I really hate social media posts that I see that allege that doctors don’t care about their patients. I’m reading these from the standpoint of being a veterinarian. I know how stressed and anxious I get about my patients when things aren’t going well for them. I definitely lose sleep and can’t eat if a patient isn’t doing well and I can’t figure out why. It is even worse if I think I have a hand in it – for example, they reacted badly to a medication I gave even though I had no way of knowing that would happen or if I’m not able to figure out what is going on with them.

I think there are two issues to why people think doctors don’t care.

  1. People don’t see us stress out. That’s not for us to put on them.
  2. On the other hand, we can’t get super emotionally involved with every patient. If we did, we wouldn’t be able to be doctors for long. There are reasons why veterinarians have huge suicide rates. We select for perfectionists who want to fix everyone. We can’t fix everyone. If we don’t learn to wall that off emotionally, there is a good chance we die.

So that’s the background to why I get cranky when I see people being nasty to doctors online. But, I’m in the middle of a medical thing right now, and Lord, they are trying me…..


Last summer I started to get this weird thing. About once a month I would wake up with this weird pressure in the left side of my pelvis. Sometimes I could feel a lump. I would almost feel constipated. Now, I’m a vegan on a high fiber diet. TMI, but we don’t do constipated. At the same time I started getting migraines. It would last for a few days and then it would go away for about a month. I’m post-menopausal. Nothing should be happening on a monthly cycle.

Eventually, the pressure turned to sharp pain when it started. Let the human medical doctoring begin. I was thinking intestinal something or other but these could also be symptoms of ovarian cancer. Off I went to be evaluated for that. My primary care PA is awesome through all this. She got me in immediately and ordered an ultrasound. During the ultrasound the tech hit a super painful spot right where the pain always is. I’m thinking, “That’s it. They found it. I’m probably dying but at least we’ll know.” Ultrasound report came back as totally normal.

Now here’s where me being a doctor comes in. I read the report and immediately saw what it didn’t say. I have metal implants in my fallopian tubes for sterilization. They weren’t mentioned in the report. I’ve never seen a report come back from a veterinary radiologist where random metal in a patient wouldn’t be mentioned. I start thinking, “Where are my implants?” I think this especially because:

  1. My pain is very specifically over where my left fallopian tube could be
  2. The devices I have were taken off the market a few years ago because they developed a tendency to go a-wandering throughout the body.

Can I just say I really want to be diagnosed with Wandering Womb like a properly hysterical Victorian Lady?


At this point, I was about to have a follow up with my PA so I jumped on my own Xray machine at my clinic and took an X-ray of myself to see if my metal implants were still in place. Guess what? The right is sitting there all nice and proper. The left one – RIGHT WHERE THE PAIN IS – is turned 90 degrees relative to the right one and looks like it has some irritation around it. I take a picture of my X-ray and show my PA. She agrees that it doesn’t look right and that they totally should have mentioned that my fallopian tubes are full of metal. But, since she’s awesome, she’s already scheduled me for a CT scan since I’m still having random stabby pain. She says the implants are going to show up on a CT for sure so we will know if the left one has moved. With the X-ray evidence, she also schedules me to see an OB/GYN 2 weeks after the CT because she figures the CT scan is going to show that those need to come out.

I had the CT this week. I got the report back. Guess what was not even mentioned in the report? Not even one comment that there is an ounce of metal in my body.

Good news, my rest of my abdomen is just fine. I’m glad about all the rest of it but, but, but, the major reason for the study was to look for implants. Then I get a message from some doctor in the office. My PA is on vacation. He says that there is no known cause for my abdominal pain. Go ahead and keep my appointments with the OB/GYN. Maybe they will be able to figure something out. My dude, did you even look at my appointment notes? Do you know that they missed the whole point of the study? If this was one of my patients I’d have been immediately in contact with the radiologist asking specifically for the information I wanted.

All I’m thinking now is:

  1. If I wasn’t a veterinarian with access to my very own X-ray machine to do my own imaging I’d still have no idea what might be wrong with me.
  2. If I was this cavalier about one my patients, their people would murder me dead. People tolerate a whole lot more from human doctors than they do from vets.
  3. I need my PA back. I’ve messaged her for when she gets back to tell her to contact the radiologist. Honestly I’m not sure if I’m a good patient or a total pain the neck.