Meet Cindy Nemser - art critic, theatre critic, novelist, humorist, journalist, and ardent feminist.

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

7:04 PM Posted by Cindy Nemser No comments
Nurse Practitioner—My Torment!

I complain, I rant, I yell, I whine, I am no longer the funny competent person my family, especially my daughter used to know. I can go head to head with Job. Why this drastic personality switch?
For the past 17 years I have had a chronic aching, burning pain in my rectum along with burning, aching tingling feet, and burning dry mouth. I am literally physically up.
So far I have found no medical person to diagnose the cause of these afflictions but I keep on trying. I have seen neurologists, proctologists, gynecologists, gastroenterologists, urologists, neuropathests, psychiatrists psychologists, urologists (do I sound like a character in a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta?) plus saliva specialists, oral surgeons, naturopaths, chiropractors, and physical therapists. I also have insomnia, mainly caused by the pain and I have severe constipation and uninary tract infections due to the medicines some of these folks have proscribed for me. It is agony to walk or to move my bowels and my teeth constantly need crowns, root canals and implants also due to the dry mouth caused mainly by the medicine.... After all my unproductive searching for a diagnosis, let alone a cure, I ended up in the offices of those peddlers of hope to the hopeless--: the: pain specialists. I went to two different clinics in renown hospitals and both doctors I encountered told me would never be able to speak to the them except during a visit. I had never heard of such a thing before but I was desperate. Both doctors tried a few procedures, which did no good. With one doctor I ended up on morphine the other only offered methadone... These medications, along with my other drugs for my insomnia due to the pain, gave me a small amount of relief but they also caused terrible constipation for which I was told to take laxatives. These potions gave me a form of diarrhea that led to urinary tract infections and antibiotics. And for these doctor induced problems I had to have rectal surgery and needed to resume my visits to gastroenterologists and urologists.
Throughout all my ordeal I have become increasingly incensed by the total lack of real caring I have received from all the specialists, have seen. For the most part they give me less than five-minute visits with no time to thoroughly discuss my issues or to write down the course of treatment. Often I go home not sure what I am to do. But here come the worst. If I have a severe problem, with the medication say less than a week after I have seen the doctor I am either told to come back for another visit at $500 a pop or relegated to the nurse practitioner. The doctor is always with other patients or at a meeting or in the OR. With the exception of a sparse few, they are unreachable and it turns out that the nurse practitioner is left to proscribe my treatment. Since they do not know what to do about my complicated problems some of them give me suggestions that make matters worse. Some of them get annoyed with me for taking up their time with the same old problem. They insist I come to see the doctor who I have seen the week before.I have seen the week before. I suppose they are not allowed to tell me that none of these specialists will get on the phone so they get a little surly on my demand to speak the them. I guess I am somewhat to blame in realizing that these big guns do not come to the phone.. Their attitude and inaptitude along with the doctors’ behavior can ruin my cause additional physical pain and that puts me completely out of sorts. I feel as if the doctor and his minions could not care less about me and being pretty much an atheist I rant at my poor family not Jehovah.


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