Are you kidding me right now!!

I worked full time for a private practice D.O. I had been her nurse for 7 years. In the past 3-4 years while working I would experience symptoms that were out of character for me, and would schedule myself in between patients, or at the end of the day to see the doctor. My symptoms were chronic fatigue, leg swelling and or feeling very heavy, my hands would cramp up at times. I felt as though there were spiders crawling on my face and all over my body, extreme pain, out of no where my right foot would just quit working and drag a bit, normal voices appeared to be yelling and I could smell things from a long distance, like I had some super senses, half way through my 9 hour day my vision would sometimes blur, and days I would extreme tightness and pressure around my mid area. I occasionally had memory fog, and I may be processing blood from a patient and I would completely forget what I was doing and needed to start over and trace my steps. These are some of the symptoms charted through that 3-4 Year time of My as I called it “Menopause Body” to me it was the only thing that made sense. After all I was 51 years old and The doctor Stated that my Blood Work was fine and I should expect that at my age and as active as I was that I would feel this way. We saw 30-40-50 patients a day. And I was the only medical person on staff other than the doctor. I ran nonstop through my day. And I kept up like a champ. With The doctor. Stating that your fine Lori your just getting older–get over it. So I continued to push myself everyday with little regard to additional symptoms presenting themselves because I didn’t have time or the patients to deal with the nonsense. On May 21, 2011, My son called my office to speak to me (he doesn’t call me at work) I was with a patient at the time of his call, so when I was done I returned to my lab and our receptionist had given me the message from his call. It just made me nervous thinking something may be wrong with him my daughter in law or our granddaughter so my mommy alarm & went off. We were one patient away from the end of our day. As the message did not indicate an emergency I moved forward with our ending day patient. Who by the way, was in fact our train wreck patient of the day. With all due respect if your in the medical field you know to anticipate a train wreck at least one a day. This patient presents with multiple symptoms and is usually in an anxious state, requiring almost all of the attention of our entire staff. With symptoms their suggestions of treatment and diagnoses they have concluded to be accurate. To include billing questions scheduling concerns.

Prescription request and dosage questions. And at times suggesting the possibility that they should be admitted to the hospital for additional testing. And almost every time this happens I think the first step on my end while doing a workup on them for doctor is to start with a “hug” to try and relax our patient so that we can talk and get the most accurate information possible, without accurate information and at least 10 minutes resting vitals we wouldn’t be doing our patients justice.

Unfortunately for me this day doctor was more than ready to call this crazy day OVER.

As I was gathering information from our patient and getting vitals, our patient requested their flu shot a Vitamin B injection and wanted their blood sugar level checked. Lol (you understand the scene at this point right) by this time I had completely forgotten about my previous phone call from my son. As I was wrapping up my initial intake with our patient, the doctor busts into the patient room and expressed her feelings about how long this intake had taken. (14 minutes) Which was 7 minutes over the doctor’s acceptance. I expressed to doctor that we were ready for her to see the patient now. After doctor told me to exit the room so she could access the patient I returned to my lab to prepare and log the patients injections, and I generated blood work paperwork and needed supplies so I would be ready for my next interaction with our patient. As doctor Exited the patients room she yelled into me “I need bloodWork” in room #2.

So I entered the room to find our patient in tears, apparently due to a disagreement with doctor over her current care plan. By this time I was just Weak and felt a bit defeated with this situation. I kept my big girl pants on and continued with my task at hand. Upon completion of collecting blood samples from our patient and injections for B-12 and flu, I once again gave our patient a hug and off to my lab to process the blood draw. After completing my Computer work and making my days labs travel ready for our lab service to pick up. I cleared my desk said goodnight to everyone and headed for my car.

I immediately called my son to see what was going on. His first words were have you already left work Mom. I said yes and that I was in my car and driving (hands-free on speaker through my car) with a bit of a crack in his voice he said, Mom I have some bad news. My heart just sank I knew I was glad I was sitting down, because if I felt weak and nauseous before I surly was feeling worse now. Thankfully I had a short 10 minute drive home. By the time I reached home I was crying so hard I couldn’t quite pull myself together. My husband had noticed my car in the driveway and wondered why I hadn’t already exited my car. He came out to me and saw my little disaster meltdown and tried to help me out of my car but my legs were just so angry and didn’t want me to stand on them. My son was pretty upset as he had told me that he was served with divorce papers at work, and yes this was a total surprise, they had just celebrated our granddaughter’s 1st birthday and their 5 year anniversary. I didn’t understand why! After about an hour I couldn’t get my blood pressure to go down and I had never had BP issues in the past. So off to the ER. Where we went through 5 hours of tests and I was admitted. With an anxiety attack and high BP with a side of “a positive MRI” but no one cared to say positive for WHAT.

