From One Bad Doctor to Another

I asked my gp to refer me to an endocrinologist. He doesn’t seem to know much about diabetes, so I figured, oh, if I go to an endocrinologist, it will be good.
I went and picked up my labs in person, so I would have all the information for my first visit to the endocrinologist.
I am in a room, and in walks a woman, and she says she is a med student. She looks at my labs and says I am not a diabetic. She says 129 is not a diabetic. I said, “Then what is wrong with me?” She just smiles. That must be the new thing with docs, to just smile when they don’t know.
I said, "What about all my readings (showing her my home log of my BS testing) showing me from 120 to250.
She said, “Well, youre not a diabetic.” I said, “Why did my doc put me on Metformin then, should I stop it?” She said, "I don’t know."
Now, I am not a violent person, but I was close to putting my hands around her neck…

Then the endocrinologist comes in. “Oh yeah, yeah, you’re a diabetic.” He tells me he wishes he could put me on Byetta, besides the Metformin. I told him I just loved the Metformin, especially since it has caused me to have accidents in my pants.
They always ignore that if I tell them that. I guess docs don’t want to hear it.

He said, “Its a shame, your insurance won’t cover the Byetta.”

So I go home, call the insurance company and ask them why they wouldn’t cover a drug that could make me well. I was told if the doctor sends his notes and why, to their pharmacy department, they will review this, and possibly cover the drug. So, I call the doc’s office and tell them to fax over his notes, here is the number, and here is the person to address it to.

The girl there said it might be about a week. I said, “A week? All you have to do is run it thru a fax machine.” I got this whiny but lethargic “Yeah, I know, I know…”

So a week later, she calls me up and says they called in the prescription for Byetta for me. I said, “Oh, it was approved??”
“What do you mean ‘no’”?
She told me he refused to do it, and that he said "let her pay for it…"
I said, "Do you know how much Byetta is? It is $250 without insurance. I called the pharmacy."
She said, "Oh, I’m sorry (like she really even meant it) and I said, Look, stop messing around with me. If he really wanted me on this drug, that is all he had to do. Now, without him sending my file in, then I can’t get this, because I can;t afford it."
More “Oh, I am sorry.”

I wish these doctors would stop decking around with us. Either they want to help us, or they don’t and they just go and do irresponsible stuff like calling in prescription when you asked them to get it preauthorized.

I am trying to find one doc on my plan who knows about diabetes. There are not a lot of endocrinologists here, and I’d like one who had one reasonable bone in his body.

I have used up my patience with these guys. I have been given the run around, and I am tired of having to SUPER ADVOCATE for myself.

They don’t care if I get kidney damage.

I have showed them the microvascularization on my legs, and they don’t even know what it is. So I tell them, because I work in medicine, and heck, even I know that one. So I can’t come off pompous, and I have to treat them with kid gloves, because doctors don’t want to be overstepped.

But why can’t they get the drugs right? Why do they tell me I don’t have diabetes, but the tables tell me I do?

And what the heck is a MILD case of diabetes? Is that like a mild case of cancer?

Will a mild case of diabetes cause me to gain more weight, become more fatigued, and evenly ruin my kidneys and vascular system?

I am so fed up with these guys. I need to find one doctor who knows what he is doing. Maybe it is where I am living. You’d think they would have seen enough diabetics, and it is a big disease. I don’t have Krukenpubenderingling Syndrome or something.

So this is my rant to doctors: If you don’t know about diabetes, send me to someone who does, and stop wasting my time.

Damn! I want to throttle these people & I haven’t even met them! The least your dr could have done was give you a sample Byetta or three. Not like they don’t have tons of free samples of everything. Last time I was at my CDE, the pharm reps were there in droves, like they always are. She grabbed one & had her give me a bunch of stuff. I don’t think the CDE is doing me much good, but it’s worth the cost of a visit just to get free meds.

Am so sorry for what you’ve been put through. Whenever I hear stories like yours, it scares me to think of the lack of treatment for people who are shy or ignorant. Wasn’t it Ben Franklin who said he attributed his long life to avoiding doctors?

OMG I would like to put my hands around all of their necks as well

Hope it all works out for you in the long run…!

