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Monday, October 26, 2015

I didn't go to the doctor

Last Saturday I was doing jump squats when my yoga mat slipped beneath me. I wrenched my knee a little bit, and by that evening, the inside back of my knee was pretty sore. I tried running on Sunday, and threw in the towel early - something was wrong. I consulted my handy dandy Jordan Metzl book, The Athlete's Book of Home Remedies, and determined that I had an MCL strain. The book also said that I should see a doctor, because any knee injury should have a doctor's attention. I decided to do as I was told, so I made an appointment to see my sports medicine doctor (the one who took over for my surgeon after he moved) on Wednesday.
I held off running at the moment, because it was bothering my knee, and because I had a sneaking suspicion that the only reason I strained the ligament was because my hamstring on that side was still tight and bothersome. By Monday I was much better, and by Wednesday really quite fine, but why skip the appointment? At least I could discuss the fact that my right leg keeps falling out of socket (seriously. How annoying).
Turns out that one of my bosses was in town last minute and wanted to see me. He emailed about this on Tuesday - so unfortunately I had to explain that I wouldn't be at work that afternoon. My appointment was at 2, and he was going to be available at 2! So I canceled plans with him, got up and went in to work early to make up for leaving early, left at 1:30, drove to my appointment, checked in, and...Sat there. For an hour. After waiting an entire hour, I asked the receptionist for a time estimation. She told me they were waiting on a room. Then the assistant (an exercise physiology student) came out and brought me back "for x-rays". Now this irritates the heck out of me about Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine. Without ever seeing a doctor or other qualified health professional, and without anyone reviewing your chart, you are always immediately x-rayed. It's basically insurance fraud. I declined x-rays (duh, they would be useless in this complaint) and now had to wait in the imaging waiting area.
At 3:10, I got up and went to reception and asked to see the clinic manager. Well, the manager that day was actually in administration at the hospital, spending time at the sports medicine clinic that day because they were short staffed. So that was awkward, because I work with her downtown at the hospital. She explained that they'd overbooked the doctor and were running 1:30 behind. Seriously?! So call and tell me! Tell me and I will reschedule, cancel, see another doctor, come in later...anything. But to make me wait over an hour without a single word of update or explanation is unfair. I rearranged my whole schedule for nothing, because I left. I told her that I simply did not want to be treated like that as a patient, and I would transfer care elsewhere (now that my doctor is no longer there, I have no reason to go there  - it's not even convenient to my work since it's not at the hospital where I work, but offsite).
Since my knee doesn't hurt now - oh well. No big deal. But I am irritated at the waste of time. And I have to admit - I won't be recommending this clinic to my patients. I've had multiple bad experiences there: the wait is always very long, and this is the second time I left without being seen after over an hour. Twice I've scheduled an appointment that wasn't entered into the system, meaning that I left work and drove all the way over for nothing. So I'm over it. I'm switching care back to the doctor I saw before, even though YES he did misdiagnose my labral injuries for a good while. Hopefully I won't need to see him for a long time anyway!


  1. Healthcare in general blows. My son had an incident that involved a trip to the ER earlier this year. He turned out to be fine, but I followed up with an appointment to see a specialist. It took me two months to get the appointment, I took the day off of work (the appointment was right smack in the middle of the day). The appointment itself involved a 5 minute brief exam that was no different than the pediatricians assessment. The office itself looked like a makeshift temporary office space.

    The specialist couldn't really diagnose my son, without any symptoms showing at the time. But, if he has any more issues by all means come back......Grrrr..

  2. This mirrors the experience I generally have when I go to see my rheumatologist. The wait is obnoxious. I need to change doctors but it's such a pain to do so, so I have procrastinated on doing that... But I need to change doctors because it's terrible to keep people waiting. I don't Understand why they don't call if they are running behind. Sooo crappy.

    But I am glad your knee is feeling better.

    1. Honestly, I think it's about the money. Tulane is a for-profit group, and they really push their docs to fit everyone in, and they encourage overscheduling in case someone cancels. It's a terrible way to treat your patients, though!

  3. That's incredibly rude. It's so self-important to keep people waiting that long. You also are a busy person with responsibilities to your job and they should respect that.

  4. This is exactly why I have not gone to the doctor for my back pain. I know they are going to make me wait, overcharge me, and then tell me to rest, stretch and take ibuprofen. It's too much work for what it is worth sometimes!

    PS. I am going to try the Metzl workout that you suggested!