The next afternoon I was visited by a well known neurology specialist at which time he filled in the blanks. I have MS. And apparently I have had MS for quite a while “years” He showed us the MRIs and the lesions and told us this accounts for the majority of my previous 3-4 years symptoms. You can imagine my surprise.

I was released that day and upon discharge given an appointment to meet with my neurologist the following day. I stopped by my office prior to that appointment to get a copy of my chart for the visit with my neurologist. After reviewing my chart and the notes from the past few years, he felt it was necessary to adjust my full-time hours from approximately 55 hours a week down to 25-30 hours. I knew this would present a problem for my work doctor. After our appointment I went to work, there was still 5.5 hours left in the day, and I felt good enough to be there.

Things seemed to be going well I was tired but I’m sure the last 48 hours had warranted that.

As I was bringing a patient to their room, our receptionist had informed doctor. That my neurologist was on the phone and requested to speak to her. I was sure he wanted to discuss his overall findings and his treatment plan and drug of choice to attempt to slow down the progression of the MS as best he could.

After I returned to my desk, my work doctor Walked over to me and yelled at me, “How am I supposed to run my office around your disability”.

If you can’t work the hours I need you here than I’ll find someone who can.

And that was all my body needed to fire up another anxiety attack. There was Literally shock on the faces of my coworkers. And yes I just busted out crying. It just didn’t seem possible that I would be discounted just like that over this diagnosis. For the next several weeks I pushed myself to get through each day. After all I Loved my career and our patients. And didn’t want to lose that part of my life either. This was truly a life changing month. About a month later I woke up with my alarm and I’m sure I hit the snooze button 4-5 times, finally I pushed through a shower jumped into my scrubs and off I went.

After our morning patients our office manager requested my attendance at a meeting of the two of us. Where she informed me that I needed to pick up my pace and that doctor was not happy about my restricted hours per my neurologist. And that she would be hiring a replacement for me.

I’m sure you can imagine where my head was at in that very moment. Doctor had very little communication with me from that moment on. And that appeared to cause more stress for everyone involved. My Neurologist suggested I end my employment immediately. And I knew he was right and that this a situation was only going to get more stressful. So I gave our office manager my notice. Within 48 hours I ended up back in the hospital with a full on flare-up.

Our lives can most definitely change in the flash of a moment. What we do with our lives after that flash is the difference.

I chose to give myself some “pity party time” and than I pulled my “big girl pants” up and started to learn all I could about my “new lifestyle” after the diagnosis.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (19)
  • Deborahpoetry
    1 year ago

    Just as a matter of record your old boss was a jerk. It’s not like we want to have MS. We want to be fully functioning members of society. I’m sorry you had to go through such traumatic things to find the answer to your health issues and I’m sorry that your son went through that (speaking of insensitive…who serves her husband at work when he’s clueless). Good luck and hang in there.

  • awfk73
    1 year ago

    I was diagnosed with MS 13 years ago this month and lost faith in the medical community after I had to quit my highly stressful job because my MS wouldn’t permit me to be the overachiever I believed I was, lost my health insurance, ended up selling my home (divorced with adult children), and moved back to Montana to…what I thought at that time, to die from my MS. It was the best thing that happened to me. I lived in our family cabin (really my older sisters who only visited it 1x/year) off the grid and learned how to relax. I learned how to set boundaries with others. I learned how to set boundaries with my self. I still have symptoms but I manage them myself. I’m back in the work force, but with boundaries. No longer on medication, haven’t been for years. I pick my doctors based on their understanding of what I am willing to do and what I am not willing to do. I again have faith in the medical community. I’m no longer afraid to say, “no, I will not see that doctor, he’s not for me”. You too can choose your own treatment. I use alot of self care. I hope I don’t sound like I’m preaching to you. My doctor’s nurse is just as valuable to me as my doctor. You sound just as loving as her. Keep your chin up (sounds corny) but believe me, when I started thinking low stress, seeing the positive in the negative then life with MS changed. It got better. Much better. I now laugh at my “quirks” and say thats just part of me. Belief me, comic relief is when I’m with clients and am walking like I’m drunk (I’m a Licensed Addiction Counselor) and while trying not to laugh to hard at myself, convince my clients “really, I haven’t been drinking, It’s just my MS having fun with me.”

