and whether you like it or not, whether you support it or not, fact, statistics and numbers do not lie, Bariatric Surgery is saving lives.
I will be asking you to refund my friends $100 dollars, as there is no way that she should pay for the emotional trauma that you caused her and further more, I will be asking the online weight loss community to stand behind me in this pursuit for fairness. How dare you persecute and judge the people of our community for making decisions to save their lives.
While I do not believe that every physician has to support Bariatric Surgery, I do believe that no physical has the right to judge and mistreat any patient or discriminate against them or harass them for either their weight, BMI, or in this case, their selected method of fighting obesity and making sure that their weight and BMI allows them to live a happy healthier life.
Shame on you Doctor. Shame on you. And as soon as I have the information I need, I will be starting a petition against your behavior. For every person like you that will send someone out of your office in tears emotionally abusing them because of their decision to have Gastric Bypass surgery to save their lives, there is someone like ME that will stand up and fight for them. Allow me to introduce myself to you, I am Pandora, I also had a Gastric Bypass that saved my life and because of your emotionally abusive treatment of a woman in my community seeking health care, I’m about to be someone you get to know really well. Nice meeting you.
NOTE: My WLS friends, please post all your comments on this blog post so that this doctor will be able to see them when he is directed to this page. Thank you.