UCLA Trip a Complete Bust
(Note: I will be referring to the doctor we went to see as Dr. X.)
Harmonie finished packing up the car, we talked about if we needed anything else and then got in the car. The trip was finally underway.
As we left Las Vegas, the excitement was racing through us. We couldn’t believe we were finally heading down to a major University for medical treatment. It’s something we had waited over six months for. The drive down seemed to go by quickly. We stopped for lunch about half way, just long enough to stretch our legs and eat, then continued on.
When we entered the Los Angeles valley, the usual southern California traffic became a nightmare. We fought traffic and made it to the hotel and got settled in. We stayed at the same hotel where we went for our one year anniversary, the Travelodge Santa Monica. We like to stay there because they have a full kitchen in the room, so we don’t have to waste money eating out.
We decided to call it a night early, greatly anticipating the next day’s appointment. We tossed and turned all night. When the alarm went off in the morning, we had only gotten minimal sleep. Our adrenaline was surging. We might finally be at the doctor that can help me walk again. We loaded the car back up and took the short five minute drive to the clinic.
We got to the building and took the elevator to the second floor. We checked in and filled out some paperwork. We were called back fairly quickly so we took that as a good sign. The nurse took my vitals and then we waited.…
Finally one of Dr. X’s resident doctors came in and started inquiring about my pain and what I was exposed to in Iraq and Afghanistan. He seemed intrigued by everything and told us that we had come to the right place and they would be able to help. He left the room to go confer with the doctor and again we waited.
After a little while Dr. X walked in. Wearing a pin striped suit with purple socks, he momentarily seemed very nice. Until he started talking.…
He proceeded to tell us the following things:
- That he sees nothing wrong with my knees.
- That people have fat collect in different areas, mine just happens to be in both of my knees.
- That they are ABSOLUTELY NOT tumors in my knees, it’s just a collection of healthy fat tissue.
- It’s normal for fat to replace muscle when you aren’t up walking around.
- That I have severe nerve damage.
- That I have unexplainable back problems.
- Insisted on taking an x-ray of my hip, which he found nothing on.
- That if I have a bunch of toxins in my body, there is nothing he can do about it.
- That he is a surgeon, not a doctor.
- He tried to force a cortisone injection on me, saying the previous one was done incorrectly.
- When we asked if he had seen the information about my last cortisone injection, he responded “No, it would take me hours to go through the medical records that were sent to him.”
So as you can see, these things didn’t make Harmonie and I very happy. Now, let me cover these from my point of view and from what I have been told from five previous doctors:
- Obviously something is wrong with my knees, OTHERWISE I’D BE WALKING!!!
- Oh good, I guess I just need liposuction in the back of my knee. If only we had known! So just normal fatty cells are causing this much pain? Likely..
- We already knew that they were “fatty tumors” and not anything else. He persistently corrected us when we said tumors, saying it absolutely isn’t that. It’s a collection of fat cells and to stop calling it tumors. Every other physician we’ve seen who actually has reviewed my case has called them tumors.
- Dr. X couldn’t understand that the TUMORS had arrived well before I couldn’t walk anymore. He didn’t seem to understand the tumors are the cause of me being in the wheelchair, not the result of it.
- Severe nerve damage was a new one on us. While we are willing to explore this avenue, not a single doctor or test has indicated any sort of nerve damage.
- Unexplainable back problems??? I have no back problems. He tried to relate a back issue I don’t have to my knee pain.
- Why the heck did I need hip x-rays? This one was baffling. As a professional doctor at UCLA, you’d think he would come up with some better testing than a hip x-ray
- We already knew I have toxins in my body. How do you think I got the lung disease? We weren’t asking Dr. X to take the toxins out of me, we were asking him to fix my knees.
- This one really upset us. If you aren’t a doctor, THEN WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE!!!????? Last I heard, surgeons ARE doctors, am I wrong? He may as well have described himself as an idiot who is good with a knife!
- I had to control myself on this one. Harmonie and I went as far as calling the orthopedic doctor here in Las Vegas and got him on the phone telling him what was going on. He said “I’ve done hundreds and hundreds of knees injections. I didn’t miss and had never seen a reaction like mine.” He even faxed the report over to UCLA and Dr. X didn’t even have the respect to go read it. Which leads me to…
- When I continued to decline his cortisone injection because the last one did terrible things to me, we asked him if he had read the report on my last cortisone injection (the same one the doctor from Las Vegas just faxed down) and he said “The file is this big [made a symbol with his fingers], it would take me our hours to read your medical file.” This was a surprise to us! We told the nurse we weren’t coming down until they had gone over my medical records and she assured us he had and was still willing to help. So we were lied to, brought down on false pretenses, and made a mockery of all in one trip.
I would just like to add this is the fifth doctor we’ve been to over the last six months. My physicians have watched these “tumors” grow and the detriment it has had on my ability to walk. Everyone who has been involved in my case agrees that these growths are abnormal and need to be biopsied and researched further. It has only been due to the high risk of performing surgery on me that others have been unwilling to do so. However, no one has had the audacity to simply pretend there is no problem.
To say the least, our trip to UCLA was a complete bust. We got no help whatsoever. This doctor may as well have told me that I should be able to get up and run around. I rolled out of there completely disappointed with the feeling that we were taken advantage of. At the end he said he wanted me to come back in a month.
If there is nothing wrong with me, WHY WOULD I NEED TO COME BACK IN A MONTH?????
Sorry, but I had to vent my frustration. I even went to the appointment guarded, but nothing could have prepared me for the ridiculousness of Dr. X.
If you have any questions please leave a comment or get a hold of me through the contact page. I look forward to hearing your responses!