Finding Doctors

RatherbgardeningApril 17, 2007

I'm trying to find a better doctor for my mom, one who won't put her on drugs every time she goes in. She has been in the hospital 4 times the last 4 months, all due to drug side effects. The first trip resulted in getting her off the beta blocker, which she had been on needlessly for 6 or 7 years and she was just dragging all the time. She was put on it to passify her worries of having a stroke or heart attack, but was told she really didn't need it at that time. I about strangled the guy. I tried to get it through to her current doc that it was taking away her quality of life and she wasn't able to do much since it left her tired all the time, but he would just put me off. The hospital trip was stressful for her, but at least some good came from it.

She was put on Norvasc most recently and it about did her in after a couple of weeks on it, and she ended up in the hospital again. People 65+ are more apt to suffer side effects from it. I'm worn out from it all and would like to find a doctor who isn't so quick to medicate. She has been tested from head to toe and is doing pretty good for 81, so I think she is lacking some nutrients and needs to exercise to stay in better shape, but finding a doctor to help with that is a challenge. Any suggestions? I know that's asking a lot to find one who will work with her that way.

Sorry for the long rant.

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Look for "gerentology" on the shingle and/or put these concerns on the table at the head end. I've had considerable experience with the over-medication syndrome and failure-to-monitor syndrome among doctors in my mother's (95) case. Older people have different sensitivities than younger ones and they can also change pretty quickly and don't bounce back as quickly.

There was one occasion I recall when one doc said something like "Try this and if there's a problem, get to emergency and get checked out." My response was something like "Doctor do you have any idea what it's like going to emergency?" And, actually, he didn't. This is a risk to be avoided and indicates an overly-casual attitude on the doctor's part.

I know this is difficult, but you may be able to sort out quite a bit by talking to the staff first. Not every doctor is intersted in this kind of patient. You need one who is interested and is willing to focus on what's important. Not only in the beginning, but along the way. Sometimes it takes a while to get the balance right. You find that acknowledgement and willingness. It may require person-to-person discussions with staff explaining your particular concerns and and experience in order to find the right one. Sure did for me. It was a pain, but well worth it. Without it, mom would have died 12 years ago. As it is, she's healthy and vibrant.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 2:04PM
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Look for a YOUNG doctor with an interest in gerontology! I stumbled on the one for Mum by ACCIDENT. Her physician was retiring and his patients were being "divvied up". We showed up in the new doctor's office and he USED A COMPUTER! he spoke to Mum... when he realized she couldn't hear him he spoke LOUDER, sitting directly in front of her!

He was all about minimizing drugs. He asked questions about her diet! and her exercise habits!! during the time she was living with me her health bloomed and he told me so. You must find someone who will listen to you and trust that you, as caregiver, have an insight he will never have. Mum's doctor trusted me fully; "what do you think? what concerns you?" were his questions when issues arose.

Young and hip, that's what you want! (who do you think we now use as a "primary care physician"?).

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 5:45PM
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