Monday, February 21, 2011

The End ‘o my Endo??

message
I returned home from a lovely lunch out on Friday to find my caller id showing a call from my endocrinologist's office.  My appointment isn’t for a few weeks, so I knew it was way to early for them to be calling to confirm.  I figured maybe a conference had come up or something, so they were calling to reschedule.  I was secretly a little bit glad, because I’m always happy to procrastinate an appointment.  But I was not prepared for what I heard on the message:
“Hi, this message is for Karen.  I’m calling to let you know that “Dr. Awesome Endo who I Love” has moved his practice to “a town far far away”.  His new number is “blah blah blah-ty blah”.  If you need a recommendation for a local endocrinologist, we are referring patents to “some local endo in a different practice than theirs-which seems weird to me, right?”.  Thank you.”   (** Italicized portions have obviously been embellished by me)

Oh crap!!!!  My endo is gone!!!  Okay, he’s not really gone-gone, but his new practice is now about 45 minutes away.  To be honest, I can’t say I’m overly shocked that he has moved on.   Dr. Awesome Endo never really seemed to fit in with the doctor who heads up that practice, which I’ve always felt was a good thing. The other endo seems gruff and cold and I glad she isn’t taking on his patients because I wouldn’t have wanted to see her anyway.   But that is beside the point.

The point is, now what do I do????  Do I start over and try to find another local endo who I love?  I mean, I know there must be other great endos in the area.  But seriously?  The thought of starting all over again sucks!!  I have huge amounts of doctor-anxiety, and even with Dr. Awesome Endo I get really really nervous for each appointment.  But honestly, once I’m there I’m so comfortable with him.  And more importantly, I am thrilled with the care I receive from him.  He is supportive.  He is realistic.  He is up on the latest technologies.  He listens to what I want and need and works with me.

So is this worth driving 45 minutes for appointments?  As crazy as it may sound, I’m starting to think it is.  Honestly, my since my blood work and other labs have been constantly coming back great, we’ve been scheduling my appointments about 4 to 6 months apart.  So provided things stay stable, that’s two or three visits a year.  Sure, there is no guarantee that things will stay stable, but I suppose if the time comes when I need appointments every couple of months I could look for someone closer then.  On the other hand, maybe it makes more sense to look for someone in the area now, before it becomes a problem.  And heck, I don’t even know if Dr. Awesome Endo’s new practice takes my insurance??

Endo stress.  It’s not something I’ve thought about in years.  But you can probably tell it’s been running rampant in my head all weekend.  And it sure isn’t fun, is it?

27 comments:

  1. We drive an hour and 20 minutes to see my son's endo. It's worth the drive.

    ReplyDelete
  2. When you live in a place as remote as I do, 45 minutes is the closest endo period. I drive 2.5 hrs to get to my totally awesome endo. I say make the drive.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is one of those situations where you as the patient get kind of screwed. Ninjabetic George Simmons just blogged about a related conversation, and you might want to ask yourself: do you really NEED to see an endocrinologist regularly? If the answer is no, you can probably still see this endo on a less-frequent basis since it's a trek to get there and a regular general practitioner or internal medicine doc can probably do the same for you handling the quarterly lab stuff, writing Rx's, etc. Its probably worth asking about the insurance question first since that can be a major impediment to continue with the current doctor. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I drive 45 minutes to my endo. It's not so bad.
    I don't go every 3 months. I alternate the endo appts. with my pcp. Both do the labs and share the info. So, twice a year isn't that bad.

    ReplyDelete
  5. 45 minutes for awesome endo - totally, completely worth it. This is a no-brainer. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I had to start seeing an endo when I moved to CA. My former doctor practiced internal medicine and if the truth be told, I preferred him to any endo I have ever seen here. I was in better control with him than the endos who are supposedly experts in the field. Unfortunately, I have to see an endo because a doctor of internal medicine wouldn't do a good job given all the endos in the area. It makes me mad but what can I do? I think Scott's comment is interesting and maybe I'll look into that.

    If you like your endo I think 45 min is worth the drive. You don't have kids that you're trying to schedule around, right? Do what's best for you. At least you have a bit of a choice.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Bummer! I love my endo and would probably follow her to the ends of the earth (well maybe not all the way to the ends). But, I do drive about 45 minutes for two of my other doctors, so I wouldn't think 45 minutes is too long to drive for a doctor who works for you. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I agree with everyone who says go for it! I travel about 80-90 minutes to see the endo at Columbia/Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center. It really isn't so bad. Perfect excuse to sing away your anxiety with the radio on the long drive over!