I share your frustrations as well. My doctor tried telling me that a blood sugar of 350 is normal. :confused:

I feel your pain. I’ve been really frustrated with doctors too. I was diagnosed in April this year, and I haven’t had a single HbA1c done yet (and I’ve asked him for it to be done too)! My doc seems to think I might not be diabetic - but that’s just because he’s only looking at my logs, and not realising how strictly I’m controlling my diet in order to get those numbers. I eventually convinced him that the insulin I was on was wrong for me, and he said he’d give me a prescription for rapid insulin by faxing it through to my work. It’s been over a week and I’m still waiting. I eventually went out and paid the full price for the insulin, because I couldn’t get the prescription and I couldn’t take another week of feeling like that. He just doesn’t seem to get that it’s a quality of life issue for me, and that while it might be cheaper than testing to try these meds and then those and see what happens, it’s not worth wasting my time feeling cruddy while he farts around.

Depends on your healthcare plan. I have to pick from a list. I have researched the docs online. The free sites, the others make you pay something like $25 a doctor to find out about them, and I can’t afford to do that with a bunch of them. I was surprised at the medical schools some went to.

I don’t take a doctor’s opinion as gold, and I do research, but there comes to a point where one can’t just be constantly questioning everything.
If one complains and files a big complaint against a doctor, I am sure they blacklist you. Now, no one will come out and say that, but I am sure they know who has sued, filed complaints, etc., you know, the “trouble patients”, so they don’t take on any problems.

I have gotten in their face, only because I work in medicine,and I know certain things to be true, so when I have some med student telling me I am not diabetic, and she sits there and smiles, I get on her case. Maybe that doesn’t make me “likeable”, but this is my health, and my eyes, kidneys, heart, etc., are all on the line, not hers. The smile pissed me off. It was as if she wasn’t taking me seriously. Well, I didn’t take HER seriously, because she doesn’t know, and if she is working in an endocrinologist’s office, she should know the BS cut-off for a fasting glucose test.

Chewing them out only makes the want to do less for you and keep you at bay. Now, if you have a lot of money, and can afford to go to premium doctors in nice areas, you have more power.

I think American medicine has gotten so bad. The attempts to let anyone into med school are part of the problem, but the real problem is the focus on the dollar, rather than good medical care.

Makes you want to slap their face.

They are getting rich and if they don’t want to treat diabetics, fine, but they shouldn’t lie about something like that. As a tech, I am not allowed to make a mistake. I have, and have been chewed out royally for it.
Now, I don’t respect doctors so much. They want everyone else to be perfect, but they do this crap.

I find it so effing AMAZING that someone could get through med school and NOT know anything about diabetes. My son’s endo pointed out that 1 in every 7 dollars spent on healthcare in this country is spent on diabetes care. ONE IN SEVEN of all the billions upon billions. I live in a rural area of Maine and there are three diabetics within a 1/2 mile radius of one another, which is (for the part of the state I come from) kind of like having them stacked up like cordwood. It’s one of the biggest problems we have healthwise, and it’s a starting point (or a finishing point!) of a lot of other big health problems, so WHY are people so blessed ignorant, particularly those who are in the field? That’s just insane.

I think I have a clue. I am a medical tech, and in clinicals, you get exposed to different things. If you see more of one thing, say kidney transplants, you know a bit more than someone who hasn’t been. Like the liver, the capsule of the organ feels pain, hence enlargement or disease can cause pain, but the actual parenchymal tissue does not. I think the brain is like that too. Unless someone is an ignorant doctor, then I don’t think they feel much pain. :wink:
But then, there is the textbook knowledge, and since Diabetes affects so much of the body, I am with you, I cannot understand their ignorance.
I knew long ago I had Metabolic Syndrome, also called Syndrome X. I had high insulin according to my doctor, my blood pressure shot way up, and I gained weight. The high insulin causes havoc with the vessels, decreases the magnesium, and causes the vessels walls to contract, hence causing high blood pressure (hypertension).
It is just like plumbing.
Hence, the high blood pressure has the blood hammering on the kidneys, which ruins them.

So, when I have gone to docs who just hem and haw with me, I just am amazed. How the heck did they get through med school?
Diabetes is supposed to be in epidemic proportions in our nation, so how are they not dealing with it? I feel when I have gone to these 3 docs, I was the first diabetic they have seen.

