Ultimately Disappointing

Last Thursday, I had an appointment with the orthopedic doc for my back/hip issue. I had waited 2 weeks to see the physical therapist, who wouldn’t treat me because I was 2 days past the 30 day treatment window (<–total BS if you ask me) and referred me to a doctor who could refer me back to her. Yes, you read that correctly. Bureaucracy at its finest, folks.

So I had to wait ANOTHER week to get in to this doc. The morning of my appointment, I got lost. I called and called the office, but since I had the first appointment of the morning, no one was answering. I go into total freak out mode when I’m late, so I decided to call the referring hospital for directions or a secondary phone number. The operator wasn’t helpful with directions, but she did give me another phone number, and I got through. The receptionist asked where I was, and I told her, but she didn’t know the streets. She assured me I was probably only 10-15 minutes away and gave me the address to put into my GPS. I hung up and plugged it in, only to have it tell me I was 57 minutes away. This was after I had already been driving in circles for an hour.

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Not related–just pretty

I took a deep breath and pointed my car in the (not actually) right direction. Yes, over an hour (hello, DC traffic) later, I got to the new office, only to have them tell me that I was not on their schedule. But not only that, they couldn’t see me at all because I didn’t have the right kind of insurance.

I lost it. Not in a ragey way, but in a tear-filled, pain-fueled, frustrated way. I just started crying right there at the counter. I think the women behind it were totally dumbfounded because they stared at me like I was a puppy that had just been hit by a car. That actually fueled some rage because I hate that pitying look, so I stomped out of the office like a hormonal teenager. The whole display was really quite charming.

Once I pulled myself together, I drove to work, went to 14 meetings, then finally called the original office number to reschedule. I told the receptionist what had happened and asked her specifically where the office was. Guess what, those cross streets that the other receptionist didn’t know? They were the EXACT location of the office I was supposed to go to. 

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Again–just pretty

Long story (not very) short, I had to wait ANOTHER week to get in to the doc again. So by the time today’s appointment rolled around, I was going on 4 weeks with being in some sort of pain and was hoping this doctor was going to sprinkle fairy dust on me and fix me. 

Well, I’m telling this story, so that obviously did not happen. 

I arrived at the office 10 minutes early. I had given them all of my information ahead of time and didn’t have an insurance card with me (which is another long and not at all interesting story), but guess what? They sure did want one when I got there. The person behind the desk told me I would have to reschedule if I couldn’t produce it. I, um, didn’t take that well. Pretty sure the vein in my forehead bulged. I didn’t yell, but my reaction was not a favorable one. By the grace of technology, I was able to pull up a copy of the insurance card on my phone and fax it to them. Problem solved.

Oh, but then the guy behind the desk turned out to be the doctor’s assistant. So I had to go in the exam room with him and tell him my life story. We totally bonded like teenagers and were BFFLs by the time that was over. <–sarcasm

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Pretty in the city

After that fantastically uncomfortable conversation, the doc finally came in. Only about an hour after I had arrived at the office. Pretty decent. He asked questions. He watched me walk. He straightened and bent my legs this way and that. Then, he sent me for x-rays. Luckily, that was only 2 floors up and went pretty fast, so I was back in the office in about 20 minutes.

Doc looked at the x-rays–everything’s in tact–and said there was nothing abnormal except for that my spine and hips looked some what out of alignment. That was the understatement of the year. My spine is very obviously curved–even Doc could admit that it was supposed to be straight–and my right hip is clearly rotated and lower than my left hip, which he told me is showing signs of dysplasia. 

The verdict? Well, nothing. I can go back to PT, but he seemed to think that would be pointless. I can take ibuprofen–up to 800 mg at a time. I can try a chiropractor “if I want,” but he said the misalignment could be a symptom or it could be a cause. Huh? What kind of diagnosis is that?!?

For all of the hassle and build up to this doctor’s appointment, I’ve got to say that it was ultimately disappointing. Like when you’re coveting that oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, and then you bite into it and the chocolate chips are raisins. 


Raisin cookies

So that was $50 and 4 hours of my day that I’ll never get back.


16 thoughts on “Ultimately Disappointing

  1. hhrunner says:

    OMG. how freaking annoying. you need to come see my doctor. he will fix you and we’ll get to hang out. i see only positives from this.

  2. I’ve been having shoulder problems, went to the doctor, had xrays in which the doctor found nothing wrong. He moved my shoulder this way and that asking if it hurt. It didn’t. I just have this constant nagging pain that is sometimes there and sometimes not. He said it’s most likely an inflammation. He gave me anti-inflammatory drugs, which I’ve been taking for 5 days now. Guess who’s shoulder hurt worse than ever on this morning’s run?
    Just chop it off please.
    Let’s just hang out and be a mess together.

  3. Megan @ Fiterature says:

    I know exactly how you felt when you said you cried right then and there. A few years ago, after suffering from shingles IN MY EYE, I had a similar experience with an eye doctor. They kept wanting more information, kept sending me home unseen, and then I’d return and still wouldn’t have all the info they needed, plus they tried to charge me for every “missed” appointment, even though I was there. On time. Every time. The doctor would promise me medications and said he’d “make sure” my insurance would cover it, only to be charged $300 at the pharmacy. I was barely able to see and was having blinding headaches from the pain, and one day I just LOST IT in the Dr. office. They looked at me with such pity that they finally let me see the doctor and didn’t charge me. I think adult tears scare people into submission! 🙂

    • Oh my gosh, Megan! That’s awful!! I’m glad they finally saw you, but geez! Why do they have to make it so hard? After all, we’re there for a reason!!


  4. Oh I am so sorry you had to go through all of that BS. I had similar issues dealing with docs (or just trying to get past the check in desk!) when I was injured in the spring. Also, perfect analogy with the chocolate chip oatmeal raisin cookies (all other cookies are bastards!). I hope you feel better and find something that works for you. I was in PT for 6 weeks dealing with weak hips and they taight me a lot of exercises that have rebalanced them so that now I don’t hurt my lower extremities as easily.

  5. i freaking hate doctors, and for some reason my luck in dc has been the same between getting lost, far away or riding public transit in circles. insane. i am sorry you don’t really have any real answers but I hope you find something that helps.

  6. Blah on the hoops you’ve had to jump through!!

    I can offer you a little hope on the back situation though — I have pretty moderate scoliosis in my lower back (I think I have 27 degree curve?) and going to a chiropractor twice a month keeps my back in check. My guy adjusts my back and then I do a few exercises (including some hip things on a wobbly chair) and it saves me. He’s never going to make my spin completely straight – but he is helping prevent more damage! If you can find a reputable chiro in your area — it’s definitely worth a consult (and a good one will take x-rays to determine how curved your spine is).

    • That does sound promising. I’ve been to the chiro before and my back and hips weren’t nearly as screwed up, so hopefully I can find a good one to fix me!


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