WHAT? PHYSICIAN SUICIDE?

Dr. Wible has been doing her best to get the word out about how many physician suicides there are.  This has become a huge problem.  Our broken healthcare system has left many in despair.  It is not only physicians.  It happens to nurses, Physician Assistants and nurse practitioners, and any other healthcare provider.  I watched many friends become drug addicts, alcoholics, and mentally unstable during my years of medical practice.  The most difficult for me, personally, was a beautiful young woman who was assigned to be my mentor as I entered the Physician Assistant Program at USC.  She would be graduating that year and seemed excited and happy, with a great sense of humor.  And, as is common in these cases, she continued to act professionally so as not to leak any signs tears, hesitancy or depression.

I had met with her a few times and spoke to her on the phone at times.  Not a full-grown friendship, but we enjoyed each others’ company.  On one hot Los Angeles summer day, she had just left the USC County Hospital where her rotation had been.  She drove down the street toward the freeway entrance.  At the stoplight just before the entrance, she stopped for the red light.  She had enough time to pull the gun out that she had sitting on the passenger seat, and shot herself in the head.  There was a USC physician behind her and saw the whole thing.  He tried valiantly to save her, but it was not to be.  This amazingly smart, and gorgeous twenty-eight year old, with the world at her fingertips was gone in a blink of an eye.  This happens too many times in the medical field.  We deserve mental care as much as our patients do.  It should not cost us our career.

Dr.  Wible had this interview on “BOLD” the other day.  Please listen.  If you find it interesting, please share.  We need to make the world aware.

http://www.getboldtoday.com/143-pamela-wible-physician-suicide/

YOU SURE DON’T LOOK SICK

We talk about invisible diseases, and there are so many.  These are the illnesses that are not obvious from the outside.  My son would be using the electric shopping cart at the market and someone would tell him he was taking it from someone who needs it, or park in a handicap space and be told there was nothing wrong with him and needed the exercise if he would park down the aisle.  On occasion, there was the triage nurse that looked at him and said that he looked fine and he was at the ER as a drug-seeker.  And the time he was in the hospital and I wanted a referral to a doctor outside of our insurance to consult and I was told by the  woman in the insurance department that I was trying to save my son’s life, and was told that I was being dramatic and denied the referral after going to his room and looking at him. These people had no idea about his many surgeries, his permanent G-tube that had been placed for three years, his constant pain from adhesions and having been placed inappropriately on a gurney for a surgery, that just a few years ago he weighed 230 lbs and at that time was 107 lb., that he hasn’t swallowed food in years, or that he goes  sleepless every night due to his severe asthma and narcolepsy.

I do my best to bring awareness to invisible diseases because it is difficult to hear judgements constantly.  Well, I have an invisible illness also.  It is called POTS.  Here is an article that gives some facts about this syndrome.  I  found it on Patients Count at:  http://patientscount.org

POTS is much more than tachycardia
39 POTS patients at Baylor Medical Center were asked to report their symptoms, and here’s how it came out:

Symptoms reported by POTS patients:

Palpitations 92%

Fatigue 90%

Lightheadedness 87%

Lightheadedness with standing 87%

Headache 87%

Sensitivity to hot or cold temperature 87%

Concentration difficulty 77%

Facial flushing or rash 77%

Hands change color in the cold 74%

Morning exacerbation of symptoms 69%

Blurry vision 69%

Pain 69%

Muscle cramping 69%

Lightheadedness with sitting 64%

Breathing difficulty 64%

Joint pain 62%

Word-finding difficulty 59%

Medication sensitivity 56%

Leg pain 56%

Fainting 54%

Memory difficulty 54%

Early-morning awakenings 51%

Tremor 49%

Night time awakenings 46%

Irritable bowel symptoms 46%

Loose joints/double-jointed 44%

Susceptibility to cold or infections 44%

Swallowing difficulty 41%

Insomnia 39%

Iron deficiency anemia 39%

Lightheadedness with laying 36%

>2 medication allergies 33%

Hearing loss 28%

Family history of low blood pressure 28%

You probably wouldn’t be able to see many of these symptoms if I was to walk in a room, but I assure you I am having at least one to a few at that time.  Thank you for reading.