After the promising diagnosis by my cancer team, I started dealing what started this whole cycle, claudication. An MRI with contrast for the vascular surgeon & an extremely alert Radiologist discover the probable cancer. I call it serendipity!
Well, after a year I revisited the Vascular Surgeon, who decided this “fix” was a three step process. So we, and I use the “we” liberally, decided to schedule Step 1. He diagnosed that the blockage started in the groin area and that required stents. A stent is a metal or plastic tube inserted into an anatomic vessel or duct to keep the passageway open.
Well, to make a long story short, the procedure went off as scheduled. Apparently they thought it was succesful, but the patient (ME!) can’t agree. My discharge instructions were “take it easy” and don’t lift anything over 5lbs for 5 days and finally, don’t exercise. I had no problem following the last instruction since excercise is not high on my priority list. Also, if in pain, call the doctor or resident-on-call.
Procedure was on a Thursday and by Saturday I was on so much pain that I took an oxycodone. Don’t ask, but Tylenol just didn’t make a dent in the pain nor did a stiff Scotch & Water. By Monday, I could bear the misery and followed instructions. I called the doctor who performed the surgery and, after negotiating the phone system, left a message with his assistant. I can’t tell if she an RN, NP or am admin assistant, but she is not helpful. She called me back on Tuesday morning, a day later, with this brilliant advice: “call your PCP.” A shook my head, got snapping (me?) and decided I’d have to bear the discomfort, and that’s polite. Anyway, I finally talked to the doctor who basically had the attitude of “not my problem, the procedure should cause this” Off he went to NYC for a conference and then on vacation, Nothing he could do and he didn’t have any appointments before my scheduled followup. This stenting ended with me not being able to walk without pain, longer than bed-to-couch, and have numb, cramping feet.
I do have a schedule CT with Contrast for my Medical Oncologist in a few days. This is coincidental because of a normal follow-up appointment. The Vascular Surgeon told me he would review the results and call me from NYC. Right! Maybe he will, maybe he won’t, I’m not holding my breath,
I know he has all the credentials – Georgetown through and through, respected papers, recognised as an expert, everyone that should give me confidence. I may be a demanding patient, but I do expect a little more from my doctor than “slam bam thank you ma’am.” I’d like a kiss at least.
I will keep the follow-up appt and talk to my Medical Oncologist. But if he doesn’t humor me, I not proceeding with any more procedures with him. He’s Fired!