27 answers

Help Think Doctor Misdiagnosed Me!!!

the last time I went to the doctors which was two weeks ago I told them I think I have a sinus infection (I get them all the time so I know) The spaces under my eyes are sore and I am still stuffed with my nose after two weeks, and I am getting constant headaches. When I saw the doc she just looked at me and said I didn't have one. She didn't even take look or even examine me. It's been making me upset because I have to go to an army hospital because my husband is in the army. None of the doctors have been making my first pregnancy enjoyable or something to look forward to. I go to an appointment they weigh me, take my temp then I see the doctor literally for less then 10 minutes. All the doc asks is are you ok, how are you feeling and things like that. They measure my belly and listen to the heartbeat. I haven't had an ultrasound since I was four months. You'd think they would check every now and then to make sure everything is fine. But it seems when I have problem they brush it off and tell me it's nothing. Anyone else have this problem? And what should I do about it?

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So What Happened?™

I probably should have told you moms this but if I change doctors its a pain because I have to get all my medical records from the army hospital. The next hospital that is the closest is about 20-45 minutes away where as the army hospital is right around the corner of my house. So I am gonna have to stay where I am since I am almost done with this pregnancy.

Featured Answers

I was on a government medical card when I was pregnant, and the clinic where I went to I actually only saw the doctor twice and both times we only exchanged a few sentences. One of those times was because I had morning sickness so bad I could barely eat, and I was 6 months pregnant. The doctor walked in, said to me "you know, you really should try to eat..." and then left.. lol, I was too shocked to even say anything to him. So not only have I heard of it being almost normal.. it can even be worse... but that doesn't mean you have to deal with it...

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Take charge of your own health! If you believe you have a sinus infection, tx it! If yo don't know how, learn. There are many natural remedies for maintaining and restoring balance in your body. If I had a sinus infection, I would use a netty pot, maybe adding a little grapfruit seed extract or collodial silver to the warm salt water. I'd be taking garlic, echineacia, & noni juice. I tell you this not as a dx or tx, but rather just as an example of what yo can do for yourself that is safer than prescription drugs a doc would give you. happy lerning, may a whole new world be opened to you!

2 moms found this helpful

A.,

Have you thought about going to a midwife? I'm not sure about Bragg, but they do offer midwifery care at Ft Benning. You will receive longer visits and much more personalized care. I had my first in a hospital with private insurance, and was very disappointed with my OB. OB/GYNs are trained surgeons, and taught to treat medical problems. On the other hand, midwives generally specialize in normal pregnancies and natural childbirths. I'm on tricare prime now, and currently planning my third homebirth. I know there are some wonderful homebirth midwives in NC. I wish you all the best!

B.

1 mom found this helpful

Actually, your experience doesn't sound all that weird even from a non-army doctor perspective. Stories like yours abound of doctors who treat patients like they're on an assembly line.

However, I wouldn't be upset over not having any other ultrasounds. They should only be used when medically necessary or appropriate; and as long as there is no indication that anything is wrong with your baby, you need to let him gestate in peace. While the ultrasound is supposedly outside the range of human hearing, it actually agitates the amniotic fluid and can disturb the baby -- one doctor did a simulation and found that the noise was like a subway train coming into the station!

Even though you've said that you "can't" go elsewhere, I would encourage you to do so. One of my friends had a similar experience when she was pregnant (husband was in the army, so went to an army hospital) -- her first pregnancy she was treated like you are, but stuck with it because it was "free." Her second, she chose to go elsewhere, even though she had to pay some or even all of the cost because it wasn't the army hospital. She said it was absolutely worth it and she'd do it again.

There are two things you can do about it -- change providers or file a complaint against your current ones (or both). I would strongly recommend that you change providers, preferably to a midwife who will take the time to sit down and talk to *you* and examine *you* and get to know *you*.

1 mom found this helpful

demand a better check up or report it to someone over their head, you pay a very high price for the use of their hospital. your husband and his service. if not for familys like yours they wouldn't have a job there. if they don't like what they are doing it isn't your fault. you and your baby have rights too. with out the armed services there wouldn't have to be any V.A. type places to employee them. good luck and god bless. try going to wal-mart and ask the pharmasist to show you where their sinus rinse kits are. do that daily and if you snot is yellow to green. it is an infection. R. mom of 7. and a army mom.

1 mom found this helpful

I don't know what to tell you, but I do have a natural way that could possibly take care of the sinuses. This is written for a child (good luck with that), but I have used it myself and it could work.

