I wrote this instead of writing a response because I really don’t WANT to tell my doctor to SUCK ON THIS.

For the past month, I’ve not felt well physically or emotionally. A few of the symptoms that I had before I begin taking my thyroid medication are acting up again. The main symptom that is giving me the most trouble is fatigue. The simplest tasks are sucking the life out of me and it’s taking a toll in the form of depression and CRYING!ABOUT!EVERYTHING!
I emailed my doctor and asked him for a TSH test, because fatigue is always the number one symptom for me that things are out of whack.
The test came back in the normal range. However, it had tripled since the last time we took it for months. I got an email from him that said “TSH is in the normal range.”
So, I wrote back with the following message:

4/26/09 12:18 PM
I have a question for you. Does the fact that it’s tripled since the last test mean anything? Because I’ve been feeling very tired again (I hadn’t felt that way for a while) And if it doesn’t mean anything now, does the fact the the TSH is going up mean I should best tested again soon?
The endo had said I need to be under 2 because I don’t feel good at ALL if it’s more than that, so if it’s on it’s way up, I’d like to be tested again soon if I continue feeling this way.
Your advice is appreciated.
I received the following message from him just now:
est was normal TSH 04/24/2009
Tsh will fluctuate over time.
No concern – no need to repeat .
Levels normal.
That may sound reasonable to you, but.. couple of things.
This is the same doctor that told me I had normal TSH levels for almost 2 years, not taking into consideration all of my symptoms. Also, not taking into consideration that I had tested positive for the TPO antibody (which meant that I had Hashimoto’s.)
“It’s stress!”
“Get on the treadmill!”
“You lose hair as you age!”
“Try Weight Watchers!”
“it’s anxiety!”
Those are all things I was told when I mentioned that I thought I was hypothyroid. And when I finally convinced him to test me again. WHOOPS! What do you know! You have an autoimmune disease that is killing your thyroid! (Also: And I QUOTE “Congratulations! You get to take thyroid medication now.”)
The point is this. I have symptoms that warrant a better response than “your numbers are normal, get over it.” I’ve been dealing with this for a long time now. I know my body. I know when things aren’t right. And the proof is in the fact that the ONLY reason I was ever diagnosed with Hashimoto’s is because I persisted even after he told me I was “fine” and just needed “a good weight loss pill.”
My endocrinologist isn’t much better, although I do give him credit for agreeing to keep my TSH on the low side of the normal range.
My point is that my doctor is blowing me off, yet again, telling me that my numbers are number with ZERO concern about my symptoms. And it makes me so angry that I could punch the whole world in the vagina.
Edited to add:
Here’s the thing. I have an HMO. It’s not as easy as just switching doctors. And I can’t afford to pay for a doctor out of pocket. Also? I have an endocrinologist, but guess what? He sent me the following email in October:
“Ms. Y- good news! Your most recent thyroid test was completely normal. I recommend that you continue the current dose. You should now have a thyroid test done approximately once a year, which can be done by your primary MD.”
THAT is why I’m seeing my family doctor again. Because that’s how my HMO works. I mean, don’t you think if it were as easy as “getting another doctor” I would do it? It’s complicated, hence my frustration with the situation. Further complicating the situation is that he’s been a great doctor in every other circumstance, especially with my children. I mean, overall, I think he’s a great doctor. Just not when it comes to my thyroid. So, again. Complicated.

72 thoughts on “I wrote this instead of writing a response because I really don’t WANT to tell my doctor to SUCK ON THIS.

  1. stephanie

    That is bull. Is there any way that you can switch doctors? You obviously know the every day ins and outs of your body better than anyone with a medical degree does and it is HIS JOB to listen to you. Can you go straight to your endocrinologist about your symptoms?

  2. Leslie M.

    Delurking to say GET A NEW DOCTOR ALREADY!!! (And please understand that I caps lock that with love!) I know that I don’t know the ins & outs of your situation and your insurance, but this is ridiculous. Is there nobody else who can help you with this? What about your endocrinologist? You should not be having to go through this, you deserve to be listened to!!!!

