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Bad doctor experience

FLClover Member Posts: 1,513
So, I had an interesting appointment yesterday with a neurophysiologist. I got carpal tunnel syndrome last year after taking Letrozole, and have since changed to Arimidex. I still have tingly fingers, but I can feel things and my hands are stronger, so decided to get reassessed to see if I could avoid surgery (simple and short surgery but loooong recovery period). After the test, he was telling me the results, but was very confusing. He said I’m not an oncologist, all I can tell you is from what I know. But you’d need to get assessed based on your whole history. 
Me: ok, so should I book another appointment? 
Him: no! You’ve already done it!
Me: then should I have the surgery? 
Him: I can’t tell you what to do without a full assessment without taking your history into account!
Me: so how would I get that? 
Him: you’d have to make an appointment with a neurologist, like me, and get it checked.
Me: so then I do need another appointment, where the doctor could check everything and then tell me what to do. 
Him: no! You don’t need another test! You’ve just done one! 
Me: 😶. 
Him: you’ve got this condition, it’s not going away, so based on what I know, I’m telling you fix it! 
Me: ok, I know it needs fixing and surgery is probably best. But are there any known long term effects of the surgery? 
Him: long term it will kill you! 
Me: 😳😳😳😳😳😳😳
Him: you had bca, did you have surgery straight away or wait?
Me: straight away, in my case. 
Him: so there you go. 
At this point I decided to leave. Very confused and very down. Am I wrong to think you can’t compare ca with carpal tunnel syndrome? They don’t work in the same way. And not all bca patients have surgery straight away. But most importantly, he didn’t answer my main question, about the long term effects of the surgery and recovery time. He just mentioned the word no one wants to hear in a doctor’s office: ‘kill’. I googled afterwards and there are different ways to control carpal tunnel syndrome, none of which he mentioned. Also, my results were not worse, if anything they were better. But it was just the attitude. And whenever I tried to explain smth quickly, he’d cut me off straight away and waffle on for ages, then still not allow me to speak. Is it my imagination, or was this experience really bad? 


  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,130
    @FLClover that sounds very confusing even reading the story. So is surgery something that you need once you satisfy yourself about the risks? think I would be looking for another specialist if possible. 
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,190
    If at first you don't understand, even when you have asked for clarification, I'd look elsewhere. He may be brilliant but he can't communicate. And it won't be his fault if you misunderstand, that's pretty certain. He's not an oncologist so making comparisons is both irrelevant and pushy! It's hard enough to make decisions about surgery with someone you understand and trust. Some practitioners have to learn the hard way that the days of a patient doing something completely unquestioningly are over. We're not the specialist, but we're not entirely stupid and it's our bodies. If he can't be bothered listening, what else can't he be bothered doing? Best wishes for a better encounter with someone else. 
  • MicheleR
    MicheleR Member Posts: 343
    Wow. Sounds like he just thinks you should have surgery and not question him. Somewhat arrogant. Particularly upsetting some of his comments, poor you. Id find someone else who is more pleasant. 
  • TonyaM
    TonyaM Member Posts: 2,818
    Like you FLClover,I’m totally confused and I bet you paid a lot of money for that weird experience! I think I would look for someone else.Take care xx
  • Sister
    Sister Member Posts: 4,960
    A good practitioner would back a second opinion if you were unsure.  Personally, as you said, I'm not sure what correlation he's drawing between cancer and carpal tunnel and as far as I'm aware, carpal won't kill you so you've got time to question.  Absolutely go to someone else who is happy to explain the options and effects.
  • AllyJay
    AllyJay Member Posts: 926
    @Sister...That had me scratching my head too. This claim that..."Long term, it will kill you". What was going to kill who, and how does surgery for carpel tunnel correlate with death of the patient? I wouldn't let this "doctor" anywhere near me with a scalpel in his hand....
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,003
    @FLClover .... a neurophysiologist is a neurologist who specializes in the diagnosis of nervous system disorders (not necessarily a surgeon.) They are supposed to give you nerve tests and advise yay or nay to surgery! He only confused you! 

     It really Sounds to me like you need to see An orthopedic hand specialist who has specific expertise in orthopedics as it relates to injuries and debilitating issues in the hand – which is what makes this type of medical specialist the proper health care professional to diagnose and treat your carpal tunnel syndrome!

