Jul. 27: Dr. Nick/Spaceman/Effer

I have a doctor appointment tomorrow. It’s with a doctor I vowed I’d never go to again—the one who wouldn’t order any kind of scan to see what was causing my back pain last year. I have to see him, though, because I need a refill on a prescription that (apparently) only he can prescribe. It’s a medication I’ve been on for years, and my refills have run out. I really can’t be off it—it’s one of those that makes me all dizzy and sick if I suddenly stop taking it. I was hoping to quietly renew the prescription online, but it’s been too long since the original prescription, and the other doctors I’m seeing now—the rheumatologist and oncologist—say it’s a primary care physician thing.

I know, I know. I need to find a new primary care physician. I haven’t been in a big hurry to do that, because any health issues I’ve had lately are directly related to chemotherapy and my oncologist has been able to handle them. In fact, even if they weren’t specifically cancer-related, it made more sense that she handle them than a doctor who is not only not an oncologist, but completely unfamiliar with my medical history.


Over the past eight months I’ve considered writing a strongly worded letter to my primary care physician, but ultimately it just seemed like a waste. It’s not like he’s going to respond. Several people have asked if he’s contacted me since my lymphoma diagnosis, being that he gets the results of every test I’ve had in the last eight months. But no, I haven’t heard from him, nor did I expect to. What’s he going to do, apologize? For being a bad doctor? And kind of a major asshole? Unlikely.

There’s a big part of me that wants to go in tomorrow and play all nice at first and then scream bloody hell at him. Maybe I should take my mom in with me—I bet she’d work up a good hollerin’ in his honor. There’s another part of me that thinks it would be more mature to go in and just get what I need and get out. This is not a doctor visit I ever planned to have, and I don’t know what to do. Here are my options:

  1. “Hello, Dr. A-hole. Why yes, I do have cancer. If you had ordered a scan at the beginning, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be going through this hell right now. What do you have to say about that?”
  2. “Hello, Dr. A-hole. Why yes, I do have cancer. If you had ordered a scan at the beginning, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be going through this hell right now. I would like you to sign this piece of paper that says I AM A VERY BAD DOCTOR AND ALSO KIND OF A MAJOR ASSHOLE. Thanks!”
  3. “Hello, Dr. A-hole. Why yes, I do have cancer. If you had ordered a scan at the beginning, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be going through this hell right now. To make up for your ineptitude, I think the very least you could do is throw in a prescription for medicinal marijuana. Maybe one for all my friends, too. And enough Xanax to keep me from going home and taking my extreme frustration with you out on my family.”
  4. “Yes. No. Yes. Yes. Uh-huh. OK. Yes. Thank you. Bye.”
  5. “I’m sure you asked me to bring in a stool sample. Here’s my dog’s. No, really, please take it. I insist. I’ll just mash it into your hand to make sure you have a good grip on it. I’d hate for you to drop it.”
  6. Cry, just to make him feel rotten.

Please offer your advice, friends. I need to figure this out before 11:30 tomorrow morning.


  1. totally cry! then give him a FRESH stool sample. just left in the doorway so he steps in it when he walks out.

  2. I really think taking your mother is the best option. She would propose questions such as, "Are you a parent? How would you feel if your child's doctor would not listen to her complaints of extreme back pain, and inability to sleep laying down for months?" "And how would you react when your daughter's symptoms was then diagnosed as an orange-sized malignant tumor, found by a simple procedure which he didn't think to suggest?" "And what do you think of a doctor who has been the primary care physician for your child who does not even contact her after her diagnosis--does not have the decency to show (or at least pretend) some compassion?" I would want to continue, but think he probably turned off his self-induced hearing aid after my first question....after all, he does need to be concerned about liability....

  3. I'm in favor of a combo approach: A little #3, a smidge of #5 and top it off with a boatload of #6.

    Good luck. I'll be thinking of you. xo

  4. Stubborn Deanna says," Go in and give him Cartman's Roshambo, and never go back. No explanation. No nothing." But older, more experienced now Deanna says,"Go in, smile, get your 1 year Rx,never go back, and find a new doctor. You will have a whole year to find someone who believes you when you say something."

  5. So, what did you end up doing??


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