    ReplyDelete
  9. There is just nothing to me like the trust I have in my doctors. As a nurse I simply will not compromise...Id' drive to the ENDO the earth...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Our endo is 45 minutes away...and worth every minute. I vote for giving it a shot! If after taking the ride you say to yourself, "Self, this was a pain in the rear, I don't think awesome endo is worth it..." Then it would be time to start looking for a new one. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I say you drive 45 minutes! My mom has to drive me to the nearest endo, which is about an hour away. You should have an endo you like, not one you hate.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. My opinion is that 45 minutes is definitely worth it for a doctor that you really like!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hey Karen,

    Just made our quarterly trek to Yale today - 1 hour, 10 minutes which included a stop for gas to get there. Always worth the trip! If your endo has moved 45 minutes closer to the Danbury area, I'll meet you for lunch after or before your appointments.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'd go the distance. After dealing with a b'zillion doctor's in the last few months I now realize what a difference a good one makes.

    ReplyDelete
  15. If your endo has moved to somewhere bigger, could you look at combining and endo visit with a shopping trip, or visits to friends/family, or meal n movie arrangement? Something to make the trip more enticing :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think the first step is the insurance. Before you convince yourself it's worth it and then find it's not even an option. If you like the endo and insurance works go for it. If in time it doesnt work ask the awesome endo for a list of endos he feels would suit you closer to home. Heck do the same if the insurance doesn't work. I love my doctors (the whole fleet) so much I intend to keep them when I move 2 and a half hours in the other direction

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm about 35 mins to mine. It's a bit of a hike, especially with the toddler along, but the appointment is usually a good hour so I feel it is worth it. With that said, if you know of anyone that has been recommended maybe try him/her once and see how it goes. Worse case scenario you just end up driving to awesome endo. Good luck. I told mine when I started going to him that he MUST out live me. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  18. Where do you live that 45 min is a long drive? That doesn't even make me blink - cause that is my normal work commute - 1 way. So make the drive. If it was 4.5 hours, well then that might be a different story. :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. With my luck I would drive the 45. I just signed up with a new doc who is about 45 minutes away and that is on a recommendation!

    ReplyDelete
  20. We would drive 4.5 hours for a good endo!! 45 minutes - easy peasy lemon squeezey!

    I know it is SO frustrating when you have a doc you love!! I say follow your heart! XOXOX

    ReplyDelete
  21. Stay with the the doctor that you believe in and that obviously believes in you. We drive 50 minutes and have done it for years. It is worth the extra time.
    Good Luck!

    ReplyDelete
  22. It sucks that you're endo is leaving, it's so hard to find a dr that you like, especially an endo (at least around here!) I drive a hour to get to my endo and I think it's worth it, but that's because there are no other endos closer to me! I hope you're able to figure out something that you're happy and comfortable with, good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  23. My endocrinologist is in the same city as I am, but since I live in the country's largest city by land mass, it's still 40 minutes away.

    When I was a wee diabetic, our trips took over an hour each way.

    Don't change endos! Just chase the one you love!

    ReplyDelete
  24. It takes me about an hour or so to get from where I live in Westchester to my endo in Washington Heights, NYC. I say make the drive. Endo appointments are fairly infrequent and it's worth it to you to get the best care.

    ReplyDelete
  25. DO IT!

    My daughter's endo left a big hospital-based practiced to fly solo. I had already decided that we'd follow her to the ends of the earth and it's been totally worth every gallon of gas!

    On a side note, I discussed my concerns with her about insurance ahead of time and she assured me we wouldn't have to worry -- that she would make it work. And she has. It's been awesome ;)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Perhaps my perspective is a bit rural, but I say drive 45 minutes to Awesome Endo, M.D. We live only 35 miles from my son's endo, but we have to allow at least an hour and a half to get there because we have to take a ferry to get there. But we take the time and pay the outrageous $25 round trip cost for the ferry because our endo is great and any other alternative would be at least 150 miles away.

    ReplyDelete
  27. wow endo stress LOL the anxiety list never seems to end huh. love this post. i'm glad you're sticking with the one you love.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for your comment. Due to problems with spammers, Comment Moderation has been enabled. Your comment will appear shortly!