    Try and see the best ortho Hand specialist you can find .... and good luck 
  • FLClover
    FLClover Member Posts: 1,513
    edited June 2021
    @Cath62 @Afraser @MicheleR  @TonyaM  @Sister  @AllyJay
    Yep, absolutely! I couldn’t believe what was happening. He was explaining to me what it was, even though I already knew, and my questions were only was the condition better, and were there any long term effects from the surgery. I wasn’t opposed to the surgery, just wanted to know my options and recovery time. While he was still doing the test, I mentioned I wanted to know if I could avoid the surgery if the condition was better, and he asked how the symptoms were. I said much better than before, that’s why I even came to do another test. He goes don’t let anyone tell you you need surgery if your symptoms are ok. You know best, and if your symptoms don’t cause trouble then don’t have it. I said Dr C (first doc that did the test in Nov-female) told me best to do the surgery, otherwise I could lose muscle mass permanently. He cuts me off, gets annoyed and starts going off about how Dr C can’t tell me those things, then explains what it is, and tells me the same thing Dr C told me. That was when confusion first started. Then he realises I had the test before, gets old results, prob looks at my file properly for first time and tells me I should fix it, and the above conversation followed. So he went from telling me not to do it if I thought it was ok, to telling me to do it, but not directly. Geez!! There was a young lady trainee doctor there. She was putting the nodes on me and controlling the electric pulses. He kept telling her off for doing it wrong and missing a week of training. I thought, even if she could do it perfectly, she’d still stuff it up cos of him, cos he was making her nervous with his impatience. Poor girl. And poor me. I was so baffled I was speechless. 
    In hindsight, it was very much like my experience with my first surgeon. They appear so knowledgeable and you think great, he’s gonna fix the problem. Then they tell you conflicting info and confuse you. When you try to get clarification they become impatient and cut you off. And you’re sitting there thinking what is happening and what do I do now??? When you’re in the moment, it’s quite an unpleasant experience. Something so little can leave you feeling so deflated. Bloody h*ll. They need to either change profession or start realising they’re not God. I’m tired of being made to feel stupid, scared and confused by these doctors 😠. 
    And yes, the ‘it will kill you long term’ comment. WHAT??? What will??? I’m pretty sure carpal tunnel is not a threat even close to that extent, so what was he referring to!? The breast ca??? 🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️. My goodness, after all the psychologist sessions and self reflecting and emotional fixing and everything else, I have a neurophysiologist tell me this about the bca!!! Far out!! Talk about a punch in the guts!! Similar to the comment from my first psychologist: don’t worry, your daughter will be fine without you. She’ll move on and still have a great life. - Oh gee, thanks for that very thoughtful and encouraging comment!! Should I just give up now then?? 🤔😡🤬. Male, similar age to above doc. I don’t want to sound sexist, but I’m not having good experiences with males somewhat. Too much mansplaining, total lack of empathy, belittling, no room for suggestions etc. I’m definitely going to see someone else, as @arpie suggested I will contact my gp about an appointment with a hand specialist. This doctor was not a surgeon, but nevertheless he could have referred me to another specialist to get more info. Anyway, this became a bit of a vent. I was just so upset afterwards and it took me back to the horrible period last year. After thinking about it and reading your comments, I got angry cos you’re all right, he really wasn’t a good doctor 🤷🏼‍♀️. It’s good to get perspective. Thank you heaps ladies ♥️♥️♥️😘😘😘
    @arpie thanks for the recommendation to
    see an orthopaedic hand specialist! 👌🏻😊
  • Sister
    Sister Member Posts: 4,960
    In the 90s, Adelaide University (which has one of the supposedly top notch med schools) introduced an interview process as part of the admissions requirements.  It caused a furore then, and occasionally still does, when academically gifted students did not get offered places due to their performance in the interview.  Oh dear, my son/daughter is brilliant and being forced to go to Melbourne to study medicine.  One of the main reasons they introduced this requirement, was to try to recognise "people" skills amongst other things.  (Interestingly, I have heard on the grapevine, and so should be taken with a grain of salt, that there are some applicants who go into the interview and tell the panel they don't want to be a doctor - this is the only part of the process that they feel they can fail.)
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,003
    Good on you, @AllyJay - you've really copped a bad set of cards - but you maintain an amazing sense of humour & dignity in how you are tackling it xx.  Take care. xx

  • FLClover
    FLClover Member Posts: 1,513
    @sister I think I really like Adelaide University. And this just goes to show how so many intellectuals don’t think people skills are necessary at all, and why we see so many medical professionals with terrible attitudes. Not only are they arrogant, they’re cold too. All medical unis should have that interview in my opinion. 
  • FLClover
    FLClover Member Posts: 1,513
    Excuse my language @AllyJay but what an asshole he was 😠. Clearly you were just a robot to him. I’m happy you told him no! As if it’s not hard enough having all those medical issues, you now need to be a guinea pig for these insensitive p**cks. Unbelievable. 
    As arpie said though, you have an amazing attitude towards it all 💪🏻. 
  • FLClover
    FLClover Member Posts: 1,513
    @AllyJay I think that’s fantastic, helping young doctors-to-be 😊. It helps medical advancement. I agree about the senior doctors 👌🏻.