Discrimination, humiliation and denial. Words that I shouldn’t have to use to describe my experience at the doctor’s office while seeking treatment for my arthritic knee. I was openly treated as if I were less than human by a local clinic because I am receiving “Obamacare”.
I have been poor all of my adult life. Through a series of bad luck and hardship I was also blessed with depression- a double whammy for anyone to deal with but something that you may never overcome. I accept my circumstances, my doctor and his clinic do not.
I was openly mocked by my doctor because I wanted him to speak to me as an adult because he tried to treat me like an illiterate 6 year old, he questioned my job history because I told him I knew whet he was explaining to me because I educated myself. Apparently there is a rumor out there that all poor people are stupid. He treated me as if I were dirty- no eye contact and the bare minimum of care not to mention some very important information in my chart was never written in my chart. I have arthritis and the last x-ray that he ordered was from a year and a half ago -the pain in my knee has increased ten-fold since my first visit.He ignored any request for further treatment telling me I should lose weight and I am too young for knee replacement, then he doubled my prescription for an antidepressant-very dangerous to double this pill when I had been off of it for a week because he refused the refill until I had a doctor consultation-I had it refilled many times in the past year with no problem. That alone set off bells in my head.
He then reluctantly referred me to the rheumatologist that gave me an injection in my knee, told me to lose weight, still no x-ray and now I am looking forward to “relief in a month” IF the shot works. Just keep taking 1600 milligrams of Motrin (per day) even though I had told both doctors that I had been taking NSAIDS e.g. Motrin for twenty years almost daily- it doesn’t work anymore.I also told him about my other knee beginning to hurt. The man actually said, “there are people in wheelchairs that just sit there all day and they are okay”- implying that it was okay with him if that happened to me. I was ignored again. The second doctor also talked to me like I had no clue so I left there with no way to get rid of the pain and I had already lost my job due to this issue. They hurried me out of their office and I cried in the parking lot.
When I called to complain to my insurance provider I was told that my clinic was openly trying to get rid of A.C.A. patients and they are desperate to get rid of all of us. I decided to leave the clinic because I need care- my condition is not going to improve and they are not going to ever care because they had already shown me what they are about. What can you do? There are no legal protections for the poor- legally they can reject all of us and there we are with coverage but no one to take it. I will never understand the elitist attitude of anyone that is expected to care for others, nor do I think that doctors should be forced to do anything they do not want to do, but where do we draw the line? I am supposed to suffer for the rest of my life because my primary care provider openly shows disdain for me?
I am afraid that I didn’t have it in me to stay in that clinic- maybe if I had been more vocal with my issues they could have addressed them, but now I feel that by being a whistle blower to their horrific treatment only provokes them to further exacerbate my pain. I no longer have any faith in them and I have switched providers – keeping my fingers crossed that the new doctor is a decent person.