  • SweetSunshine author
    1 year ago

    Hi awfk73
    With each day we find new strength or a method unique to each of us to somehow lighten the anxiety of Living with MS. If MS wasn’t enough adding Fibromyalgia and Diverticulitis to the mix seems appropriate. Lol
    So it’s just easier to laugh about it and carry on with life. About the only thing that really gets under my skin these days would be the Alarming number of people who have so little to do or fill their day, that they spend so much precious time complaining about something not going their way, or hating what they do for a living.
    Once you have been given the gift of a debilitating disease, and your body and Mind are settling into your New Norm, you begin(for me) to really appreciate your previous strengths and tanasity. Only when we lose something so precious do we realize how blessed we were.
    But instead of crying over spilled Milk it’s best to grab a paper towel wipe it up and start strategizing our New Course. Like everyone else it’s a fun filled day of never ending Pain -Fatigue -Memory Loss-Frustration-Mobility issues-Limitations on about Everything and A strong Dose of “WHY” and the best way I’ve learned to deal with it is “WHY NOT”
    I’m the type of person who pushes to my own limit everyday just because I’m a bit of a Pain myself.
    It’s just easier to push until this body can’t do even one more thing, and than hit the bed and lay around and watch Pathetic TV until I’m rested enough to try it again.
    And that’s not for everyone I’m sure. And certainly not the best answer but it’s just my way of coping with limitations. Some say it’s going to hurt me in the long run and others say it’s good to push yourself to keep as much Muscle and Mobility as possible.
    What I’ll learn at some point is who was right, but at this point I’m Really just as Afraid of what life holds for me as everyone else. It’s just easier on my mind to feel as though I’m in charge of what my Destiny will be, opposed to sitting back Resting and waiting for the next Symptoms to rear their Ugly Heads.
    We’re all fighters in our own way. And who knows what way is Best. But for now I’ll keep pushing until that happens. And continue to Pray Every step of the way for a Cure so others won’t have to live this way. And those of us who do may be blessed with some type of treatment that lessons the daily Misery we feel.
    So Peace Love & Happiness to Every Single one of Us.
    Remember to Live in your Truth- What works for You. Because we’re all different and not everyone’s coping methods will fit everyone’s needs.

  • wanda1950
    1 year ago

    There are amazing numbers of insensitive, even cruel doctors out there. I am so sorry you were treated so badly. I always wonder why this type of person would go into a profession that is people intensive.

    I am dealing with a primary care doctor right now who is impatient with my questions (I’m 66 with multiple health problems besides the MS) It is so stressful–I can feel her getting hostile and dread having to see her and dread having to try to find someone else who will accept my Medicare.

  • SweetSunshine author
    1 year ago

    Good Morning Wanda
    I feel your pain, in dealing with horrible “Bed Side Manner” it’s bad enough that your dealing with Health Issues to begin with. And than to add to the mix having a PCP or Specialist with a bad disposition on top of it, just adds to the Stress and we know how helpful Stress is to MS. Having a good understanding of Ones Dx is so very Important and to understand we have to ask questions understand the answers and be vigilant in researching the inbetween. All to often when we take the time to learn and question our concerns a provider may interpret this as a challenge of their care, and become defensive. And at that point many patients will feel uneasy and discard further questions and leave the appointment feeling lost or insecure. This feeling will not help your emotional or physical strength. The truth of the matter is “You” and only you are in control of your Destiny, and by that I mean you will decide if your Medical Provider is a good fit for you or not so much. I would start with a good heart to heart talk with your Provider about how you interpreted their disposition at your last appointment and give them the opportunity to address your concerns, unfortunately Dr.s have bad days as well, however that’s not your problem and as a professional they should know to leave their less than happy disposition at the door where they hung their coat, because once the Dr.Coat went on you should become the only Thought their having. If after you have a heart to heart talk you don’t feel comfortable with their ability to actually hear your words and concerns than possibly a search for a New Provider May be necessary. A switch can seem grueling for you, but the end result can be a wealth of relief for you and a much more stable emotional and physical outcome. I’m sure within this MS site you can explore a helpful search engine for a Physician close to you and also accepts your Insurance.
    My Best to you and please keep your chin up, “You’ve Got This”

  • Julie
    1 year ago

    I think that MS is so misunderstood by the majority of the world, We sure don’t look sick in fact we look marvelous! The stuff going on inside our bodies that is unseen to those around us kicks our butts and no one but us knows about it. I get it. Everyone with MS gets it. I think everyone with MS should buy an island and live in peace, warm sun, and cool water.

