My father had found his own doctor, a kind and highly intelligent physician specializing in the elderly. We saw him together several times, I’ll call him Dr. Smith. Dad’s main complaint was “dizziness”, which can be a result of dementia. Dr. Smith recommended over-the-counter remedies for his dizziness.
The Run-Down Clinic
The problem with Dr. Smith, in my mind, was twofold:
- He was primarily on faculty at the University of Minnesota; he only saw patients about once a month. It was very difficult to get appointments.
- He practiced at a run-down clinic in an old part of town. (I went to a shiny, new suburban clinic.) Staff at his clinic were difficult to reach, they had no phone messaging system, the phone could ring and ring with no answer. (I’m sure when my father was making his own appointments he just stopped in to chat with the scheduling staff.)
Sadly, my arrogance lead me to seek other medical care for my father. I took him to my clinic where the physician mis-prescribed his urology medication dose (see the upcoming blog on medications.) Until Dad was interred in a nursing facility, we never did find a stable family physician. I’m sure he resented me taking him away from his Dr. Smith.
That is one of my regrets; we should have just stayed with Dr. Smith, no matter how inconvenient to me. If I could only have seen the future I would not have switched doctors. (But by God’s grace, I could not see the future).
It is important your loved one trust his or her medical provider if possible.
Much later we did find an excellent medical team in his long-term care facility specializing in dementia. Or more accurately, they found us.
The next blog may be the most important one you read in this series.