"Suffering the Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune"

That is the new moniker I have started using for our orthopedic doctor. After yesterday’s visit, he deserves it.

This was the first time we had seen him since our official diagnosis. In fact, at one of our previous visits he disagreed with me that it was EDS because Em has blue sclera and that is a feature of OI (osteogenesis imperfecta, another connective tissue disorder). Of course, for those of us who have actually researched the topic within the last 25 years, we know it is also a feature of EDS. {Obviously, I have had my doubts about the precise level of his EDS knowledge.}

So, I show him our diagnosis letter from Dr. T. After he glanced through it, he looked at Em and said, ‘Hey, at least you are flexible. Right?’ Followed by,’ Did you know a lot of circus performers have what you have… you know, the ones who fold themselves up in a box.’  {Yes, I did want to physically hurt him. A lot. Many times over. And then some more.}

Then we were treated to a self serving speech about how he has discovered that connective tissue patients do well with donor tissue when having ligament/tendon reconstruction surgery. When I mentioned that while the experts currently feel surgery on ‘hard tissue’ – bone, joint replacements – are typically successful, ‘soft tissue surgery – ligaments/tendons – is problematic at best. He agreed and then said, ‘Yeah, so if she ever needs surgery, I will use donor tissue.’  {On the way to the car, I told Em that I thought it hilarious that he actually thinks he will be the one to operate on her if that day ever comes. }

He told her to wear the splint he gave her last year during any strenuous activity. I told him she hurt her foot walking and the definition of strenuous is a little different for her since she can dislocate a hip rolling over in bed. Breathing is strenuous activity for her.

He replied (derisively), ‘Well, not actually…’

So, Em pipes up and said, ‘Actually it is. I dislocate my ribs when I breathe.’

He looked at her for a minute and then said, ‘But that doesn’t hurt anything.’ { I would love to dislocate his rib and see what he thinks about it then. But, this is the same guy who told us that was impossible for Em to dislocate both knees rolling over in bed when started this whole journey, so I am not terribly surprised by that attitude. }

Basically, he ordered PT for her ankle and that is about it. When I mentioned that Dr. T might want her to do PT with his own staff at Cincy, Dr. W looked at me with a funny look and said ‘Well, yeah, of course he will say that. But you want it here, right?’ { Like Dr. T is stupid for wanting his EDS patients to get specialized treatment and I am stupid for agreeing.}

Sigh. You can teach  surgical techniques in med school but you cannot teach common sense or compassion… and, thus, you have a highly educated moron.


Comments on: "The Highly Educated Moron" (2)

  1. OMG … it’s the doctors with this attitude that make me want to forcibly dislocate their ribs and then make them repeat that it doesn’t hurt!! ARGH!!

    And you are so right about the surgery thing. I had 6 operations on my right wrist tendons/ligaments before I ever got my EDS diagnosis – they all failed to fix the problem. You don’t think the very prestigious hand surgeon who did them ever actually thought there might be a reason they failed do you? Of course not … after the 6 surgeries I had to stop because that much messing around had triggered off RSD in my arm, but the actual wrist problem was never ever fixed and my wrist doesn’t so much “dislocate” as “float freely around” to this day. I wonder sometimes if he’d realised that I had EDS so much earlier, whether I would have been able to avoid some of my health problems later … but that way lies madness, so I mostly don’t think about it.

    • Yeah, the ‘if onlies’ will drive you crazy if you go there. The diagnosis makes everything make sense, but you start to wonder how those brilliant doctors missed it for so long. The closest the doctor I was talking about in the post got to diagnosing her was saying ‘Boy, she is really loosey-goosey all over’ – apparently ‘loosey-goosey’ is a highly technical medical term. If only he had caught it that first time we saw him, we could have had the diagnosis 6 months earlier. Then again, if her pediatrician had caught it when she was little, maybe she would have been diagnosed years earlier and avoided some of the trouble she has had. But, yeah, thinking about it only drives you crazy!

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