I’m mad. I’m BEYOND mad. And I’m going to print out this post and send it to my Primary Care Physician–Dr. Roan–in hopes that I NEVER have to experience such incompetence again in my life!!!
I’m still sick beyond belief. Poor Dave has had to pick up my slack in a major way. He’s had to take Jack to all of his therapy appointments. He’s had to care for him on the weekends. He’s had to deal with a wife who no longer has the energy to cook herself healthy meals or exercise. So now he’s stuck with A FATTY. He’s stuck with a wife who is at THE HIGHEST weight she’s ever been. So fat that I can barely function.
Two Wednesdays ago, I booked a “sick visit” at Lahey Clinic, and they scheduled me to see a Nurse Practitioner by the name of Frances Lloyd (FYI–female). I told her my spiel–‘I’m out-of-my-mind sick, and I happen to have a child with Down syndrome and autism. Even if you don’t feel like I need a prescription for an antibiotic, please give me one anyway, and I promise not to fill it unless I feel like I’m getting sicker.’ My diagnosis, per Ms. Lloyd? A “summer cold”. Wow, “hilarious”. Two days later, LAST last Friday, I felt like death, so I called her office, requesting a prescription. “If she could just call in a prescription . . . and I won’t pick it up unless I get sicker, please?!’ The phone call I received back from her secretary? ‘She wants you to continue with her recommendations’ (“get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids”.) Seriously, are you an IDIOT? Did you NOT hear the part where I told you that I had a son with Down syndrome an autism???!!! And so I caved. I figured that, hey, it MUST be just a “summer cold”, right? Because I NEED it to be just a “summer cold”. It CANNOT be anything other than a “summer cold”. (Can you believe that I’m actually crying as I type this?!) “Shockingly”, it was NOT a “summer cold”, as non-doctor Lloyd suggested.
“Non-doctor Lloyd” said that my “summer cold” should last between 7-10 days. So I waited. And waited. And waited for my “summer cold” to go away. I suffered through last weekend, and through ALL of last week. My husband had to bring Jack to all of his therapy appointments because I was too sick to bring him. This past Thursday, I finally called “Non-doctor Lloyd’s” office and BEGGED for a prescription, THROUGH TEARS. And no, I’m not exaggerating. FINALLY, she agreed to call in a Z-pack, which is a course of Zithromycin that you take for 5 days and then you’re supposed to feel ALL BETTER. Well GUESS WHAT, “Non-doctor Lloyd”? I STILL feel as sick as I did when I originally saw you. Do you think I’m dumb enough to skip a dose of my Z-pack? And how exactly did you expect me to fit in all of this “lots of rest” when I have a child with Down syndrome, autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, Celiac Disease, and chronic sinus infections? What planet did you live on?!
So here I am. 10 days later. On Day 4 of my Z-pack. Still feeling like death warmed over. Or, as I described it to a friend “I feel (and look) (and smell) like death warmed over.” I still have (what I assume to be) a high fever. I wake up soaked in sweat, my blankets damp with sweat as well. I’ve still been coughing uncontrollably. In fact, my coughing has been “so much fun” that–despite my codeine cough syrup–I actually pulled a muscle in my chest from coughing. Do you know how “soothing” it feels to experience a coughing fit while you’ve pulled a muscle in your chest? Let me clue you in–IT’S EXCRUCIATING!!! So I continue to take my Z-pack. And Motrin–to mask the pain of my pulled muscle, and to bring my temperature down to a level that won’t soak my clothing and bedding in my sleep.
I was supposed to go to the convention tomorrow. Granted, part of me didn’t want to go because it would mean that people that I haven’t seen in a while would see me and be horrified by my clinical obesity. They’d have to pretend that they weren’t horrified by how fat I had gotten over the past 6 months. Or they’d ask “how far along” I was when, in fact, I’m not pregnant. It would be a humiliating experience for all of us. So perhaps I should “THANK” “non-doctor Lloyd” for taking the easy way out and sending me on my merry way with the advice to “take things easy” and “get a lot of rest”. For the sake of my sanity, I have to tell myself that this woman has no children. Because if she did, she would NEVER dismiss somebody in my position with such USELESS advice. “Lots of fluids and lots of rest”? Are you giving advice to a teenager, or are you just an idiot? YOU WORK AT A GERIATRIC HOSPITAL. How ’bout you start giving your patients some ADULT advice.
I called Lahey Clinic’s Patient Advocate Department and spoke to a representative. I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t vindictive. I just wanted to be taken seriously. I told the Patient Advocate my story–I had a child with multiple disabilities and I COULD NOT afford to be sick. EVER. Let me repeat that for effect: EVER EVER EVER. I told the Patient Advocate that I wanted something put in my medical record that stated something like “Patient has son with multiple disabilities. If she comes in for a “Sick Visit” she NEEDS to be handed a written prescription for an antibiotic, on the grounds that she will not fill it unless her condition continues to deterioriate.”
So “thank you”, “non-doctor Lloyd”, for all of your “help”. You’ve made my life, and the life of my husband UNBEARABLE. I can’t even function properly. And this Z-pack? It has yet to make me feel any better. But gee, I hope your weekend is going swimmingly! Hope you’re having a great time with your boyfriend/husband/lover!!! Because I’ve just spent the past few minutes bawling my eyes out, apologizing to my husband for being so sick, and for being incapable of taking care of our child with special needs. But hey, what does THAT matter? All that matters is that YOU, “non-doctor Lloyd”, are having a FABULOUS weekend!