Fractured Facade

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Man vs Woman in the Doctor's Office

I'm really starting to think doctors care more about men than they do women. I suspect this is the case based upon the experiences my husband and I have dealing with the medical profession.

As soon as my husband turned 50 our doctor insisted he get a colonoscopy. He did, had a couple of polyps removed, and was told he wouldn't need another one for five years. Since I'm two years older than my husband, am approaching 54, and my grandmother had colon cancer, I wondered why I had never been told to get one. The last time I went to my doctor I figured he would tell me it's my time. Nope. Nothing. I even asked him if I should get one. He just shrugged his shoulders and that was that. No colonoscopy at this time.

When my husband complains about pain, our doctor performs various tests to determine what the problem is. If he can't fix it, he will send him to someone else for "rehab" and that doctor gives him printed pages of exercises to perform. When I complain, especially about feeling wiped out all the time, my doctor immediately assumes it's fibromyalgia and prescribes pills.

When my husband's liver numbers come back, our doctor freaks out, and schedules more intensive blood tests. He tells him he has to stop drinking and wants to have him take a sonogram. My husband cuts down on his drinking but refuses the test. My rheumy has my liver tested every 12 weeks due to the MTX pills. Most people who are on these pills have blood work every 6 weeks, but my rheumy thinks that's not necessary. Over the last year I have watched my liver deteriorate after every test. My rheumy doesn't seem too concerned, although he did bring me down from 6 pills to 5 weekly, so I bring the results to our family doctor and ask him what he thinks. My numbers are twice as bad as my husband's, and four times what "normal" should be. Although he doesn't think this is the cause, he takes me off my cholesterol medicine. By the way, he's always on my husband's case for his cholesterol numbers which are half as bad as mine. He never mentions taking more in-depth liver tests, and when I ask about a liver sonogram, he just shrugs his shoulders. No sonogram at this time.

When my husband goes for his check-ups he gets the full monte. The doctor puts fear in him telling him how important it is for him to keep his blood pressure down, and come see him every 6 weeks. "You don't want to have a stroke." I have to ask the doctor to listen to my heart, my lungs and feel under my neck to see if there's anything wrong. I ask him if he thinks I look yellow. I pull down the bottom of my eyes and ask if I'm too anemic since the MTX destroys my red blood cells as well. I've never had a lung x-ray which is recommended when someone is on MTX. I mention the pains I sometimes feel going down the left side of my body up to my head. Why do my extremities sometimes go numb? Shrugs. I'm always told everything sounds fine. Come back in 6 months.

I never receive a notice from my gynecologist telling me I'm due for a pap smear. If I don't remember, I miss it, like I did last year. I only remember that I forgot because my ovary has decided, after a year, to make an encore performance. Last time that happened, my gyno thought it was a last fling, but told me if it happened again I should get a hysterectomy. That's a little drastic, isn't it? I'm in no hurry to go back. I'll wait to see how long this fling lasts and then make an appointment.

I actually got pissed at my husband this morning after he told me the doctor wanted him to get a liver sonogram based on his numbers from the last visit. The doctor made him promise that if today's numbers come back the same or worse he will get one. If that's the case I plan to go with my husband on his next visit and take my numbers with me and ask him, "WTF?"

So my question to you dear lady readers is...Does your doctor treat you differently than your husband? Do they take you seriously? Do doctors really care more about men than women,?


  1. Wow, that's messed up, Elena. I can't comment on the difference in treatment, since my husband and I have different doctors and we don't have any of the same medical issues. But I don't get a reminder from my gynocologist either. I just have to remember to set up an appointment each year.

  2. Thanks for commenting're right, it's up to me to remember to make that appointment, and I just did! :)