When doctors disagree

Sometimes it feels like you are just along for the ride when you are navigating the follow up after dealing with a critical illness. It isn’t like the runaway train or tornado of the illness, not at all. It is just like you are a passenger along for the ride, sometimes there is disagreement among the drivers, in this case the MDs.

My husband took me to the hospital for a procedure my surgeon ordered recently. They called to ask us to come in a little earlier, no worries, we can come in earlier. We arrived early for the early time. The process is you check in at the main desk, they call you for the insurance and ID bit.

The insurance and ID bit is where things started to seem a little weird. They didn’t know what to call the procedure my doctor had sent me there to get. We sat there and waited until that was hashed out. It took about 12 minutes.

After that I went to sit in another area to wait to be called. They called me back and had me change and sit in another waiting area. This wait was more than 20 minutes, very unusual, so unusual I was about to check to see if I got the directions wrong. About then they came to get me. I glanced at my watch, this was starting later than the original appointment and we arrived early, very unusual.

Two nurses did some preliminary testing and left the room for about 20 minutes, very very unusual. I took a little nap, there is nothing else to do in the dimly lit room and they put a warm blanket on me.

When they came back with the doctor they informed me that they would not be performing the procedure and why. The doctor was patient explaining it to me, said he couldn’t reach the surgeon and since he didn’t see the need I could get dressed and go home. Well that capped the unusual-ness of the day.

They, the two nurses and the doctor, said that they tried to reach my surgeon to let her know but couldn’t get a hold of her. The doctor assured me that this was ok, his opinion matched that of another doctor he consulted with, he’d let my surgeon know when he could get a hold of her. It was all very strange and completely different from anything I had experienced. I sent a text to my doctor informing her of what was going on, hoping to catch her before I left. She was in surgery at the time so no reply. I got dressed and left, we were there for two hours with nothing to show for it but quite a bit of confusion.

She replied after she was out of surgery, a few hours later and said was disappointed that her orders weren’t carried out. She said she would take care of it, clearly irritated.

As a patient what do you do? I couldn’t make the doctor do the procedure, my opinion didn’t matter at all. They looked like they felt they were doing the best thing for me, how can you argue with that? I want the best and most appropriate care possible.

To date the procedure hasn’t happened.

Weird things happen in life. I imagine that for every one weird thing like this you see, there must be more happening behind the scenes. It is reasonable to think doctors have differences of opinion just like any other people do. For some reason I assumed they always agreed and had an idyllic peaceful coexistence in the workplace. This experience doesn’t exactly shatter my assumption, but it does give me pause.

For now there is a new driver and my surgeon and I are passengers along for the ride. I have to trust that we are going in the right direction.

Published by survivorsherpa

I am a wife and mother to three daughters, a chemist and a breast cancer survivor. I would very much like to help others by caring and advocating for them while sharing my experiences and tips that may help to thrive during and after treatment.

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