Racking Up Our Deductible

It seems we are not done with Heliobacter Pylori. Yes, I hate to mention it again – the times Bryan was in the hospital repeated for extreme stomach pain, projectile vomiting and various other nefarious GI complaints? It’s baaaaaack – AGAIN. The doctor had warned us that one round of antibiotics, strong as they may be, might not be enough. What he did NOT warn us about, however, is what a gigantic BOZO he was.

See, Bryan called last Friday morning to get an appointment. Apparently, there is someone there to answer the phones, but no doctors available.

Bryan: “Is Dr. Bozo available to see me today? I have a reoccurrence of my Heliobacter Pyliori and am in extreme stomach pain.”

Receptionist Bozo: “No, I am sorry, he is not in today.”

Bryan: “Well, are any of the other 5 doctors in the practice available today?”

Receptionist Bozo: “No, I am sorry. No doctors are in the office today. I could leave a message for our nurse, if you like.”

Bryan: [grunt grunt] Yes, please. [But why are you answering the phone if you can do nothing for people?]

The nurse called back and had been in touch with Dr. Bozo. They decided to call in a Proton Pump Inhibitor prescription (glorified Prilosec) for him and would see him in the office on Tuesday (yesterday).

We assumed (you know what they say about assuming) that they would do the test for the creepy crawly bugs on Tuesday (an easy breath test, by the way), put him on the next level of antibiotics, he would feel better again and hopefully this time we would kill the bugs for good.

Guess where Bryan is right now?

Getting a CAT SCAN.

Did he get the breath test for the Heliobacter Pylori yesterday? NO.

WHY? Because you have to be off Proton Pump Inhibitors for TWO WEEKS before you can have that test.

What the holy hell was Dr. Bozo thinking in giving him that prescription on Friday? Did he even look at Bryan’s chart? Did he think this was some NEW thing with the EXACT same symptons? Did he not remember telling Bryan that the first round of antibiotics only had a 70-90% chance of killing off the bugs forever? Did he have some sick need to torture Bryan by making him wait for the test with no meds for two weeks? Did he just need some extra cash for the hospital so he sent him off to get expensive tests rather than the simple one? Is this just another reason why heath care is so utterly and completely FUCKED in this country?

To say we are pissed is an understatement.

For now, we’ll await the CAT scan results, have the breath test in a painful 2 weeks, get on the antibiotics when they confirm the bugs are back… and start looking for a new GI specialist.

This article has 36 comments

  1. Sizzle

    what kind of doctor does that? seems totally backwards! your anger is justifiable. poor bryan!


  2. Lisa

    That sucks! Hope Bryan’s on the mend soon and that you can find a new doc even sooner.

  3. villanovababy

    Holy Crap… I’d be so pissed. Why is it so hard to find a doctor that is willing to help you find the solution to your problem, instead of just prescribing something that might not even help. You wouldn’t believe the drama I went through trying to get help for Tim’s stomach problems…

  4. g-man

    Dude that is hideous. The sad part is that it is not surprising at all. Yet another feather in the cap of our medical system.

    I hope he feels better really soon.

  5. Christine


    As the doctor wasn’t in the office, he likely didn’t have access to Brian’s charts (if he did, he’s a moron), and thus had to rely on the information he got from the nurse. Sounds like got a half-assed message that probably just said, “The patient has stomach pain.”There must have been an on-call doc (if there wasn’t I’d leave that practice immediately)…the nurse should have allowed you to speak to that doctor so that a fully informed decision could be made.

    I MUST take issue with wiredmonkey’s assertion that physicians are mostly apathetic. As a former physician myself I can very confidently state that apathy is extraordinarily rare in a doctor when it comes to their patient’s health…yet that perception remains. In fact, one of the (bazillion) reasons I left medicine was the rising tide of anger at doctors for situations that are totally out of their control.

    The insurance companies (or any third party payer for that matter) so largely dictates what you are able to do, what you can order, the algorithm you must follow if you are to remain within their health care system that it is stifling. Then patients are upset with you, their doctor, because you are stuck following the insurance company’s dictates. A similar set of problems arise when the third party paying is a government.

    None of this matters to Brian right now, I know. I’d make sure to voice your utter disgust to the doctor if/when you see him next. He needs to understand that his staff totally dropped the ball and his patient suffered from it. I’ve seen office staff fired due to situations like this.

    Sorry you’re dealing with this.