  3. Tracie

    It sounds like it’s time for a new doctor. I really hate it when doctor’s blow you off. YOU know your body! I hope exploring the option of seeing someone else is an an available to you.
    I just blogged yesterday about a surgeon I saw that tried to tell me exercise won’t help me lose weight. What is UP with these doctors??

  4. kirida

    I went through three different doctors before I found one who really got me, who really listened and didn’t act like I was wasting her time. If you can do it and your insurance allows it, I would look into it.

  5. Kris

    I agree with the others who said that it’s time to doctor shop. Maybe there’s a reason you want to stay with him? But, I would start at least looking around, asking friends and family for referrals, looking up online the “best” doctors for your particular condition.
    I want to give you the web site of a clinical nutritionist who works with hormone issues (and lots of other health issues). She’s very unique and effective. My health plan covers nutritionists, maybe yours does too. If not, she’s pretty reasonable: $115 for the first consult (two phone calls) and $40 for each call after that. She’s in colorado but she consults over the phone.
    Anyway, here is her web site: http://mountaincentreforhealing.com/
    I could not view her site on Explorer, had to download Mozilla Firefox.
    Wishing you the very best!

  6. Michelle

    I’d email him back and tell him to SUCK ON THIS. Seriously. Tell him to stop blowing you off, or just forget about him and find another doctor, if you can.

  7. Tara

    I echo the other comments – you need a new doctor and you need one now. Right now. The range of “normal” for thyroid is HUGE and there is definitely no one size fits all approach to this. I am hypo and my doctor keeps me very much on the edge of hyper with my meds because that is where I *feel* best. If I got anywhere close to a 2 in my levels, I’d probably never manage to get out of bed! But I’d be considered normal – just a normal wreck who would be tired and emotional and a mess. A good doctor works with your blood work and your symptoms and lets both guide her in managing your meds. You deserve better. So much better!
    Another thought – I agree that TSH fluctuates – but that also means you may need more meds at certain points in your life. Last year, I was super tired and cranky – my levels were the same, but my doctor upped my weekly dose to see if it made a difference. It did. After a few months, I didn’t need it anymore. I think if I had a functioning thyroid, my body would just produce that extra hormone I needed. But when you are on meds with synthetic hormone, we need to watch those fluctuations and adjust accordingly.
    I hope this works out for you.

  8. Kay

    Definitely time for a new (less abrasive) doctor. They seem to forget that WE (ok, the insurance company) pay THEM to provide a service to us, and instead act like they’re doing us a huge favor just by existing. There ARE better doctors out there.
    If you check out either the fibromyalgia or lupus national groups, they have lists of autoimmune disorder “friendly” doctors. Ones who won’t be so dismissive of the fact that YOU know your body better than their damn textbooks do.

  9. Laura

    Isn’t Kaiser awesome?? Add me to the others shouting at you, FIND ANOTHER DOCTOR! But, shout it back at me, okay, because my doctor sucks too, and I’ve been blowing off finding another one because I’m afraid they all sit around in the doctor breakroom laughing at patients and stuff.

  10. becky

    Dude. I feel for you. I have thyroid issues too (I have A GLANDULAR PROBLEM PEOPLE!!) and I know what a freaking drag they are. Hang in there Y. And get a new MD. You deserve better.

  11. Janine

    Delurking (LOVE your blog) to tell you that in my experience, doctors who haven’t been trained to deal with this sort of stuff (and more often than not, even those that have) don’t have the faintest idea but they’d rather die than admit that. I’m 21 now and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s when I was around 5… after several years of being dragged to doctors who basically just concluded that I was a fat lazy kid. Now recently my GP decided to lower my dose of thyroid medication, he wouldn’t accept that it wasn’t doing me any good so I went to a different doctor who didn’t have a clue either but prescribed the higher dose anyway. I recently got my blood tested again and my numbers were perfect. I felt very smug telling my first GP that this was actually NOT due to him lowering the dose :p
    I suppose this only really works if you KNOW what dose you really need though, and it took years for me to find out. Maybe only because I was a kid, I don’t know. I’d definitely recommend seeing someone else, even if that means consulting more than just one different doctor – eventually there’ll be someone who gets it.
    Sorry about the length of this comment, it just annoys me no end how few doctors really have a clue when it comes to this!

