January 23, 2002

It is bitterly cold today with a wind chill of -30 C. My daughter and I drove into the city for my appointment with Squirt. These appointments are becoming much too difficult for me. I find myself filled with such dread and apprehension and I do not need this extra stress in my life.

Squirt informed me that he had not yet received a summary letter or test results from Dingaling. I have no idea what Dingaling is doing with the results of the tests that he ordered. Apparently he feels no need to send copies to Squirt’s office. I gather there is a hierarchy involved. Since Dingaling has more letters behind his name, Squirt just sits and waits until the appropriate paper work is forwarded to him. Dingaling is the consultant who was asked to give another opinion, so I suppose he sees no need to get in touch with me directly. I guess informing a patient of her test results is not part of Dingaling’s job description. It is obvious that Dingaling has no intention of returning my husband’s phone call of last week Thursday.

Squirt has made up his mind that I have some kind of breathing problem and this breathing problem is the cause of all my symptoms. I guess I should be thankful that he now actually acknowledges that I have symptoms. During the entire appointment he repeatedly asked me if I had problems breathing at night. My answer was no. I told him that Dingaling had asked my husband the same question and my husband had told Dingaling that my breathing was normal at night. In fact, Monday night after the appointment with Dingaling, my dear husband sat up for an hour listening to me breath.

Squirt has made an appointment for me to go to a Sleep Clinic on February 4th. I have to fly to another province and sleep at the Sleep Clinic for two nights. I fly into this city at 8:55 AM on Monday morning and have an appointment with the clinic doctor at 11:30 AM. After the appointment I go to a hotel and wait until 10:30 PM at which time I return to the clinic to sleep for the night. I wake up Tuesday morning at 6:30 AM and go back to the hotel for the day. I return to the Sleep Clinic again on Tuesday night at 10:30 PM for a second night of sleep. Finally, on Wednesday afternoon I get to fly home again.

Squirt told me during my appointment that he was convinced that I would be cured after I had been to the Sleep Clinic. When I asked him what I would be cured of his answer was, “Sleep Apnea.” Funny thing, I have never had sleep apnea in my life. I am certainly not looking forward to Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. In fact I have a very bad feeling about this trip.

I told Squirt that I would go to the Sleep Clinic on the condition that he write a letter of referral to the doctor Anne Marie recommended. He told me that he would have to spend some time putting together all the information from the endocrinologists I had seen. I told him this was not necessary. Since I had found this doctor on my own with Anne Marie’s help, I was entitled to see him with a clean slate. I told Squirt that I did not need this doctor prejudiced before I even got to see him. I guess I will soon find out if Squirt actually listened to me.

We discussed a few other things but the discussion was so meaningless I have forgotten what we talked about. I left with a requisition for blood work to check my potassium levels.

Right after the appointment with Squirt I was scheduled to have another EKG at one of the city hospitals. Squirt made the appointment for this EKG at the hospital were he has admitting privilages. Since I had an EKG on Monday, January 14 I have no idea why I needed the second one. I get a strong feeling from Squirt that he is trying to disprove the diagnosis of right sided heart failure.

When I got home I was absolutely and completely exhausted. These appointments are just too annoying and frustrating. I think the time has come to make some changes but I do not know how I am going to go about making these changes. Squirt gives me no sense of security. He is bound and determined to prove that I do not have an endocrine disorder. Why I put myself through this torment is beyond me. Trouble is that too often now I am just too tired to fight. Is it not a sad state of affairs when we have to fight for proper medical care? My country prides itself on its Health Care System. Just take if from me – it leaves much to be desired.

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