  6. Christine

    Okay, I just read my post and I sound kinda snarky-ish. I totally didn’t mean to…I feel horrible that Bryan is dealing with this and it should NOT have happened.

    Yowsa. I’m sorry if I sounded like I was trying to stir something up. Didn’t mean to at all…just being a bit defensive of my former fellow colleagues.

    Anyway…I hope you’re feeling better, Bryan.

    (slinking away)

  7. Gretchen

    Unbelievable. Truly unbelievable.

    Start looking for a new doctor – stat!

  8. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Christine, no worries, I appreciate your opinion too and see your points. Really – trust me, most days I am DEFINITELY shaking my fist at the insurance companies for the mess of healthcare. However, this doctor does know Bryan’s history very well, and neither here nor there should not have prescribed something until he was sure what he was going to have to do. He could have called Bryan himself (I’m sorry, but I expect this level of care from my specialists) and they could have discussed options. Bryan could have suffered through the weekend on Pepto and had the breath test on Tuesday, but now he has to wait two more weeks. Or better yet, he could have sent him to someone else who could have done the test on Friday or Monday. There is another GI practice right next door to these guys, even!


    Anyway, I sure don’t mean to sound snarky back. It just seems like a ridiculous waste of time and money.

  9. zipper

    What a load of crap.

  10. monstergirlee

    Sometimes I am amazed at what Doctors miss.
    In feb of 2004 my husband lay writhing in pain (in the stomach area) at the ER. They prodded and poked and tubed and scoped and finally it kind of abated on its own.
    Fast forward to january of ’07 – same again, only worse. ER & 24 hours later they figured out what it was. Turns out, its a typical condition for someone who has had abdominal surgery (which he had) but no one associated it with his previous experiences. So pissed!
    That whole “Wait and See” thing…. makes me so angry.

    Sorry Bryan is going through all this crap again, and with complications. Here’s hoping the bugs go away for real this time.

  11. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    You guys are making me smile at the explaining yourselves without resorting to getting all upset.

    Yay you!!!

  12. Amy

    Wow, I wonder who your doctor is or if they’re all this flaming stupid now. I called my dr with potential strep and barely able to talk to be told that the soonest she could see me was the 3rd week of February!! So I hung up threatening to switch drs. Today I called a new dr who came recommended only to hear that same day appts were full and I could schedule for 3 weeks out or call again tomorrow for possible same day appt. So I asked why can’t they just put me on for tomorrow’s same day since I am on the phone now. No luck. So I finally found my brain and called my ENT surgeon who I should have called in the first place only to learn he is in surgery but I managed to nail down an appt for tomorrow so I took it. I’ve come to determine Drs are either over accepting patients or they’re just stupid…

  13. WiredMonkey

    This is another symptom of our country’s horrible approach to health care. Doctor’s not communicating with one another (and in some cases, as it appears here, not communicating with themselves). Sometimes it’s because of poor training and execution. Other times, it’s a simple matter of too large a workload for a doctor (or even 5) to handle themselves. Mostly it’s apathy and a case of doctors getting away with things because they CAN, in my opinion.

    If you haven’t seen Sicko, you should check it out. I’m not a big Michael Moore fan, necessarily, and this was actually the first film of his I had seen. Some of it needs to be taken with a grain of salt, and realize he’s coming from a biased point of view…but there are some facts in there that are relatively indisputable. It’s a film that will make you mad, but it’s worth seeing I think.

    Good luck with everything, though. Hope Brian feels better soon.

  14. Emily

    Oh, there are few things worse than an incompetent doctor. That totally sucks.

  15. zenrain

    So sorry to hear he’s sick again… hugs & kisses to you, bryan:)

  16. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Nutmeg, but she sure is cute, isn’t she???

  17. The Casual Perfectionist

    Oh NO!! I hope you guys get things figured out soon!!

  18. WiredMonkey

    I re-read what I posted too, and realized that it sounded as though I was saying that most doctors are apathetic. That was not what I was trying to communicate – I just didn’t state myself very well.

    What I meant to say, is that in a situation where all 5 doctors are out of the office, it conveys an attitude of apathy to the patients. When a patient has a concern during normal 9-5 hours on a weekday, they should be able to call their physician and have them reach them back in person (or at least an answer to their question delivered by a nurse) by the end of the day.