  12. Annika

    I’m going to have to be blunt: I don’t understand why you keep going back to this guy. He does not see you as an individual, so he will not look at your symptoms as unique to you. You will not get better as long as he is your primary doctor.

  13. Y

    It’s complicated. I have Kaiser. He’s a great family doctor (been amazing to my kids.) It’s just this one thing. And I DO have an endo, but he has referred me back to my doctor. (Again. I have Kaiser. Ugh.)
    Anyway. Yeah, that’s why.

  14. Lynn (Walking With Scissors)

    If you can’t change doctors, then my only assvice is to keep being your own champion. If you feel bad, ask to be retested. Keep on it. I’m so sorry that it’s like pulling teeth to get the proper care… (((Hugs))))

  15. Lyndsey

    Crawl up his ass and tap dance on his spleen until he’s so annoyed by your unending presence that he gives you what you want to get you out of his sight…
    Just my 2 cents ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Carolyn

    I have the exact same symptoms along with a few others. I am still in the diagnosis stage though. You need a different doctor. One that will consider your entire body and well-being; and that is willing to consider that what is normal for others may not be right for you. I’d be glad to share more info if you want. I’d hate to bore all your readers. Email me if you want. Regardless, good luck. I know it sucks.

  17. Skye

    I hear you. I am in the same boat. I have also more or less given up trying to explain my ongoing and evernew symptoms to my GP, because she makes me feel as though I am a total hypochondriac, just from the tilt of her head and the roll of her eyes. Also – the endo I was referred to earlier in the piece, was poisonous. He was ill-informed and not up-to-date. He scoffed every time I mentioned the value of the internet for not only information, but support. He ignored my thyroid issues (for which I was visiting) and decided that he needed to save me from developing diabetes down the road, instead. A thousand WTFs were circling my brain at that point.
    I am frustrated with the medical profession, and my body. Like you – I know my body and I know what is ‘normal’ for me. May I ask please – were you diagnosed as having Hashimoto’s from the presence of TPO antibodies only? The reason I ask, is that I have hundreds of those, but was told that the only definitive diagnostic tool is a fine needle aspiration/biopsy. Even though my antibodies are in the 300’s, my ‘diagnosis’ is idiopathic auto-immune hypothyroidism – despite the fact that not one single medical professional has laid a finger on my neck or throat to see if it even warrants a closer look, an ultra-sound or a FNA. My TSH numbers can range from 2 to 7 (with daily thyroxine) over the course of six weeks. My GP feels that this ‘fluctuation’ is acceptable. Even the literature says it is not. My body says that it definitely is not! I am in the process of finding a new doctor, and it is an exhausting and daunting task, but you and I both deserve to be listened to AND heard, and receive the best possible care.
    This is very wordy. I’m sorry about that. I hear your frustration, and I stand alongside you. May 25th is International Thyroid Day, apparently. Let’s hope something huge comes from it.
    Best wishes,
    Skye (Australian, ‘mature’-aged, mother of three, and a thyroid sister-in-arms)

  18. Beth Nixon

    Oh my.
    I won’t repeat what everyone has said as I know how hard it can be find a new doctor that accepts your insurance.
    I have a great doctor that really listens to me. It makes all the difference just knowing that she is there.
    I’m sure you’ve done everything . . . but a well written letter of your concern of how you are feeling and what your concerns are might go further than talking where, at least I, tend to forget my main points and ramble about.
    Best of luck to you.

