Friday, February 5, 2010

All doctors are not created equal.

I realized that in my original post, I did not mention the drama I went through to find a doctor that actually gave me the time of day. All the yeast infections started when I was in college so I went to the on campus clinic for treatment. I probably saw 5 different doctors in my years at school who treated who knows how many yeast infections. At the time, I guess I just thought that I was susceptible to yeast infections, but I never really thought that there could be something else going on. And neither did any of the doctors I saw. Either they didn't care, all college girls have 4 thousand yeast infections, or they were incompetent. I really don't know.

After college I moved to a new state and went in search of a gynecologist. I didn't know anything about any doctors, being new to the area, but someone recommended a certain practice. I went on their website and read the profiles of all of the doctors in the practice. I decided to go with the doctor who's profile mentioned that she focuses on gynecological issues because I thought maybe she would be more open to dealing with all of my problems. So I went to my appointment, and, of course, burst into tears when explaining how it was painful to have sex. Well guess what her recommendation was? Take 4 Advil before having sex. That's it. No really, that's it. And, surprise surprise, 4 Advil makes absolutely no difference at all in the vagina area! She didn't offer to look into possible treatments or diagnoses. She offered no other help. I felt so defeated that I couldn't even muster the strength to look for another doctor or make any further steps toward fixing my problem for at least a year.

My boyfriend finally said enough is enough. I was suffering too much and I needed to find another doctor. So I tried another doctor in the practice; no good. Then I went to the 3rd doctor, and finally, she cared! She was concerned! She actually did a little research and called me back! Then she told me she was moving away. I was devastated. I had finally found someone who cared and seemed like she was open to investigating until she found an answer. But she did have a recommendation for another doctor in a different practice that she thought I should try.

When I called this doctor, she didn't have any appointments available for new patients for several months, but her physician's assistant was available soon. I was desperate and I wanted an in so I made the appointment with the PA (cue angels singing). I want to cry when I think about how lucky I was that the doctor was booked up! The PA is wonderful! She cares so much and she does outside research talking to other doctors and looking things up. Every time I see her she not only offers new information, but she also offers much needed support. And she is the reason that I even know that pelvic pain physical therapists even exists.  She is the one that recommended I start going to PT.  Before I met her I'd never even heard of such a thing.  She doesn't make me feel stupid for crying and she also doesn't act like she has all the answers. She continues to try and learn more about my problem and she doesn't try to make me feel like it's not a big deal. And she is completely supportive of my desire to see a vaginal pain specialist and has offered to do whatever she can to help that process along. I am so thankful for her. We may not have found a solution yet, but at least I have a doctor who cares and continues to search out new solutions. All of you who have had this issue can understand how wonderful it feels to have this small victory. Thank you Dr. Elizabeth! I can't tell you how much your support means to me!


Pearl said...

Hey "down there"
I just responded to your comment on my blog, but thought I'd post here too.
Those are great questions! You've inspired me to do a FAQ post on cloth pads.
I'd love to answer your questions sooner than that, so shoot me an email at and we can talk all about cloth pads.

Pearl said...

Secondly, this post makes me so happy.
I'm so glad for you that you found a medical professional who CARES! That makes developing your treatment plan SO much easier. I hate that so many of us have stories like yours regarding finding a pain-aware doctor.
Also, my husband is in PA school, so I'm always happy to hear a positive PA story. :)