Love my Rheu Dr., dislike her LPN
I've suffered with fibro for the past four years. I bet I saw ten different specialists until a pain doctor who was treating my mother recommended my current rheum. She's kind, she listens, she asks questions that tell me really understands the disease and praise God, she actually gave me pain meds without making me feel like a junkie. Frankly, prior to finding a reliable, regular pain regimine, I considered death on many occasions. The pain was truly that terrible.
In June, after a brief stint of trying to return to work, I developed the vivid red rash that I now know is one of the telling symptoms of Lupus. I'd been tested for Lupus through the years but nothing really showed up. Well, after a full week of driving home in the evening sun and getting home beet red, I remembered it was a symptom and got into my rheu right away. My rash flared like crazy, my blood tests changed and I was put on Prednisone right away. Soon I was put on methotrexate which, after some research, I found out was very dangerous. When I went in to get more facts on Lupus and the methotrexate, I met with her LPN. Within ten minutes it was clear to both of us that I had done a lot more research on both the disease and the drugs. I'm not a confrontational person or rude but obviously this woman has not been contested too often. I think she took an active dislike to me from that moment on.
I went in for trigger point injections just last week for my fibro and I seriously felt like I was at a hostile sorority interview! I quickly stopped explaining my current health situation and waited for my doctor to come in to do the injections and then asked her all the questions I had.
Can you request not to see the LPN is that's common protocol? I don't want to lose my doctor. When she explains things, I understand. My pain meds have not been changed or increased in four years so she knows I'm not trying to scam her for meds.
If you have suggestions, I'd be thrilled to hear them. Right now I figure I'll just wait things out since LPNs tend to move along and hopefully my doctor will stay in business. She's one of the number one fibro doctor in St. Louis so she certainly has the clientel!
You most certainly have the right to request someone else. You don't even have to complain, you can just say you feel more comfortable seeing another LPN. Don't feel bad, the SAME THING happened to me at Mayo Clinic. Here's the story..
I took Enbrel (biologic medication like Remicade) and it caused me to develop drug-induced lesions on my brain. Well, I saw a ton of doctors and my neuro finally referred me to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. So the neuro there was AMAZING. They referred me to a MS nurse to educate me on the probability of future MS activity etc... I felt like I knew more than her and she commented on my weight multiple times.
I told her I was actually very thin and loved to exercise before I was sick. I'm not rail thin but I'm not obese either! I'm just about average. Even if I was overweight that was none of her business nor was it relevant to what she was supposed to be educating me on. My father went with me to Mayo so he was in there. He saw how annoyed and adgitated I was getting by her incompetence and he just stopped the conversation and asked for the pamphlet instead. I was upset about this nurse all day long. She just came accross as so smug, yet had nothing to be smug about. If I never see her again it will be too soon. My neuro asked me if the visit with the nurse was helpful, and I said no it was not helpful at all. He caught my drift and I never had to meet with her again.
You're paying for a visit to this doctor, so, you call the shots. If you are not comfortable they should accomodate you - no questions asked. Sorry you had to deal with such a meanie. (trying to stay PG here.. ha)
Last edited by Islablue; 09-26-2010 at 11:06 PM.
Reason: Brain fog = Grammatical nightmare
When I first started seeing my G.P. he was up front with me and told me he was not well versed on the subject of Lupus, but he would, by the next appointment, hit the books and learn as much as he could. Being a G.P. in a small town, his inexperience is understandable, and since I don't see him primarily for Lupus/MS related issues (that's what the rheumo/neuro is for), I had no problem with this at all. He was also very supportive of me knowing as much as possible about the subject, and believes very much in patients being educated about their particular illness.
I would be willing to bet that your kind, and understanding Dr./specialist would agree that an informed patient is a good thing, and I would also bet that she would frown upon an LPN copping an attitude towards a patient simply because the patient has done their homework. If this LPN was a true professional, he/she would admit to themselves that their knowledge in a certain area is lacking, and set out immediately to remedy the situation. This LPN is an employee of your Dr., your Dr. and her LPN work FOR YOU, not the other way around. If this LPN is a problem, then I would tell the Dr. about it. The LPN could be doing this to other patients, and costing the Dr. patients, and business, and I'm sure she would want to know about this situation.
As far as being confrontational, if you are, oh well. There's no law against being assertive, especially when it comes to your health. I would ask for a different LPN. If this isn't possible, just remember that this isn't a popularity contest, and if this LPN has a problem with you, that's just too frakking bad for him/her. This person should read up, shut up, and do the damn job they were hired to do. Perhaps it's time the Dr. reminds this person of this.
I've been in your shoes. I had a previous Dr. who's PA I didn't like. She was the type of person who rushed you through the appt without really listening to or looking at you. Just a quick glance and insta-diagnosis. The final straw with her for me was when I called about some lab results and she started to read me someone else's lab results! Even when I interrupted her she said "oh, aren't you so-and-so?". Hellooooo???? Unprofessional much? The next time I went in, I told the doctor and the receptionist - please mark my chart, I do not want to be seen by the PA, only the dr and I explained why when asked and my doctor was completely understanding about my request.
As long as this body works, I am going to enjoy life to the fullest for each second of every moment that I can.
You guys are great! I so appreciate the support and that others experience the same type of thing. As we all know, while our disease(s) are very individual, our experiences are not.