I have tried to be diplomatic and not insult them, but you wait, the time is coming when I am going to just pull a George Costanza and go ape on them. “Whaddya mean you don’t know?” or “Jerry, you wouldn’t believe this, one minute… I’m a diabetic,…the next minute, I’m not…”

I had to get a pap test from a PA at my doctor’s. She just about ripped me and I started yelling. She said, “You have to relax.” I said, “Lady, I have had Pap’s all my life, and I have had 2 kids, several biopsies, a Leep procedure, and 2 D & C;'s, and no one has caused me pain like that.” Then I yelled, “Get that thing out of there” which I think the whole place heard that one.

I have to find someone who is knowledgeable and is not practicing on me.

I will have to say this, the further east you go, the better the medicine is. Here in Arizona, the medical care stinks. Maybe it has to do with the malpractice suits where there is no cap on the amount they can be sued for, so no good docs want to be here?
In the Midwest, it was better than here, too.

You will see in the paper, “Woman in Arizona threatens Doctor in AZ with Lobotomy over Diabetes care.”

It’s maddening! Remember a study I read that looked at patients’ personalities & the care they received. This study was done with hospital patients. The ones who demanded to know about every pill prescribed, who questioned doctors & nurses, who demanded to see a doctor were the ones most likely to survive life-threatening illnesses & leave the hospital sooner. Passive patients received the least care & had lower survival rates. Very sad, Of course, a person who have to feel well enough to be assertive to start with.

That smile would have sent me through the roof!

It’s staggering how many truly ignorant & downright bad doctors there are. More patients die from doctor errors than from their diseases.

I have two nephews with cystic fibrosis. The first presented every classic syptom as a baby. The pediatrician insisted it was just bronchitis! My newphew almost died from the doctor’s stupidity. When my second nephew was born, he was even sicker & the pediatrician finally diagnosed him. Only then did they test the first child for CF. DUH! My nephews have suffered severe complications from not being diagnosed & getting proper treatment early enough.

It is odd, because they are taught to do differential diagnoses. Even as a tech, we have to do this. And of course, nothing is ever said to be malignant without a biopsy. I had a doc once ask me “Is this a malignancy in this kidney?” and I said, “Without a biopsy, how can we know?” He thought I was being a smart *** and I did not say it that way.

It amazes me, because they want every little detail, but when I have gone to the doctor, they don’t seem too afraid of malpractice at all. I thought medicine was cover their butts nowadays, and with all the complications of diabetes, one would think they would be checking everything from our eyes to our labs constantly.

I agree with what you said about assertive vs. passive patients, but I will say, they think we who are more assertive are a pain. You know to me, I really like patients who really know their medical history. “Did you have your gallbladder out? I can’t find it…” and some say, “I don’t know” or “Do you have both your ovaries, I can’t find one of them? Did they remove either of them with the hysterectomy?” and you get “Dunno”…so patients who really know their history are really going to get the best care, because even if they move away and don’t have all their files, they know what has been done to them, or what they have taken.

Sorry to hear about the nephew, that is awful. :((


Love your name!
In order to get your insurance company to pay for Byetta is to show a medical need for it. I know that sounds crazy but that’s what you need. You have to be able to show how your bg’s pre byetta and while your using Byetta. How to do that without insurance coverage?call your physican for samples.
I am sorry you have to go through what your going through with your physician.
You shouldn’t have to go through it and you don’t have too.
You can call your insurance company and file a grievence against your physician and his office.
Your health is important:) if that office doesn’t realize it, you’ll find someone who does.
Your insurance company can fix the issue you just have to nag them a little

Good luck

Yes, I had contacted the insurance, and they wanted the info from the doctor who refused to do it. So I am going to new doctor today. I did file a complaint about him with the insurance group who lists him as a specialist you can choose. They don’t have many endocrinologists on there.

The insurance company couldn’t do a thing because they refused to fax my files over. I asked why, and she said the doctor said , “Let her pay for it.”

So I will try someone else. To me it is important to not patronize someone who doesn’t care.

Thanks for the information!! :)))

What an ■■■ that he wouldn’t fax your records!

Hoping your new endo is everything you deserve & more. I fired my first endo. Typical arrogant doctor-as-god attitude. Really, how dare we question their ultimate authority when our lives are at stake. I don’t give a damn if they think I’m a difficult patient because I’m informed & ask questions. My first endo actually told me that I shouldn’t “worry my head” about future problems. Really, I said, are YOU going to worry for me? Jerk.

