ER doctor coerces patient into making appt for bariatric surgery consult (not reason for ER visit)

happyduck writes:

This story took place at Hadasah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, Israel. Most of the story actually took place in English, so I know it is not a mishearing/mistranslation. The bits that were not were within my realm of Hebrew understanding.

I generally avoid doctors at all costs. I have found that, regardless of whether I have a hangnail or a broken arm, the answer I get generally involves “well, you need to lose weight”.

Ok, firstly, no kidding. I am fat. Do you really think that all I needed was for you to point it out to me? Oh my gosh, I never noticed, thank you so much! I am going to go lose 10,000 lbs overnight and then you can treat the problem tomorrow when I come back all nice and skinny okay?

Secondly, do you really think that is how you can be most helpful?

So now that you have the background.

I woke up Thursday with a huge lump on my shoulder. Being me, I figured I did not need to see anyone, it was just a bump and it would go away. By Friday it was a bump that hurt. Saturday it was so bad I actually called to book a doctor’s appointment for later in the week. first one I could get with my doctor was for Thursday.

Ok, I could hold out to then.

Woke up sunday morning and could not turn my head. Called the doctors office and asked to see someone, anyone, ASAP. They got me in to see a new doctor in the practice for later that afternoon.

now, this story is not about her. Truth be told, I like her and will likely keep using her as I like her more than my old doctor, and since she is new it is way faster to get an appointment. No this is the story of a different set of doctors. 2 sets in fact.

She sent me to the emergency room. I got there, checked in and went to the nurse. Everything was fine except for the fact that I had really high blood pressure. Now, I know from experience that my blood pressure has always been on the low end. I am fat, I am not hypertensive. Well, I was for like 2 days once infection set in before my daughter was delivered, but generally no infection, no high blood pressure.

I spent the rest of my er visit hearing about the my high blood pressure (even though the nurse also told me that if I knew it to be irregular than it probably was from infection/pain and to just have it taken again after just to be sure). So, not related to anything to do with why I was there the doctors order blood sugars taken. Of course, if one is fat one MUST be diabetic. Funny, although they did say it was high for fasting- I WAS NOT FASTING! I had eaten a yogurt and had some juice less than an hour earlier.

Ok, they drained the cyst. I told them I was pretty sure there was still junk in there, but they told me I was wrong. Bandaged it so tightly I could not move my head, shoulder or neck and it was causing more pain than the cyst, and sent me home.

Went to the nurse the next day to change the dressing. Seriously, 2/3 of the pain went away the minute she put on a normal dressing not pulled tight enough to create a slingshot. she took my blood pressure as requested. It was still above normal, but had dropped 30 ish points from the night before. she took that as a sign it was pain related. Cleaned the wound and whatnot, re bandaged it and let me go.

Ok, last night it really started to hurt again. A lot. Went back to my doctor who said it was not fully drained (can you say “I told you so”?) and sent me back to the ER.

Triage said blood pressure was high (but not as high as the first night), but other than that no problem. They are putting me in to see an orthopedic surgeon. Why orthopedic? No idea, but that is what they did. Told me it would be about 15 minutes. an hour and 45 minutes later I saw the orthopedic surgeon long enough to have him rip off the bandage, poke it a bit, tell me not his problem, then watch him go yell at a nurse.

I am no in more pain than I was when I came in, have no clean bandage, and am at the bottom of the list for a regular surgeon.

Regular surgeon comes in. “You need bariatric surgery. What is the problem today. Oh, a cyst is because you are fat. you need a lap band. Lie down so I can clean this out”.

While he was cleaning it out, he was going on about how I NEED it done. I said I am working on things with my own doctor. He laughed. I said (while face down with him having a scalpel in my back) can we talk about this later? He said no. Now. I need ot make sure you hear it.

Like I said, I am fat. I know I am fat. Is it an option? Certainly- and maybe one that should be considered, but this is neither the time nor the place! He demanded we make an appointment at his office for Monday- allegedly to look in on the wound, but I am nearly 1000000000000% sure I know better. Unless there is a major problem, I will go to my own doctor and cancel the one I was forced into in another city!d not slept in for longer than 20 minutes at a shot in almost a week.

Oh, did I mentioned he also told me outright I was lying and he rarely thinks patients are right when I said I was not over concerned about a high ish blood pressure while I was in mass amounts of pain and ha

I am furious. Not for being told I am fat- that is not really a secret, but for being held in a literal headlock while he told an otherwise healthy patient that she needs major surgery! If I consider it, it will be after discussion with my doctor to see if it is the right option. If I do it, it will not be because someone held me in a headlock until I agreed.

This is why I rarely go see a doctor even when I am in pain and probably should. I have no idea how he thought this would help, but if not for a good GP I would likely stay away from a doctor next time I need one based on today.

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  1. This story disgusts me. Where do doctors get off thinking it is their right to force you into something? No.

    It is sadder to think that there will be other people who are treated the same by this doctor but who go along with it, and then suffer the side effects and life long consequences of having bariatric surgery.

  2. Thanks. The truth is I have no idea if it is something I am willing to consider or not- but the time and place was just wrong in any case for such a “discussion”.

  3. I have been there and done that!

    My mother decided I needed a physical – it was 6 years ago. My blood pressure is normal, not a diabetic, etc. The physician recommended bariatric surgery because she thought I would be happier with my life.

    Sev yrs ago I had a stomach virus. I seem to be getting these quite frequently. Have had one since Thurs evening. (Until today I had 6 Sonic Route 44 lemonades, 5 pringles chips, 2 cups of rice, 1 baked potato, plate full of iceberg lettuce – no dressing) You guessed it. I have lost NOTHING but fluids.

    I digress…

    I did 2 ER visits that year – I was dehydrated. The ER attending discovered when I am dehydrated I get Tachycardia. My mother, who has a very serious cardiac condition (she has always been underweight, perfect eater, no fat, fish, veggies, little bread). She makes me an appointment with an internist. I also have acid reflux. But, according to him I needed bariatric surgery because I would feel better about myself.

    She forces me to go to her cardiologist, who has kept her alive for the past 5 years, but he and I do not get along. He immediately told me I had 5 years to live because of my weight. I needed to exercise 2 hrs a day, and needed bariatric surgery. I had a blockage caused by my weight. No family history taken. He also disapproved of my career as a writer, wanted to know what I did in the real world.

    On the way out the door he mentioned what he thought was a blockage could simply be damage from the Rheumatic fever. If that was the case, I should be limiting my exercise.

    I went to my GP, told him about the constant pain I had in my abdomen – all my adult life. He wanted to know why the you know what, with my severe endometriosis I had not been given the option of a hysterectomy. He feels this is the cause for the problems I have with the bloating of my stomach! There are some honest physicians, not many, though.

    I’m surprised bariatric surgery was not required for my broken elbow a few years ago!

    Stand firm. It is dangerous surgery. They don’t care about that. After all, we are fat, ergo we have no quality of life. Who cares if we live or die?

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