My 3 regular specialists in the large medical group I am enrolled in are awesome. I had a problem with 3 other specialists brought in for consultation.
– One doctor last year saying, “You know soon no doctor will be allowed to treat you if you do not stop smoking.” He is a podiatrist who did not help me with an ingrown toenail.
– Another surgeon who was the 2nd surgeon on a team of 2 had “no problem” with my smoking before the surgery, and it was discussed. He also had no problem taking the money my 2 insurances paid – but he belittled, and bullied me for 3 years after the surgery.
– And another specialist recently gave me a fifteen minute tirade about how he would not do surgery on me because I smoke (even though my many surgeries have been a success in spite of what he thinks about smoking). He refused to tell me the results of my Upright Open MRI until I quit smoking. He insinuated I needed surgery, but would not do it on me until I quit smoking. He was unbelievably arrogant, belittling, and harassing in his demeanor – and got just short of completely in my face at the end of the consultation.
So I wrote a letter briefly praising my 3 regular specialists, and then giving a blow by blow account of 3 consultations over 3 years that had specialists belittling me, harassing me, and bullying me – and two did not do the consults for which they were paid to do.
I wrote a letter to the head Administrator of the large medical group, and in that letter among other things regarding my care I included the following about my smoking – this is an excerpt from the middle of the very long expose/letter:
… I looked up the government’s study and results regarding cigarette smoking. I was interested in the section regarding addiction – which is a very lengthy read. It talks about how many just cannot quit. Through many attempts in the late 80’s and early 90’s to quit smoking, without good result, I discovered each time that I became horribly ill. The longest attempt was 3 weeks, and I was horribly ill for a little over 3 weeks. The discovery that I could not be hypnotized was the most interesting aspect of these really awful attempts to quit. Other aids for cessation that I used at different times: pills, patches, and gum. I had adverse effects from the pills; and I cheated regularly on the patches, and on the gum. It is important to note the following, which the government study on this cigarette / nicotine addiction supports:
- I am truly addicted to cigarettes / nicotine, and it is more difficult for women to quit.
- My parents were chain smokers – and if you buy into second hand smoke – this would explain that my addiction is a 62 year / entire life addiction – and possibly why I tolerate it so well. It also explains why I started smoking soon after leaving my childhood home for married life. At that time the majority of my friends, co-workers, and family were (some still are) cigarette smokers. I believe that I am the person who simply cannot quit an entire life addiction.
- I have been living with pain for over 35 years, and cigarettes are a large part of my many years success of controlling pain – a large part of my pain management in the form of instant comfort – even allowing me to work with pain over twenty years – almost always having business owners whom I worked with also smoked, and I was allowed to smoke in my office. My quality of life has been amazing because of my faith, my wonderful 20 year marriage, my xxxxxxxx doctors, and my ability to find means of comfort / pain control: cigarettes, reading, long hot soaks in a tub, etc. [The government report supports this thesis that cigarettes are an effective tool against pain, and therefore quitting is almost impossible. Weighing the good against the bad is impossible for someone who is not the patient.]
- Between my husband’s awesome fight against his stage 4 Prostate Cancer, and my own struggle with numerous  degenerative diseases, I can see little benefit of creating any misery in my life via attempts to stop a 62 year addiction. I believe we must choose our battles wisely, and pick the ones we have a good chance of success. [The government report supports that under long term stress, cigarette smoking is a stress relieving tool.]
It is my opinion that every person is unique, and treatment plans are also unique to each person. I am defined by much more than my diseases. I do not believe that Dr. xxxxxx was interested in knowing who I am or why smoking cessation is not a good idea for me. None of us live forever. When my Creator takes me home to be with Him will be an occasion for joy. I depend on my physicians to help me live the best quality of life I can live with my  degenerative diseases, and my human frailties / faults. We all know there are no cures for any of the degenerative diseases I have.
I do take issue with the propaganda that makes people believe I am a burden on society. I am the good citizen that worked hard for 45 years, and purchased medical insurance for myself and my family. The high rates I paid were to help those less fortunate than myself who did not have insurance. After a little research, I have come to the conclusion that older folks who pass on due to medical diseases, all use much more medical assistance before they pass on – not just the ones that smoke. …
AND ALMOST AT the end of my long letter I asked these questions:
- … Is it XXXXXXXXXXXXXX policy that patients that smoke will not be provided medical services by individual doctors, specialties, or in general?
- Where individual doctors have a particular prejudice against smokers is it XXXXXXXXXXXX policy to allow these doctors to refuse treatment to patients. If it is, is XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX keeping records of these physicians so that patients that choose to smoke are not referred to them for treatment?
- Where a patient that chooses to smoke is referred to one of the physicians with significant prejudice regarding smoking does XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX agree that the extent of treatment during these appointments should be to lecture the patient rather than to discuss the medical issue that required the referral, or refer the patient to another doctor in the same specialty that is not so negatively disposed toward patients that choose to smoke? …
THEIR REPLY to my long letter (I saw no reason to share the details of my entire letter in minutia with you – but it was six typed pages in addition to what I have shared with you):
“Ms. Walters – I’m sorry that your visits with XXXX, XXXX and XXXXX were not satisfactory. I have also copied our Medical Director for clinical review. You should receive a written response from the Medical Director after completion of his review. Thank you.”
THAT WAS APRIL 3, 2015 and I have not received a response yet.
I will share their response with you when I receive it if possible / plausible.
I see someone posted something in FB about the “death panels” not happening.
It is called Whole Lives Medicine, and if you read Obamacare you will find it. I did spend a couple of paragraphs of my letter saying that Americans do not believe that Americans will allow Whole Lives Medicine to be implemented – especially by Administrators instead of physicians. The first doctor in my letter is basically hoping this will happen so he can tell me he will not treat me. Time will tell if such inhumane acts will be fulfilled as to how it is described in Obamacare.
THIS IS IMPORTANT TO ALL OF US. If they believe they will turn me away because I smoke – soon they will turn you away because you EAT TOO MUCH, or because you race cars / sky dive / play dangerous sports / etc., or because you refuse DNA screening to find out if you have the genes that tell them you will probably have this disease or that disease, NEED I GO ON? Use your imagination. The very young and the old will no longer receive many, many, many procedures, medications, and surgeries if it is implemented. They want to pick and choose who gets the precious medical care available.
These same people who are screaming about equal rights for certain peoples regarding medical care (and other minority choices), are the same ones who want to say medical care will not be wasted on the young, the old, the ones who do not eat and drink as they are told, the ones that DO NOT THINK the way they are told to think, etc. etc. etc. They do not believe in God; they think they are god.
I Never smoked in my entire life, Thank GOD who art in HEAVEN!!
Yes, thank the Lord you do not smoke. But, the article had a deeper meaning about slippery slopes and where this one would lead? About “whole lives” medicine in Obamacare – you and I would be left out in the cold if this slippery slope is allowed to happen. God bless and take care.