  19. Laura in Michigan

    Please appeal to your insurance company to allow you to find a new endocrinologist. Right now I am in the middle of my thyroid scans and have to be off my thyroid medication for a month (I have no thyroid because of thyroid cancer). I am MISERABLE. I forget about the depression, the tiredness, the achy body, the fuzzy brain until the next time I have to do it. I cannot imagine having these symptoms with no end in sight. I know fighting an insurance company seems daunting, but it very often is something that you can win, if you document everything very carefully. Good Luck and I hope you are feeling better soon!

  20. Beckie

    Have you had your adrenal stress index evaluated? You are also describing the symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue. Just a thought.
    Google it.

  21. elismsue

    I had the same problem for a little while. First and foremost, the generic synthroid does not work for me. My levels are scattered everywhere when I use it.In addition, if the more frequent blood tests are covered, I would demand them. Once a year is not enough. Mine are done every 3 months ( 6 months at most) and it has been this way for years. Also, any over the counter meds like vitamins, calcium, vitamin c,d and others can offset the results. Take those at the opposite time of the day.

  22. Beth

    Please post his name so we can all go punch him in the vagina.
    Seriously, he tells you your levels are in normal range, you tell him you’re really tired again and point out your levels have tripled, and he basically says your levels are in normal range and they fluctuate and DOESN’T ADDRESS THE TIREDNESS ISSUE? He could’ve saved himself some typing by just tell you to fuck off. Would’ve been about as valuable. I want to kick this guy in the nuts. I’m not tired. Let me do it.

  23. Brandi

    Y, the bottom line is you know your body and how you are feeling better than anyone else. Maybe, on top of the regular thyroid meds, can you see if there are any natural remedies that may help your TSH levels or will help with your fatigue. It doesn’t seem you are going to get any help from him and I understand your plight with insurance, etc. My only advice would be vitamins and supplements that might help with your thyroid condition. I hope that you find something that works. I know first hand how dead and zoned out you feel when your thyroid meds aren’t working. Take care of yourself!

  24. Amanda

    With an HMO you can change primary care doctors. It is a little frustrating, but it can be done. The doctor you are seeing surely isn’t the only doctor your insurance company allows. Get a new primary care doctor.
    Secondly… some OB/GYNs will work with “hormonal” issues with their patients… and thyroid fits under that I think. Most insurance companies allow a woman to have both a primary care and a OB/GYN. Maybe try your Gyn. and see what their opinion is on the matter.

  25. Rachael

    UH! So annoying! I spent years with doctors not listening to me, desperate for a doctor who would LISTEN to me, and look at my symptoms as a whole body issue. I asked several doctors to test my thyroid before I FINALLY got diagnosed with hypothyroidism this year. I’m so sorry that it’s difficult to change doctors, because you deserve someone better that will listen to you. It might be worth checking out an OB/GYN like Amanda said. The doctor I finally found is a women’s health doctor for whole body wellness, but for the insurance company I think her specialty is listed as OB/GYN.

  26. Cheryl

    The thing about being in the “normal” range is that it is just that …a range. I feel much better when my TSH is less than 2. If it goes higher than that, I feel like crap. And the higher it goes in the normal range, the more I feel like crap. Another person may feel good with a TSH of 3. I think people have a spot in the normal range that is good for them. The normal range doesn’t mean that we’ll feel good ANYWHERE in the normal range. Also, of course your TSH is going to increasingly get higher as your thyroid is being destroyed by the anti-bodies! I’m not a doctor but it seems obvious to me that as your thyroid is being destroyed over time, you’re going to need your thyroid hormone dosage increased to compensate for it being destroyed. When I was first diagnosed in 1992, I was given Synthroid and it seemed to work for 4 years. Then all the symptoms I had when I was diagnosed came back along with a lot more that scared me. I went to the doctor, she did the blood tests, told me that I was in normal range so I must have something else now. I refused to accept that and did a lot of research and found out about T3. I called my doctor and told her I wanted to be put on Armour because it has T4 AND T3 in it. She said she wouldn’t do that because she felt Armour was unstable. I talked to another doctor in the same practice(I saw him on occasion) and told him that I wanted to be put on Armour or I would quit going to this particular group of doctors and would find someone that will give it to me. He agreed to let me try it. Armour didn’t work out very well for me so then I was put on Thyrolar (also has T4 and T3 but is not made from desiccated pig thyroids). Thyrolar saved my life! Over the years at different times I have tried going back to thyroid hormone pills with just T4 (like Synthroid) and I just don’t do very well on them. I need the T3 also. You really do need to find a doctor that will not go by just the numbers. You’re not just a number! I know you said it’s hard for you to change doctors, but girl, this is your health and well-being…mentally, physically, and emotionally, that you’re talking about…the quality of your life! Hypothyroidism has had me pretty much bed-ridden for almost a year, majorly depressed, almost catatonic at times, not able to remember friends’ names that I had known for 10 years, couldn’t hold a pencil or pen to write…I could go on but what I’m trying to say is if you can’t get your doctor to listen to you and change your thyroid hormone dosage, find another doctor ….please!
    Cheryl in MO