    The reality is that we do have to live in the real world. There’s only so much we can do so we just need to listen to our bodies. I worked for Coca-cola in accounting for almost 20 years. When I accidentally overpaid AT&T $20,000 I knew it was time to step down and give my brain a rest. Accounting is stressful! Plus I had a daughter that just got married, we had just bought a house in the country and my MS was active. I left my job and tried to figure out how to live without working outside the home. I felt much more relaxed. Life does go on. We just have to figure out how to live a new life. It’s not great and it’s not bad. It’s just different than what we had planned for.

  • SweetSunshine author
    1 year ago

    Good Afternoon Julie
    You are so Right, MS is just such a Mystery for all of us. If you have a broken Bone you reset it cast it and try some PT. If a Body part fails and needs to be removed you remove it, heal up and redirect your body and move on.
    However with MS because most of its Symptoms are Hidden from plain site, to everyone but us. As different as each case of MS is doesn’t help much. The Best that we can do
    “Is The Best That We Can Do”
    We adapt to the changes we are forced to accept, and how we do that depends on us, we can make it easy or struggle with a degree of difficulty. It’s a learning process. And We’re both the Teacher and The Student, and it can become overwhelming for so many reasons, Financially Emotionally or both. Once we grab this Bull by the horns and take control we can begin to address each issue we’re faced with. After much Anger over my Dx years ago I decided to Educate myself-test my limitations and push them a bit further and not allow MS to direct me. But show MS how strong I am. And give myself Permission to both be a little Angry and a Lot Productive.
    I asked “Why Me” to myself several times, and now I can Answer that Question,
    “Why Not Me”
    I looked around the table as we were out for Dinner with 2 of our Adult Children and Our Grandaughter and quietly asked myself if I could trade places with someone and get rid of this Disease who would I give it to, and as I looked around the Restaurant and at my own family seated with me, the decision was Clear, I Wouldn’t give this Disease to anyone, because I’ve got this under control and pray that no one else will have to get this Dx and hope that soon Research will give us a Cure or Treatment so that our Children or Grandchildren won’t suffer, and many days that keeps my mind right.

  • potter
    1 year ago

    What a horrible way to be treated, I have not been around any doctors that were kind or understand. My dad had bad heart problems and talking to heart doctors was like talking to a robot. My mother had ALS and ran into some of the rudest doctors I have ever met. One time we we waiting in a room for hours to see the doctor and my mother was in the gown they give you. She was getting cold so I went to the desk for a blanket and they told me the doctor left a hour ago for a overseas trip. I think a lot of doctors have sociopathic tendencies, people mean nothing to them no empathy. Potter

  • SweetSunshine author
    1 year ago

    Good afternoon Potter
    How horrible of a way to be treated by anyone. Shame on The Dr. The Staff and Admins. Who leaves a patient in a room and decided that was ok.
    To have anyone’s presence discounted is unexceptable on every level. My heart breaks when I hear about this type of situation and you can only imagine how many other patients have felt so disrespected. In Today’s world there are so many Qualified and Appreciative Dr.s and Facilities to care for us, than to accept that type of treatment. I hope you had the opportunity to express your disappointment with that particular Physician and either get an apology and know that the Dr was unaware of your family being left in a room with no regard to your care, or you made the decision to redirect your family to a Provider who has their best interests as a Priority.
    My Best to Yourself and your Family. Keep Smiling

  • wanda1950
    1 year ago

    Yes, and I wonder why they went into medicine. I know they have great incomes but if I despised people, I would go into something solitary.

  • PattiandBob
    1 year ago

    Seriously !! That doctor definitely need(s) to return to school and learn how to effectively communicate with other humans ! I’m so sorry you had to face that.
    On the “flip side” of the coin, my husband worked for an amazing man. He was caring, supportive and giving. When Bob was diagnosed, his bosses first comment was “what can I do to help”. He called their insurance broker and negotiated “extra” coverage for lus that would cover all the hugely expensive tests that needed to be done and had a special writer attached to our insurer’s RX program that would cover all the medications (thank goodness as you all know how hugely expensive they are). When it became too hard for Bob to continue working (he worked in research and development in a shop situation) his boss offered him a “desk job” and said just come in when you can .. put your feet up when you’re tired and relax . Let us come to you with questions .. and he continued to pay him full pay <3 When it was finally time for Bob to give it up (as just getting to work was wearing him out) his boss extended his COBRA coverage to cover us until we were able to get on disability. I know Bob's boss was the "exception to the rule" but he certainly was our "angel" . Bob's MS is now progressive, but he still has a most positive outlook on life .. we manage to live life the best we can. Thank goodness for mobility devices and hoyer lifts that allow me to keep him at home so we can be together <3