I’m glad you’re spunky, assertive about all this. Your humor brought me smiles.

There are members on here from AZ why not ask one of them that list a town close to yours whom they use as a Doctor.
Click on members up at the top and search for Phoenix and message a few of our members. We all know they go to the Doctor and they must deal with the big D!!!
Have you tried calling the ADA chapter in your area and see if they could refer someone in the area??
Hopefully you will get to a Doctor that can help you.
Its a shame that too many Doctors let their ego get in the way of what is suppose to be a patient (customer) oriented business.

Good Luck and Best Wishes!!!


AMEN sister!!! i’ve been on the run-around with docs for the past 5 years and am tired of it too!! my next step is to travel 2 hours or more just to “try out” more dr.'s…good luck on your search!


Gee, wouldn’t it be nice to be treated respectfully as a customer, as Ron said, without the power differential attitude that is a part of most doctor/patient relationships. I’m weary from being treated like child, a stupid child.

I am replying to all who just posted…
I have to use who is on my plan, unfortunately. I hope to someday have “normal” health insurance.

Anyhow, I grew some cashews and fired the doctor and the endocrinologist and “no, I am cancelling my next appointment and not coming back.” I went to a doctor today, I looked at the medical school he went to and it rates. He has about 7 years under his belt, which makes him a fledgling, but he is associated with a good hospital here. His offfice lady was not friendly, not at all nice, snapped at me several times, then I said, Okay, enough, what’s the deal.
I decided I am not going to be like George Costanza and walk off with my tail between my legs, and I gave it right back to her, in the same tone she used with me.
The doctor was a decent guy, listened to me, and said we had to deal with the diabetes, and moreover the high blood pressure. Yes, I know, it is hammering away on my kidneys. He said he was worried about my heart and is putting me on another hypertensive med. Okay, I will do it. My hope is if I lose some weight,eventually I can stop lining up my pills every day.
(Remember when you were a kid, and you’d see a grandparent or an uncle do that, and were mystified by it?
You take how many pills?!!)
He is ordering more labs, my last fasting glucose just came back and it was 150.
He said he might put me on Januvia. He wants to see what the new labs show.
Well, I am really fighting this disease now. I am walking/running one half hour a day, and I am going to get back up to one hour. I heard a doctor once say the way to really knock diabetes down was tough exercise. I wish they would prescribe “Lots of couch potato exercise and Dove chocolates”.
Anyway, I have to go for physical therapy for this bad arm and shoulder of mine. That is headway.
And I am working this week, I got one day of PRN tech work, so I am really happy to go to work.

You know, I’ve been working in medicine on and off, and I have seen people treat patients very well and poorly too. I have seen people come in and they are just really hostile or tense, and it is because they are afraid or hurting. I had one lady yelling at me once, when I scanned her thyroid. I just kept working, and later, in the hall, as I walked her to the exit, she apologized. I said, Oh, it’s okay, figuring there was a reason, and she said, “My husband died last month and I am having my knees operated on this week and I am so alone.” She actually hugged me. Later, a coworker remarked on how “bad” she was, and I told her that lady has a lot on her plate.
I still kick myself to this day, because I didn’t think of it then, but I should have found out when she was having the surgery, and went and visited her. I always think of the right thing to say or do later on…but now, I know and if it happens again, you bet I will do that.
Another time, a man came in and just talked it up for his exam. I could tell he was nervous. He said he knew I wasn’t allowed to tell him if I knew if anything was wrong. I said, yes, you are right. But after I was done, I went and told the radiologist that I wanted him to look at his films and if there was no pathology, to go and tell this patient. The doctor was relunctant, and gave me that “oh jeez” look, but he did come in and tell the man he was okay. That patient was so chipper just bouncing down the hall later. He was so happy to know he was alright.
Those times make up for all the times I see bad stuff. And I know how people feel because I have been on both sides of the bed.

Oh, I forgot to ask if anyone has been on both Metformin and Januvia. Did they lose weight on them? I am only on 500mg of Metformin so I wonder if it is helping me or not.

Glad to hear you’ve got a much nicer doc! So satisfying to fire the bad ones.

Did he discuss possibly putting you some insulin?

Your patients are very lucky to have you. No doubt you’ve made a positive impact on them.