  27. Cheryl

    I just wanted to add that when I was talking about being pretty much bedridden for almost a year…that was in the year 2000. I refuse to see any doctor that just goes by numbers because I will NEVER go back to being the way I was in 1997 and 2000. Those were the absolute most worst years and a lot due to doctors just going by the numbers.

  28. Jennifer

    I feel your pain. I had Kaiser for over a decade. Maybe my worst Kaiser horror story will make you feel just a smidge better via schadenfreude…
    Okay lemme sum it up: 2 dozen visits to the ER in EXCRUCIATING pain and waiting for 3-5+ hours just to be seen, endless blood tests, Upper GI, Sigmoidoscopy (Yes folks, that’s a ButtScope), and probably some other off-the-wall test that I forgot. A year goes by and no diagnosis — no CLUE as to what is wrong by the Kaiser docs (both ER and primary docs).
    Finally, my parents said “SCREW DIS!” and took me to a non-Kaiser ER. The doc comes in, scans my history and asks me two questions. 1) “Does it hurt when I push here?” — “Yes” 2) “Did you eat a greasier than usual meal before the pain started?” — “Why, yes I did.”
    “I think you have gallstones.”
    And there you have it. A quick scan of a quick ER history and two questions and she diagnosed what Kaiser couldn’t in over a year and dozens of visits and tests.
    Now to Kaiser’s credit, they actually didn’t kill me during the surgery. ๐Ÿ˜† The surgeon was really the only really competent doc I ever ran across in Kaiser in over a decade.
    I feel for you, Y. Is there anyway you can switch primary docs while still keeping him for your kids?

  29. Janine

    Wow. I didn’t realise things were so complicated in the US when it comes to switching doctors – I’m from Germany. You could switch doctors three times a week if you wanted to. Sorry, that probably isn’t helping.

  30. sam {temptingmama}

    I am so very sorry. I know how hard you’ve been working and trying and hoping. To have your questions shoved off and your concerns be negated the way your doctors has is not only mean, it’s unfair! They’re supposed to be there to HELP and make you feel BETTER.
    I don’t know the American medical system all that well, but I can tell you this – it really effin sucks!
    Have you tried tearing him a new one? Some times they just need a wake up call and maybe you yelling at him and telling him how shitty he’s making you feel by just blowing off your concerns would give him a little wake up call?
    I wish I had better advice. What about coming to CANADA!?!!1?!!

  31. catnip

    When will doctors learn that normal range is only normal for a few people!! I’m sorry you are still going through this after all this time.

  32. nil zed

    I was under the impression you were with some sort of small local or regional HMO with very few doctor’s in the pool. But, Kaiser! They have great long lists of MD’s to choose from. all you have to do is call up, or go on-line, & pick one. & if that one doesn’t work out after a few months or a year, pick another. Your kids can stay with this guy if you like how he works with them, nothing says everyone in the family has to have the same primary physician.
    Your Kaiser region may not be as extensive as mine, so maybe there are fewer docs & less support services, but, he can’t be the ONLY MD they have on offer!
    Do you belong to any sort of support group? I guess your K. must not have in-house support groups. But even an outside group might introduce you to other Kaiser members & you guys could help each other figure out how to make K. work better for you.