    What I find disturbing is that it seems to be a trend lately (at least, again, from my point of view) that doctors are taking on too many patients, and are unable to give the level of personal care they once were. The reasons are myriad, and I don’t want to open that can of worms….some are good, valid reasons, but there are many “not-so-good” ones too.

    Anyway, sorry if I started something. 😛 Healthcare sucks, and I agree with Greeblemonkey that 9 times out of 10, we should point our fingers at Health Care companies. Make that 99 out of 100. 😉

  19. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Yes, Melissa – we *are* very lucky to have good insurance.

    And Beaverhausen – craptastic – LMAO!

    Kerianne, that’s why we are trying to be ALLLL over it. I am so sorry for your grandfather.

  20. samantha jo campen

    I’m pissed at my health insurance company right now, so hearing what you and Bryan are going through just makes me want to go lookin’ for a fight!

    I REALLY hope he feels better soon. Poor guy.

    And slam that GI’s name all around town!

  21. carrie

    That is horrible. I hope Bryan gets the care he needs . . . SOON!

    I just watched “Sicko” again and I won’t even get started about the health system in our country. I know the evil of which you speak.

    Makes me want to move to France. Or Canada. Or Cuba. Anywhere, but here.

  22. nutmeg


    (Hey, that Christine is snarky!)

  23. Karen

    And I thought our healthcare system was screwed. That’s just unbelievable! Poor Bryan. I hope he gets better soon and finds a proper doctor.

  24. Doodaddy

    Yikes. The idea of Helicobacter is scary enough — the term “proton pump” frightens the crap out of me. (Probably wrong metaphor, sorry.)

    Good luck… take care…

  25. Jerseygirl89

    What an idiot! Yes, this definitely an example of our country’s horrible health care. Here’s to finding a great GI specialist (they seem to be very rare).

  26. Sandy C.

    Good grief! Poor Bryan. I hope he feels better and finds relief and answers soon. I’m so sorry for all this mess you’ve had to go though (I’ll end it there….I don’t want to be splainin’ myself in a 2nd comment. Especially as an ex-nurse;))

  27. Melissa

    Oh my god. I feel for Bryan (and you! And Declan!) One week of gastro-hell was enough for me. And, yes, I blitzed my deductible in the first 4 days of the year. I curse insurance companies, but thank heaven that I am insured every day.

  28. a beaverhausen

    Dr. Craptastic strikes again. There ought to be a law.

  29. kerrianne.org

    GI doctors scare me. If only because of the fact that my grandfather was misdiagnosed about five times before they told him, “You have stomach cancer.” He had it for TWO YEARS before anything was discovered. They told him repeatedly it was “indigestion, maybe an ulcer.” I know being a doctor is hard, and that some things make no diagnostic sense. That being said, I think too often things get missed, go unnoticed, and our hospitals/offices/etc are grossly understaffed and the (physicians and) patients suffer.

    All of that to say: I hope Bryan is feeling better soon, and that you get some answers soon, too.

  30. J at www.jellyjules.com

    Oh lord, what the hell. If he (bozo) wasn’t in the office, he probably wasn’t looking at the file, just spewing prescriptions willy nilly. Sounds to me like he’s an idiot, and needs to call patients back HIMSELF next time, so a conversation can take place, like, “Oh, I had these same symptoms last time, and you did THIS for me, what now”. Ugh. You, and esp. Brian, have my sympathies.

  31. Katja of skimbaco.com

    I’m speechless, I just can’t believe that just happened, but unfortunately that’s reality in health care nowadays 🙁 Hopefully he will feel better soon.

    PS. I tagged you

  32. jennifer

    Ugh. What a nightmare. I’m sorry he’s going through this (and that you’re along for this very un-fun ride.)

  33. Sister Sassy

    OMG that would make me so FREAKING mad. Get a new doctor, now now now.

  34. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    thanks all, so much, for the support and good thoughts!

  35. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Becca, its far worse with a child. GRRR.

  36. DasBecca

    Oh, Aimee. I so feel you on this. Like– I’m right there with you, and it sucks. Our daughter has had a slew of these doctors-don’t-read-the-charts things; the worst being when our doctors wouldn’t give her an IV, even though I kept pointing out that she has a rare blood mutation that causes her to have strokes if she gets dehydrated. All they had to do was look in the file to realize not hooking her up was potentially fatal. (And the CAT scans. Done that too.)

    Anyway, not to take the story away from how much this sucks for Bryan. That poor, poor guy. I’ll be thinking of you guys and hoping for the best outcome possible.

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