  • SweetSunshine author
    1 year ago

    HI Patti & Bob
    It’s so reassuring and Positive to hear about Bobs Employer, with a Dx such as MS the perhaps most difficult hurdle is infact the “UnKnown” and it seems as though your always on guard waiting for Literally
    “The Foot To Drop”
    And to worry about the Financial attatachments That come as a result of MS can be as daunting as the MS itself. You have a great disposition and a Beautiful Bond together and I’m sure Bob counts his Blessing of Yourself each and everyday.
    Live Love & Laugh Often
    Your Happiness Together has already Won.

  • Azjackie
    1 year ago

    You are totally great at patient assistance. I haven’t been that fortunate enough to have that type of patient care since I was a child. I still think Ginny was the reason my family stayed with that particular doctor 20 years. The patients will always remember.

    My third neurologist was always trying to get me to quit my job. (Third because of inurance changes not my choice) My drive was over 2 hours to her office with the worst traffic in the state so by the time I would get there I would be lit up incredibly high blood pressure. Also with the added stress of heading back to work after the appointment thinking about what she would tell me and how I would not eat lunch that week to make up for the time I was gone.

    I am single with a mortgage, keeping the diagnosis from everyone including my family. I continued to work because I needed the insurance to pay for my treatment.

    Little did I know then I was making the MS worse. I am 100% convinced we all have the MS gene and this gene is triggered by an environmental factor like stress.

    Since I felt I was going to be fired then was after the company found about my medical expenses through the insurance company, found my boyfriend who destresses me, told my family, after the 5 year secret, receive assistance through the drug manufacturers, and SSDI, I have less stress and 3 consecutive MRIs without changes.

    Stress is a killer. Everyone is better off without it.

  • SweetSunshine author
    1 year ago

    Hi Azjackie
    You are so right about the Stress, it’s perhaps as much as a Dx as the MS itself. It’s so wonderful to have a great support system by your side. I myself have an amazing supportive husband and I thank god everyday for him. Keep smiling and enjoy everyday and every Beautiful thing in the day, a Positive Attitude can Trump a Bad day Everytime. And the Drive to Show MS who’s Boss is a Drive worth taking.
    Keep on Driving Darlin.

  • Navygirl1978
    1 year ago

    SweetSunshine….. So sorry to hear about this. I have worked in the medical administration field for eighteen years and it sounds to me like you were awesome at patient care. It is a huge huge shame you were not treated with the same care and understanding. I was diagnosed early this year. I am still working averaging 38 hours a week but it is hard sometimes. I pray you can find an employer willing to be flexible.

  • SweetSunshine author
    1 year ago

    Hi Navygirl1978
    I’ve accepted that not all Employers have the ability to accept bumps in the road, where their staff members are concerned. And unfortunately my MS has taken me to a level where working is no longer an option, and as upsetting as that was to accept at the time, I have been able to offer my help with a couple NonProfit Groups, while it takes a lot of work to run a NonProfit I can help out with some Phone calls and background tasks and lighten the load a bit, at my pace and not put so much pressure on my body and still maintain a level of relevance which is so very important Emotionally. If I’ve learned anything about this battle it’s to not let MS Win at all cost.
    Keeping our Minds Right is in fact half of the Battle.

  • Navygirl1978
    1 year ago

    Just now seeing this…. Good for you staying positive ..☺ the mind game is indeed half the battle you are SO correct !

  • DonnaFA moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi SweetSunshine, I am so sorry that you had that experience, the lack of empathy is absolutely egregious! I am quite sure that his practice misses your soft touch, and that you are better for the lack of stress. Thanks so much for sharing your story and we’re glad that you are here! – Warmly, Donna (MultipleSclerosis.net team)

  • SweetSunshine author
    1 year ago

    Hi Donna
    Thank You and I’m Happy to be here. I appreciate the input and conversation throughout this MS site. Community and Support are so very important. And to most may very well be the difference between an OK or a Great Day.
    Together Everything is Easier.

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