  33. Y

    That’s a great idea, Nil.
    The problem isn’t that it’s impossible to switch doctors.
    The first time I felt like he dind’t know what he was doing when it comes to this thyroid stuff, I asked him to refer me to a endocrinologist. And he did. And that was working out okay until the endo told me “you’re fine now, go back to your regular doctor.”
    That is why I went back to him this time. Because I was told to go back by my endo.
    Anyway. TGIF!

  34. Nanette

    Hi Y,
    I also have Kaiser (Northern CA) and have a love/hate relationship with them as well. Have you tried looking up a different doctor on their website? You can leave any doctor a message, via phone or email, and request they take you onto their load, even if they say they are closed to new patients.
    Secondly, I think it is smart for you to email this Dr. of yours. I’ve found that I’m more likely to receive a positive response when it’s in writing…since there’s a trail that could come back and bite them.
    Good luck. Hopefully you can get added onto a better doctor’s load SOON!

  35. Sylvia

    He’s a great family doctor (been amazing to my kids.)
    Leave your kids with him. I said this before but – you no longer trust him. As a result of the entire experience with your thyroid medication, you no longer have faith in his treatment of your condition. This is a bad situation all around. If you were able to tell him that you felt this way (which ok, I get the sarcasm and the authority attitude, so not very likely) he’d probably recommend that you found someone else as well!
    That is why I went back to him this time. Because I was told to go back by my endo.
    Your endocrinologist seems to be saying that at the moment, you no longer need his particular help. I doubt he cares who your regular doctor is, simply that you should return to one rather than a specialist.
    If you told him “I went back to a doctor whose judgment I do not trust and who appears to be belittling my symptoms” I think he’d be shocked. If he knew you felt you were doing so on his advice, I think he’d be horrified.

  36. Alice

    Sorry for the all caps, but shit like this steams me. You and the kids don’t have to have the same doc (I never shared a doc with my parents), and Kaiser is big enough that there should be some alternatives to this guy in your area. I agree that getting a new referral to an endo might not help, since you’d still have him for a baseline, but if the issues aren’t resolved, I think it’s totally legitimate to go back to the endo on your own (the Kaiser plan I had was fine with this – it was the initial referral that they needed).
    You’re a terribly considerate person, and I worry that you’re letting your desire to not get the doc mad/upset with you overcome your RIGHT to adequate medical services. You shouldn’t need to cajole him into treating your Hashimoto’s – he’s a doctor, not a child.
    He’s blowing you off. He’s NOT caring for your medical condition. He’s NOT treating you with respect, and you deserve better. TGIF, indeed, and I hope that your weekend gets better!

  37. Y

    That’s a great point, Sylvia.
    I’m glad I wrote this here. To be honest, at first, I was feeling very defensive about these comments. (Was it obvious?) But now I see things from a different point of view.
    One of the reasons I stay with my doctor is because he is always willing to give me any tests I ask for. I have family/friends with Kaiser who aren’t so lucky. They asks to have tests done and their doctors tell them those tests aren’t necessary blahblahblah. I’m afraid of that happening.
    ANyway, you’ve all given me a lot to think about. THANK YOU.

  38. Y

    Alice, there is truth to what you said.
    I had no idea how much of a kick in the ass I needed in regards to this situation.
    You guys are my Dr.Phil.

  39. Leslie

    Seriously. It makes me SO MAD that insurance companies dictate the medical care that people receive. It’s not right and I’m sorry that you have to deal with frustrations like this. You’re doing what you can, just being your own advocate. I hope you feel better soon.

  40. christina

    That really sucks. I’d like to know what your doctor considers “normal range”. Does he actually give you the numbers. Hashimoto sufferers usually feel best at a TSH of 1 or less. If yours is more than that, get a new doc ASAP ’cause this one isn’t taking you seriously.

