ETA: I am so grateful for all the support and brainpower around here. Y'all could run the world. It has made me feel so much better. It gave me the strength to research and I found some awesome doctors who are affiliated with the hospital where I got my tests, so my labs are already in their system. And they fit me in with the nurse practitioner who is seeing me Monday morning and will get me back on my meds and give me my results. HALLELUJAH!!!!
I wouldn't have had the strength to push through today without you guys. You might be anonymous online strangers, but you're real and substantial and important to me.
And now I can sit back and toy with this doctor. Based on all my research I can file complaints with about three agencies, four medical societies and his mother. Here is my original post filed in despondence this morning:
Lawyers in the house, your help would be appreciated. Should I find a malpractice attorney? I am seething.
Yesterday my doctor fired me. Because I have been demanding his office give me the results of my cancer tests now, not a month from now, and have been trying to get a prescription refill since LAST OCTOBER for a lifesaving medicine I am supposed to take daily OR DIE. His office has come up with all sorts of creative reasons to not refill my prescription. First they needed an expired referral renewed, but the issuing doctor had retired. So then I had to wait until my insurance changed and I no longer needed referrals.
So then suddenly they need me to complete all these cancer tests before they see me. They send me the wrong paperwork and another month's delay while I wait for the right paperwork so I can have the tests. By this time FOUR MONTHS have gone by since I've had my medicine. (I am taking an old bottle of similar medicine which expired three years ago. It's probably working a little, but definitely not completely, which is why I'm alive but feel like shit.)
Trying to explain all this to the nurse on February 19, I got testy. They still wouldn't see me until March 26 and they wouldn't refill my prescription, although I have been on this medicine since 2005. When I got upset the receptionist started saying "Calm down, Ma'am" to me and we got into it hot and heavy and I told her I wanted my medical records and test results and she said they'd get back to me. They never did.
Instead they sent this certified letter to me. It's a form letter with my name and a date filled in. Get a load:
We find it neccessary to inform you that effective March 18, 2014, we will no longer provide you with non-emergent medical services.
As you are aware, your condition requires medical attention. Therefore, we strongly suggest you place yourself under the care of another physician immediately.
Should you need assistance in finding a new physician, we recommend that you contact your insurance company or the local medical society for a referral. Upon your written request and appropriate payment, we will be glad to send your medical records to your new physician.
Dr. Asshole Killer (so much for him not supporting the draconian tactics of his front office staff)
First off, I don't owe this guy any money. It's been more than a year since I've even seen him.
Second off, he won't give ME my medical records? He will only agree to forward them to another doctor? CAN HE DO THAT? HOW FUCKING PATRIARCHAL!
Seriously, folks, don't I have a right to go collect my own goddamn medical records? I'm sure he doesn't want me to see what he has written in there. And I sure as hell don't want his office poisoning the water by attaching nasty notes to my records to my new doctor.
Also, the results of tests to determine whether my cancer has returned have been completed and sent to his office. His office is supposed to notify me of the results. They have been silent. I have no idea where my test results are or what they say. As you can imagine, it's really scary to get a cancer test and then not hear the results. Just getting a test for cancer — one was an hourlong ultrasound — makes me all kinds of freaked out. I tried to explain this to the nurse who was telling me to "Calm down, ma'am."
Things I still need to do:
1. Get on my medicine.
2. Get my test results.
3. Get my medical records.
4. Find another doctor.
5. Complain about this doctor. I cannot stand to see injustice directed at anyone, including myself. I can be the largest pain in the ass in the world (I'm not) and it does not give a doctor's office the right to treat me this way. I am writing this publicly on Crosstalk to pick the brain of my friends. You have given me great advice before and I'd love it now.
My first order is to put all this down in writing, concisely and effectively. Then I can figure out who to start carping to — the Department of Professional Regulation I think oversees doctors in Florida? Also there are probably state and county medical societies. Oh and also the Thryoid Cancer survivors group and the American Cancer Society should be CC'd. There's probably also a local cancer survivors society.
Advice is appreciated. I'm OK, mentally. Been fighting this so long I'm not even upset. Just tired of telling the story. This has been going on SINCE FUCKING OCTOBER!!!!