I had a lot of hopes in today's visit with a new PCP at the VA outpatient clinic here in Greenville today. I was not disappointed. Spent a total of 3 hours there, with little if any waiting time. 1/2 hour with the nurse, getting the basics out of the way, then I spent 1 full hour alone with my new doctor. Then 1/2 hour getting lab work down, and 1/2 hour at the pharmacy, getting free meds and getting my Ostomy supplies set up for all of next year.
For starters, the new doctor is from Egypt. Very intense and serious guy, but a good talker, and more importantly, a good listener. Neither the doctor nor the nurse had a clue why the VA switched doctors on me mid-stream. They said things like that are a mystery with the VA, and that it didn't make any sense to them either, but so be it.
He gave me a very thorough and painful physical inspection. Checking each of my bendable joints one by one, feeling for lumps, etc. Didn't take much probing into my hips for him to find all the sore spots. Also, unlike my other "civilian" doctors, he didn't have any trouble finding that strange lump in my lower left cheek. Said it shouldn't be there, and due to my porocarcinoma history, it has to be investigated fully. Said it very well might not be able to be picked up properly with a MRI.
We discussed the weight issue in depth, and he too, wants to rule out any underlying medical reason first. So he ordered a huge battery of blood tests for starters. They took 6 large tubes today on the first pass. He is setting up X-rays and CAT scans of both hips and my lower to mid back, to look for mets. Said if he sees anything suspicious, he will then order a PET scan and/or full body scan.
He's ordered a CAT scan of my cheek, to see if it might shed some light on the lump. If all else fails, he may recommend that it be surgically removed and sent out for inspection.
He offered me the use of the VA dietician staff, but told him I just started that with Gibbs, and will see how it goes. He's not happy with my oncology rehab, feels they aren't doing enough active work with me, so he wants me to meet with their physical therapy department, to see if they could come up with a more aggressive therapy program (I didn't fully agree with him on that subject, but will remain open minded and check it out).
He didn't like how my super low BP, has been creeping up and up the past 2 months, despite all the weight loss, so he put me back on Lisinopril 10 mg. to see if it will bring it back in line, again, he has some suspicion that something underlying might be behind this too.
Kind of burned out at the moment, suddenly drew a mind blank. I will amend this post later when I can remember some of the other topics, etc. the new doctor talked about.
I found him very sharp, but a little on the direct side, not a "fun" guy at all, and any attempts a humor on my end went right over his head. But I would rather have him have a serious view about all the things going on with me.
Oh yeah, with my legs, hips, knees giving out, his suspicion is of bone damage by unspotted mets, but we are both hoping that is not the case.
If any of the tests ahead show up something urgent, he will see me ASAP, if not, he wants to see me every 3 months until we get a handle on the situation.
Post Edited (Purgatory) : 12/22/2014 6:56:21 PM (GMT-7)