  41. Deena

    So frustrating. Numbers are not the only indicator, and it sounds like your doctor doesn’t get that *at all*. I’d keep advocating for yourself. Insist that you are NOT well and you want to increase your dosage. Remind yourself that you employ him and he needs to listen to you. It’s his JOB.
    Hang in there and good luck. ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. cindy w

    Since switching doctors isn’t an option, here’s my completely unasked-for opinion. I think that maybe he isn’t “getting it” via email. Make an appointment, go sit in his office, make eye contact, and just tell him flat-out, “I need you to listen to me, I know something is wrong with my body, and I need you to help me figure out what it is. And if you can’t or won’t help me, I need you to help me find a new doctor who can.” (Assuming HMO’s can do that, yes? He can pass you off to another doc? I really have no idea how HMO’s work.)
    Good luck, sweetie. Hope you figure out something FAST to start making yourself feel better.

  43. Michele

    Y, keep pushing. Be a bitch if you have to. You know your body better then anyone. Be your own doc and get him to retest you. You are strong! Don’t let his degree or arrogance get in the way of your health.

  44. Marin

    If you have an HMO that rhymes with Shmaiser Shemermanente, I’d call the administration in at your home center. Raise hell and keep calling and making them give you some information. Tell your PCP that you need a new referral to a different doctor and just generally be really obnoxious about it. It’ll work, promise.

  45. sara

    Look into getting a Methyl B12 supplement. Poor thyroid function is often paired with B12 deficiency, and that can cause maaaaaajor fatigue. Cyano B12 (cyanocobalamin) is worthless (and is what is in all the vitamins) Jarrow makes a good Methyl B12. Even if your B12 levels are fine in a serum test you can often feel a nice kick from Methyl B12.
    Good luck with the doctor. Mine makes me want to rip my hair out, too.
    Another option is to request a change in PCP from your insurance co. If you can’t request a change, ask if you’re able to file a complaint anywhere.
    Doctors can be soooo obnoxious.

  46. Michelle

    What a goon.
    I had a doctor’s appointment for yesterday, but decided to cancel it. I just have a couple of unrelated minor complaints, and I decided I didn’t want to go in and pay the co-pay just to be told “Oh, you should see a podiatrist for that, I can’t help you” and “Um, I don’t know what that is… come back in if it flares up again!”

  47. Jennifer

    I just wanted to clarify why I wrote what I later thought might seem a self-indulgent post (about the gallstone horror)… I just wanted you to know that it’s not you — it’s Kaiser. Sometimes Kaiser Just.Plain.Sucks. When the people that pay for the medical care also run the medical care, you get doctors that are really reluctant to run the tests and pursue diagnoses that other doctors wouldn’t even think twice about. It’s a horrible system, IMO.
    Therefore, when you’re under a system like that, you’re gonna really have to make some noise to get the care you need. (And I sense that you are like me in that you don’t like “making waves”, so I know that can seem a scary proposition…)
    I’m sorry that some of our responses made you feel defensive, but honestly, I think we’re all just angry FOR you. We care about you and your health.
    Please keep us updated.

  48. dawn

    I’m going to punch him in the vagina for you. With one of those boxing nun puppets because then it would be both painful *and* entertaining. We could put the clip on America’s Funniest home video, and then win $10,000 so you could go see a cool doctor who doesn’t need a good punching in the vagina.

  49. Overflowing Brain (Katie)

    I absolutely get how frustrating this is. I was seeing a neurologist this fall who told me that I would simply need to get over my headaches and learn to deal with them. Nevermind that I had other significant symptoms associated with them (like um, losing the use of the left side of my body and my pupils dilating HUGELY), she just decided that I was whining and since I didn’t have a tumor or other imageable problem that it was over.
    I also have an HMO and get how effing frustrating they are, but can you possibly look into getting a new doctor? Even if nothing changes right away?
    Also, my husband and I are moving back to Southern California (yea, Inland Empire) and he is, as of 2 weeks from tomorrow, a doctor. If you are interested in any referrals I’ll see what we can do (I mean, I know you need an official referral, but maybe you can ask for one to a specific doctor?)

