Are they from another planet?

Is the medical profession from another planet? Is it just me? I acknowledge it could be, but I'm getting really frustrated. Seemed simple enough - I just wanted to have my high blood pressure dealt with. And this system is enough to make my bp high all by itself.

When I was at my last endo appointment 3 weeks ago, she said my bp was high again. After some discussion, she prescribed a diuretic to supplement the med I was already on... perhaps a cheaper solution for someone who doesn't have insurance right now. I promised I would check my bp myself, and she said that I should go to a walk-in clinic if it was still high.

It should be noted that I don't have a general practitioner - as there is a "severe doctor shortage" in our area, as stated by the Ontario ministry in charge of such things. I've been on a waiting list for several months for some doctor yet to be determined or named. So a walk in clinic is my only other choice, other than the services that my endo is willing to extend to me (not too much as you will see in the coming paragraphs).

Two weeks passed, and still high. So instead of waiting for hours at a clinic to see someone who may or may not have experience dealing with someone like me (T1 on a pump... whatever, and perhaps not fair admittedly), my husband offered to call the endo's office. Perhaps they could adjust my existing bp prescription? After all, she's the one who has identified it in the first place and has been giving me ongoing treatment.

The calls started on Tuesday. Forget the 24 hour callback promised by voice mail. Finally late Wednesday the secretary called back. After she consulted with the doctor, she suggested that she didn't trust walk in clinics, and that I should come in to be seen. Monday through Thursday, between 9 - 4 (subject to availability of course), because "the doctor doesn't work Fridays." (I'd also like to point out that "the doctor" had cancelled 2 of my appointments at the last minute because she had to go to Italy two years in a row... another rant about work ethic, planning and adequate coverage... but I digress)

My husband explained to the secretary that I started a new job, and that it would be impossible to make it to an appointment. He reassured her that nothing else had changed in the 2 weeks since I had been there - the bp was the same as before, I had no other symptoms yada yada. She then suggested an 8:40 am appointment, which would be the earliest because the doctor doesn't like to start before 9 am **Was she listening?**. When pointing out again that I wouldn't be able to make it, the response was, "Well, they would understand. Jamie could just make up the time".

Umm, no. Not going to happen!

Well then it was then suggested that I could go to a walk in clinic, get a prescription, fax it to the doctor, and then take my bp for the next several days at the same time every day, and fax those results into the office.

My husband then reasonably asked (I think), "Then the doctor would offer a prescription?" Answer was, "No. Then I would show it to the doctor and it would be up to her what to do." So no promises ... it would be week from now and still nothing done. Way to go! <insert sarc mark here!>

I thought if I spoke to someone on Thursday, we might get further. (ok... naive, I admit). I left 2 messages on Thursday. One on Friday. Nothing. And now it's the long weekend here in Ontario, and the office won't be open until Tuesday. It would be a week, and no response at all from them, other than the one discussion my husband had on Wednesday. So much for 24 hour response.

So sucking it up, I went to the local walkin clinic. The doctor there just increased the dose of my current script. Fair enough. I'm just going to go with it and see if it comes down. Obviously I just have to deal with this as I can, with no help from my endo. It will be a long wait (6+ months) to get a new endo and I still need my current endo on board to get a referral to someone else (under the guise of 'closer to my work'). You can't get referrals from a walkin clinic.

As for my endo and her secretary? They've failed in caring for this patient's ongoing needs in my opinion. I deserved a callback, even if what they had to tell me wasn't what I wanted to hear. That is their part in this equation.

My journey to find a new endo begins.

And if you've got this far, thank you for listening.

No - you’ve got to find a new endo. I live in Quebec, where like you have in Ontario, we also have a shortage of doctors (common every where these days - not just in Canada). I only recently got a GP believe it or not after 21 years of living here (used walk in clinics ONLY if I had to - hate doctors). The endo i have now, I found from a friend of mine who has a thyroid condition, and I just walked in, secretary at the time was nasty, but I lucked in on having endo walk out, and he told her he’d take me on (even tho’ she still insisted I had to have a referral). Granted this is 18 years ago, but still, if I need help NOW, he’ll see me the same day. Good luck, and maybe word of mouth from other people who have diabetes in your area. E.g. Do you belong to Canadian Diabetes Association - is there a group in your area you can meet up with and ask questions. That could help you as well.
Anna from Montreal - The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes

Anna, I checked the CDA website, and there are no groups close by. Besides, TuDiabetes is my support group, and I can come in at any hour, and there is always someone willing to help.

Luckily I’m working down the street from all the huge hospitals in Toronto. I’m lucky enough to be working close to doctor heaven - in the big city where so many doctors want to be. So even though there aren’t a lot of doctors in the area where I live, the shortage isn’t so critical where I’m working. In my town, there are exactly zero doctors taking new patients, and in the town nearby, a few clinics are taking names for lists that are months long. I at least have some hope for finding someone close to work, and by the time they are ready to see me, I’ll have a few months under my belt.

I’m disappointed in my endo and frustrated with the fact that I’m looking for doctors again (which of course inspired this post), but I got through this before. I went through some pretty rocky years following the year that my endo died and my gp retired! So I shall get through this too… just about a gazillion phone calls and months of waiting. That’s all. In the meantime I’ll think healthy thoughts LOL

Sounds so frustrating…it’s hard finding both an endo you can work with but also has a helpful support staff. Good luck.