Dear Doctor: You’re Fired
I am writing this letter to inform you that I will no longer be a patient of yours. I am very disappointed and appalled at the care I received during my visit to your office on Monday, June 7th.
I initially stopped seeing you after moving to Ohio about 5 years ago. After becoming increasingly frustrated with the quality of care I received from my family doctor in Ohio for my thyroid disease, I decided to drive an hour just to see you again. I came back to you because I thought you were a good doctor. You were the one who first diagnosed me with thyroid disease 13 years ago.
I was only 24 years old—about the same age as your two youngest children—when you first diagnosed me with thyroid disease. Since that time, I have educated myself (as I hope anyone would) on the effects of this life-changing disease. I know what it feels like to have this disease under control through proper medication, and I know what it feels like when my levels are off.
The simple fact is that you let me leave your office without changing my medicine knowing my levels were way out of range. After your refused to share the exact results of my blood tests with me, I obtained a copy after leaving your office to see how out of range I was. I was shocked to find out that my TSH was well above the normal range. At 6.43, it is double what it is supposed to be. According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, it should be between .3 to 3.0 – the normal range that was implemented in 2002 – and all doctors should be following these guidelines.
In addition, I asked you how far off my TSH was and you said “slightly.” Then I asked about my T4 and you said that was off. I just don’t understand how you can confirm that my levels were off, but not adjust my medication in any way.
Then when I told you and your nurse that I was tired, depressed, had a puffy face, hands and feet—all clear signs of my thyroid levels being off—you just ignored it. You told me I probably have sleep apnea. I told you I don’t have this because I don’t snore, lose my breath in my sleep or wake up gasping for air. I explained that my husband would have told me if he had noticed any of these symptoms, and yet you still only looked at my being tired as a sign of sleep apnea and nothing else.
You also told me that I was focusing too much on it being my thyroid. Of course I am, it runs in my family. Yet that was ignored too.
I don’t understand if you think thyroid is not that serious because this disease is my life, just like someone who has diabetes or MS. This life-threatening disease has changed my life and I have been fighting for 12 years to get the care I deserve. I find it sad that doctors don’t see this disease as a big deal because anyone who has this will tell you different and being in range to a thyroid patient is everything.
My name is Melanie and I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism 14 years ago. I have started writing letters to doctors because I’m an emotional person and find it easier to get my point across this way and hopefully their next thyroid patient will not be treated the way I was.
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