  50. e

    holy fucking shit, i would fucking kill any doctor who told me to take a weightloss pill.

  51. e

    you know what? now that i’ve become less blindly enraged, i have to add: it seems like he’s just checked out. i mean, if you, the patient, generally feel like a lot of the work you’re doing is useless and that you’re never going to lose weight, doesn’t it make sense for the doctor to feel that way, too? i’ve had this happen to me with my docs dealing with my heart problem — i feel like i’m having a heart attack 5x a day and get to a point where it’s like, fine, this is the way of the world… and my doctors do, too! and that’s NOT how it should be.
    i hate your doctor, oh my god.

  52. Becky

    Oh, doctors and thyroids. I have an inkling that it’s something they skip over. My doctor never told us that you shouldn’t take synthroid with food or vitamins as it prevents absorption. That was a fun thing to find out when I got to college. Also, I’ve always gotten it checked out every six months (as opposed to once a year).
    I’ll be wishing you the best of luck and that you feel better soon. Hopefully your doctor will become sensible and actually listen to what you’re saying.

  53. Kelly

    I have been on thyroid medicine for about 11 years now and I also have Hashimotos. I started with an endo and then tried seeing my regular dr and they just don’t understand the thyroid thing. I just had my medicine increased in January. My dr said a thyroid patient should have a TSH at about 1. Mine was 1.8 when he tested it and I just had recheck a few weeks ago and it went down to 1.1 which is great according to my dr. I can sooo tell when I need an adjustment. I feel it in my body. You need to find a dr to listen. Work with your symptoms and not just your numbers. Good luck!

  54. DogsDontPurr

    Kaiser! Oy. They are always “Pass the buck, pass the buck, give us another co-pay!” And heaven forbid you should have a *real* problem. They’re like “Oh, you’re dying? We can fit you in about 3 months from now!”
    Good luck. Be persistent. I hope you get the help you need.

  55. hed

    I second the adrenal fatigue. Unfortunately, most allopathic docs don’t even think about this, but it is the precursor to thyroid issues. You can pick up adrenal cortex supplements at places like Whole Foods. I noticed a difference within just a couple of days of starting on them.
    E-mail me, or catch me on FB if you want to know more about them. Seriously, life changing for me. And quickly.

  56. Kyla

    Are they only checking your TSH or are they also checking your T3 and T4 levels? Maybe your TSH is okay, but your T3 and T4 are still at inappropriate levels?

  57. Lex ~ @laprimera

    Sending you big hugs and encouragement. Keep being the squeaky wheel. Kaiser calls for us to be our own health advocate. Email the endo. Ask to change docs. Another thing I did when looking for my doc was to ask the nurses who was thorough and attentive. Or go in to urgent care if you have to. Call and make a same day appt with different docs. That was my way of “shopping” until I found someone I liked and trusted. Love ya!!!

  58. Amy

    Maybe you could tell your doctor, that you would like him to refer you back to your endo so you can get another opinion.

  59. Mon

    According to Kaiser, you can switch docs within them at any time. http://kaiserhealthinsurance.us/blog/?p=112
    This may be total BS, though…not sure. I’d ask your Kaiser management at your facility/practic to give you a doctor who has more expertise in monitoring TSH levels or something. Or someone at another Kaiser facility, even.
    Best of luck with this sucky doctor issue!

  60. the new girl

    It has been my experience that family doctors are really good at the general medical but don’t know shit from shinola about things that obviously require a specialist.
    HMO’s SUCK and I’m sorry that this bullshit is all Groundhog’s Day for you.
    I’ve needed to switch doctors for about 3 years now and I can’t bring myself to face all the red-tape to do it. I hate the whole, complicated process. I so get it.

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