Tuesday, August 6, 2013

" Guess What Doctor......I Am Clearly Not A Cat"

If you read the post last week about me deciding to have a surgery I postponed for far too long and are looking for the rest of the story I promised. Well, here ya go!

These days, I guess it is standard procedure to admit you into surgery in the wee early morning hours and by afternoon, you are all bandaged up, drugged up and sent home like a  walking barely walking zombie. Yea, that is exactly how that feels or at least that is how I felt on that day a few weeks back.

Luckily, we got home without incident and so as they say...the healing begins. If I do say so myself, there is a lot to be said for those words. The hardest part is the healing part, the few short hours that come with being sent home from a major surgery are the most trying and of course the most nerve wracking.  You honestly don't know what to expect, how much pain to expect, and you don't know what to expect out of the ones who are all of a sudden your care givers while you are rendered helpless.

Luckily, for said caregivers, the day was almost over and I am sure in the back of their minds nighttime was coming and that could only mean the good patient would sleep while they got a good nights rest as well. Funny, how things don't turn out the way you plan.

Truth of the matter is, those next few days were passed in a blur. I credit that to the pain medicine and chocolate pudding that was given in four hour intervals. But I can say, during that time of healing....the worse pain I have ever experienced in my life consumed my whole being. That first night, when I was presumed to be resting peacefully was everything but peaceful. Beside the fact that I was not able to make a single move without help, the pain was so sever it was mind crippling. I could not move for if I did the pain was so bad I thought I'd faint. I could not breath or catch my breath, for if I did, I felt I surely not be able to stand it, but then if  I didn't, I'd surly pass out. Of course, with this intense pain that was out of control, you can imagine the intense drama that unfolded and the out of control pleas for my poor caregiver to do something..ANYTHING.....or just let me die. Yea, that is the truth of the matter.

I am not a wimp when it comes to pain, and I can tolerate pain rather well. After all, I had both of my children without the aid of pain blockers as I was more afraid of the needles of an epidural than I was the actual pain of childbirth. So I don't credit all of the unpleasantness that came during the days that followed surgery for my lack of pain tolerance, because that just is not a factor. It was rough, and I mean that with every ounce of my being.

Four days after my surgery, I had a follow up visit to my doctor. Let me say this, in my pre-op visit before the surgery, I was assured that I would be able to return to all normal activity right away, I could drive if I felt up to it and I was told I should have minimum discomfort. Well, I am here to tell you there was no way I could drive myself, much less barely dress myself and my good friend took me to that appointment. It was at this very appointment that the beginning of  the end with that doctor/patient relationship was on the fast track out the door.

As to be expected, the doctor asked how I was doing? Well, I guess I did not sugar coat any of it well enough, and explained how the last four days had gone at home, truthfully. I mean after all, I think they have a right to know that this was not the easy walk in the park they had promised. I knew the bewildered look on the doctors face was not a good sign. The words that came next was so offensive to me, I was at a loss for words, and honestly, that is something that rarely happens if ever.

The doctors story went like this: "Well, you know, I once adopted two cats. One was male and one was female so right away I took them to the vet to have them neutered and spayed. I picked the cats up and brought them home and let them out of their kennel. The female walked around a bit and then she decided she wanted to jump on the window seal and look out. She jumped up and made a little "meow/eeep" sound, you know, like there might have been a little discomfort in jumping, but she laid right down in the sunshine and fell fast asleep.  Then, the male cat ate a bite of food and he did the same thing, he found his way to the shelving unit and jumped up, and he too made a little "meow/eeep" sound but settled right down and slept the afternoon away. Now, I wondered about that and wondered if animals don't feel much pain. I decided, no that was not it at all, that what it boiled down to was the fact that animals have no pre-misconceptions of pain. It seemed they had no expectations of pain so therefore, the recovery involved hardly any discomfort because they did not expect it to be that way. So maybe as humans, we expect to experience pain and therefore we bring the pain to our own selves because that is what we expect."

So there I was, sitting on the darn table in the doctors office, hardly able to have the strength to keep from swaying back and forth as I was feeling lightheaded. I was so weak I could barely stand or walk and had loaded up on pain medicine just to make it to the office that day. I had just experienced the worse four days I could remember in all of my life and clearly the worse pain I could not even imagine feeling and this doctor has the audacity to compare it all to their own two cats getting fixed and having no expectations of pain. All of the hardships in my recovery was chalked up to my own expectation of it and that was the issue. I was stunned into silence. I mean, after all, what do you say when  you realize you trusted your life to someone who clearly has little empathy for their patients or worse, who is clearly an idiot.

This is the fourth week since that day I walked into the hospital for a surgery that was promised to be a piece of cake but proved to be most difficult at best, and I guess by my own doing according to the doctor......It has been rough finding my strength to just make it through most days even when I started feeling better. Maybe it is because I am older now, and it is harder to spring back from this sort of thing quickly. But as each day comes and goes, I do move a little closer to being back to my old self. It has just taken time.....and taken a fair amount of time that I did not expect it would take.

