I Wonder If I’ll Get Delay of Game…

I received an email from my Primary Care Manager the other day.

She responded to my message that I needed refills even though it wasn’t time for me to come back in for a visit yet to let me know she had arranged for all of my scripts. At the end was something that winds up keeping me awake with worry.

“I’ll be leaving [the hospital] 10 September.”

Fuck.

“I’ve told [new doctor taking her place] about you to make sure he is up to speed.”

*panic begins*

“I wish you well.”

I’ve made bad sports metaphors about the way that good health care goes when you have a chronic condition, and your doctor leaves. Basically, my center is out for the season. The thing is, pucks just started flying in from all directions as very slight things have started to go awry, and we’ve been trying new things to fix them. I’ve agreed to a few new referrals that I’ve declined in the past (such as seeing the Neurologist when in the past I’ve been shamed and yelled at by them), some alternatives to my current regimen.

Now, I feel not only ill-prepared for the season, but naked on the ice for the game.

A change of doctor, especially when it is unexpected is alarming. When things have been going well for so long. When my current doctor has done so well advocating for me. When she has insisted that I not be ashamed to ask for more pain medication. When she has listened, not only to my medical concerns, but to my life concerns, because she really believed that they were equally important.

Perhaps the new doctor will be just as wonderful. Perhaps he will storm onto the ice and intercept the puck and make a saving play, and find answers we didn’t see before. Perhaps things will continue and I will notice little or no difference. I might get lucky and this new doctor will allow me to email him for prescription refills to.

But what if he isn’t?

It’s the “what if?” game that is causing the voice inside to shriek that everything is going to fall apart. If for some reason this new doctor turns out to be a nightmare the process of finding another one is not simple. It takes time. It takes spoons. It takes a calm place in my mind that I am not sure I can achieve during this stream of events.

*The title refers to this hockey penalty. In keeping in the spirit of my bad sports metaphor, for fussing about a new doctor…

6 Comments

  1. I hear you. I lost my primary care doctor in May (a doctor that started out great and ended up…not) and it was really terrifying, as I was in the middle of a medical crisis *and* I live in a rural area in which it’s very hard to find a new doctor at all (much less one sensitive to disability issues).

    But it turned out okay. My new doc is great and she’s very supportive of the adaptations I need to make in order to get the best health care from her.

    I won’t say “Try not to worry,” because I know that isn’t possible. It’s a worrisome thing. I’ll just say, “I’ve been there and while I’m not in your exact situation, I have some idea of how you feel right now.”

  2. I’m scared of that happening.

    I’m also in hideous pain right now, so bad I can feel it in my jaws and could taste it.

    I called my regular doctor telling him what was going on… no reply. I’m seeing a new specialist on Wednesday… how will it go why does it hurt wow it really hurts.

  3. Oh God, I know the feeling. I go to a hospital’s Family Health Team, which (in this one at least) consists of a lot of residents supervised by a team of established doctors. Which means my family doctor is a resident, and residents tend to move around and also go away to practice in other areas for times. My family doctor’s moved on, and the doctor I see for therapy is gone all summer, and so now I have this other doctor who’s totally unfamiliar with my medical history…anyway, it’s a pain in the ass, and you can never tell whether a new doctor is going to be awesome or not.

    So good luck, good luck, good luck.

  4. My GP takes a few months off a year for health reasons. I don’t know the specifics, since that crosses the personal/professional boundary, but I both am scared for her knowing she’s unwell enough to need so much time off, and terrified of having to replace her. A doctor I can trust implicitly to give me what I need 9 out of 12 months a year is much better than the years of trying to find a doctor who would take me seriously at all.

  5. Gentle hugs if wanted, and good luck! I know how important a good doc is, and I hope the new one turns out to be one.

  6. One of my biggest worries is that right now, because there is sometimes a long wait to see my PCM and I am only allotted a 30-day supply of two of my meds at one time, my current PCM allows me to email her for refills. I am worried that the new doc won’t be so accommodating and that I am going to have painful gaps in continuity of my meds. Of course, this 30-day limit isn’t a TRICARE limit, as I had been lead to believe…it is this particular hospital’s policy. If I were in the States I would get a 90-day supply of the same meds. But OH NOES this OIC has to set some example or something over controlled scripts.

    *groans*