Physician let a colleague treat you

By Zeba Hisam

TODAY I am writing this while waiting for my turn for physiotherapy for my right hand carpal tunnel syndrome. I had been having severe pain that became worst on twisting movements and pulling or bearing weight on this hand. First I took a painkiller regularly without any benefit then kept on complaining about pain and was scolded by my mother and elder sister to consult a doctor and not to treat myself. I got all my lab investigations done which came out to be normal ( CP, ESR, CRP, uric acid, RA factor and T3, T4, TSH and the x-ray of my wrist). I was convinced that it was carpal tunnel syndrome as I previously got a persistent parasthesia on my right hand so I got an appointment with my teacher, Professor of neurology, Dr. Abdullah, who endorsed my diagnosis and sent me to this amazing physiotherapy Center named “Neurology & Falij care Center”! He advised me to get my physiotherapy done by the specific lady physiotherapist. So it’s my third session today and I do the exercises advised by her regularly at home multiple times. I hope and pray that improvement will come soon. 

I am writing this because I want to warn and advice all doctors who are even specialist in their own specific fields, to please consult a doctor if you have any complaint and do not let yourself be treated by yourself considering yourself as a self sufficient doctor! As we take the history of a patient then we examine the patient physically in a proper set up of our clinics to make a diagnosis so like that, we also need to be examined in the same manner by another professional doctor and trusting that doctor and following the advice given!

I give an example of my doctor friend who got fever with sore throat. She followed her own advice by assuming a viral infection so didn’t take any medicine and neither got any tests done. After a few days she was sick enough to not come out of bed. She mentioned this to another doctor who met her by chance. That doctor said that her husband had the same sickness and he got well by a five day course of tablet Levofloxacin. On her advice, she took that medicine and deteriorated further. I also met her by chance and found her unable to talk and walk. She was in need to be on a hospital couch to be examined by me or any other doctor. Her super spirits kept her working and she told me that everyday her fever settles with panadol tablets and she comes to work! It was beyond my comprehension! She consulted me on her way by standing in the corridor and asked me for some appropriate medicine? How could I answer that without even taking her proper history and physical examination? This I am telling you about a specialist doctor’s behaviour on illness and not of a layperson! 

One of a colleague gynaecologist working in the same hospital,  came to me one day with complaints of dizziness and feeling of doom. I checked her vitals and found her blood pressure to be 200/120 mmHg. I advised her to get admitted and get her tests done but she said there is no history of hypertension and lately she had a few episodes otherwise she was fine and was not taking any medicine. Although every time she had this episode she used to go to the emergency department to lie down on a bed with a sub lingual Capoten tablet given by emergency duty RMO and after half an hour, she would return to her  OPD for examining her patients! (How could she ignore her patients)! She never checked her blood sugar level or lipid profile or electrolytes or urea and creatinine! She was so oblivious of hypertension’s complications! So at times we can give only a sincere advice and let the doctor decide what he has/she to do! 

So doctors! Take a break if you are sick and consult another doctor to help you by examining and treating you with an appropriate diagnosis!

The writer is a Consultant Physician at the Zubaida Medical Center, Karachi

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