I have my last follow up visit on Thursday, which by the way I am not looking forward to. Once that is done and I am released to return to work I will begin looking for another doctor. I have thought over and over about what that doctor said to me that day and compared me to a couple of cats. If I was upset at first, you can just imagine by now with weeks of thinking about it and how I feel now.

My husband and I laugh about it now, somewhat, and wonder if I had been compared to a couple of dogs, then maybe it would have been an easier pill to swallow. I mean, everyone knows I am certainly not a cat person and surly that was the sting of the words that day. Hump.....don't believe that for one minute!


  1. Sometimes I hate Doctors! I think they pre-judge people. I had surgery several years ago and it was brutal. Took me a long long time to recover! I do think the older we are the worse it can be. Everyone reacts to pain differently and I'm like you I had endured a lot of 'pain' when having children. So sorry you had such a creep for a Dr but glad to hear you are doing better. Get well soon and dump the creep!

  2. How awful! He should have been immediately alarmed when you said how much pain you were in! He should have taken you seriously in case you were having a side effect or something - that is so wrong!

  3. Sorry to hear you are having a terrible time with so much pain and such a awful doctor. This doctor should be in research, not treating patients. Did I hear him volunteer for an experiment to have his appendix out, med free, researching the "expect pain, have it" statement? Hope you are back to normal and pain free, and yes, find another doctor.

  4. Holy wow.

    I have nothing to say, this is just awful in about every way.

    Well I am SUPER glad you are on the mend, and so truly sorry you went through so much.

    That doctor deserves to have this addressed, seriously.

    Maybe just give him this url to this post and let your BLOG do your talking for you.

    Hugs and prayer for more healing, inside and out,


  5. I don't go to the doctor unless I have a serious problem. Lately, everything out of the doctor's mouth starts with "at your age"! I've been having on-going knee issues since last November. I was told that even if surgery was an option, "at my age" I would be told to rest and let it heal on its own! After fighting for an MRI, and begging for physiotherapy, the results are in - I do need surgery, but now am on a long waiting list! I don't believe the story of "minimal pain". Unless the doctor has had the same surgery at the same age etc., how does he/she know?
    Take your time recovering - it is tough to be a patient, and to have patience!

    1. The phrase I hear most often from doctors lately is a sentence that starts with "When we reach a certain age....". OH, how I cringe when I hear that!

  6. Wow! That is terrible. Maybe he should have some surgery and see how he feels. So glad you'll be looking for another doctor.

  7. oh, what a horrible thing to say to your patient...he should be neutered and then tell you how little pain it caused him when he jumped on the sofa for a nap. What a stupid person, not much in the way of bedside manner. You shouldn't have to go through that, glad you won't be seeing him again. Hope things are getting better, it sounds as if you are getting a little stronger and have found you sense of humour again!

  8. It's difficult enough to be a patient without having a totally rude and uncaring doctor! I hope you find a new one as soon as possible! And you should definitely write him a letter telling him exactly why you left!

  9. You know, except for the cat story, that's the kind of reaction I got from my doctor and his office staff after my knee surgery until I convinced them that I was REALLY REALLY hurting and they figured out I had blood clots. I also got those same promises of being back on my feet in a couple of weeks.

    Definitely find a new doctor!

  10. So sorry to hear that your recovery was so awful. Glad you are feeling better now.

  11. The doctor sounds like a real jerk! It is not HIS pain, so it must be unimportant. Well, I'd plan my words for my last visit and make sure he knows his bedside manner is severely lacking. Hope your recovery will continue. Prayers for healing are being sent up to the GREAT physician.♥♫

  12. Suzanne,
    I'm so sorry to hear about this terrible experience, the op & the pain afterwards can only have been made worse by this unfeeling and callous Doctor. I do hope you gave him/her a piece of your mind!
    After a long absence I'm back blogging & joining in my favourite meme's once again so I'll see you tomorrow with something vintage from Normandy.

  13. Sending you hugs and healing energy.

  14. My cat had surgery and they expected him to have pain and shaved a spot on his back so we could apply a fentanyl patch. Very considerate veterinarian. Maybe we should go see a vet rather than a doctor!

    PS I wouldn't take any of my pets to your doctor. What a brute. Glad you are healing, may it go faster every day.

  15. My cat had surgery and they expected him to have pain and shaved a spot on his back so we could apply a fentanyl patch. Very considerate veterinarian. Maybe we should go see a vet rather than a doctor!

    PS I wouldn't take any of my pets to your doctor. What a brute. Glad you are healing, may it go faster every day.

  16. I am speechless....He needs a good talking to. Seriously!


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