Nasal Irrgation

1. Take 1 pint of tepid water and add 1 level teaspoon of salt.
2. Blow the nose gently to remove as much mucus as possible. In case of a child who is unable to blow his nose, use a small rubber ear syringe (not plastic) and suck out the mucus.
3. Put the child on his back with the head hanging way over the bed so that he appears to be standing on his head.
4. Then put 3-5 medicine droppers full of salt solution in each nostril and use a 2 oz. medicine dropper bottle. Let him sit up and blow his nose. In the case of small child suck it out with the ear syringe. This should be repeated several times until the nostrils are clear.
5. Gargle with warm salt water if a post nasal discharge, sore throat or hoarseness is present.

p.s. this could get messy when that salt water runs out. Be ready with plenty of kleenex if you decide to try it.

1 mom found this helpful

HI A.,

Sorry to hear you're still not feeling well. Rest, plenty of fluids, vitamin C, vitamin D, Grapefruit Seed Extract(GSE), remove all added sugars and processed foods from your diet. This is all helpful to aid the body in healing itself. Chiropractic adjustments can help to eliminate any interference and further aid your body to heal on it's own. As I told you before, this is safe for pregnancy and can help baby get into optimal positioning for birth. Nasal irrigation with the neti pot can be helpful too and provide some relief. By allowing your body to work through this infection on it's own, you are building antibodies and making your body stronger.

As for your prenatal visits, this sounds very typical of maternity care in the US. It's not just common within Army hospitals but civilian hospitals as well.

Remember YOU are a consumer seeking a service....If you're not satisfied with that service then look elsewhere. YOU are in charge of your maternity care. Don't just settle for the Army hospital because of convenience. You'll have a more satisfying birth experience if you choose a provider that takes time for YOU! You have options, regardless of how far along you are. It's your birth and if you're not happy now, what makes you think your provider will listen to or take time for you when your baby is born? Are you okay with that?

You have choices:

* Seek services off post.

* Read Henci Goer's "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth".

* Watch the documentaries, "Business of Being Born" by Ricki Lake and Abbey Epstein or "Pregnant In America"

* Educate yourself about everything pregnancy and birth related so you can make informed decisions.

* Remember YOU are in charge....not your provider.

* If you're seeking more for your prenatal care, explore the midwifery model vs the medical model of care. This site has a detailed comparision of the two. http://www.morningstarbirth.com/index.cfm?event=pageview&...

* Hire a doula. If you're not familiar with doulas, they are trained/certified birth assistants. They educate and support women during pregnancy, birth, and post-partum. Most doulas work independently so their services tend to vary. If you'd like more information on doulas, feel free to email me.

Hope you find some relief soon.
J.

1 mom found this helpful

I only got 1 ultrasound each with all 3 of my kids...so that doesn't sound strange to me. The Dr.appointments also seem about right...did they have you pee in a cup every time? That was the only thing different at all of my appointments...other than that all that you say about the pregnancy care sounds normal. I do not know what to say about the sinus infection, sorry!

Just wanted to tell you not to stress about receiving adequate care for your pregnancy, sounds like everything is going fine to me. What do you want them to do for you at each appointment that you wish they did, but don't? Talk with your doc and let him know your feelings...

Updated

I only got 1 ultrasound each with all 3 of my kids...so that doesn't sound strange to me. The Dr.appointments also seem about right...did they have you pee in a cup every time? That was the only thing different at all of my appointments...other than that all that you say about the pregnancy care sounds normal. I do not know what to say about the sinus infection, sorry!

Just wanted to tell you not to stress about receiving adequate care for your pregnancy, sounds like everything is going fine to me. What do you want them to do for you at each appointment that you wish they did, but don't? Talk with your doc and let him know your feelings...

1 mom found this helpful

Are you on Tricare Prime? THere are doctor's in town that take Tri P. I'm in Jacksonville, we're too far away for you, and I don't use Camp Lejeune. Too many headaches. Ask Tricare on base for the list of prime providers in your area. We use a family practioner.
Then call one of the docs and see of they are taking new patients. After you fill the paperwork out at the Tri office, usually in the hospital or hubby can bring it home. THey will change your PCM.
I have used the military docs for my last baby and while some are very good there are some that are only in NC because they have to be. Plus I was so sick of getting a new one every second and then having the one guy I liked PCS in the middle of my pregnancy.
TriCare only pays for one Ultrasound unless you are high risk.
Good luck dealing with the Tricare Gods.

1 mom found this helpful

Sounds pretty normal to me. But another option if you feel congested and have headaches would be to visit a chiropractor. Sounds silly, but I feel that it is all connected to our sprine. And I had regular adjustments throughout both of my pregnancies. It actually can help prepare your body for labor!

1 mom found this helpful

You should call your Dr. about your illness first.

Regarding, the prenatal appointments, this is normal they are quick and boring. Doing a lot of ultrasounds is not safe. Ultrasounds should be done as infrequent as possible, and never to be used to just make sure everything is okay. The baby inside doesn't react well to the ultrasound and will move away from the wand. It also heats up the amniotic fluid, which is not good either. The serial use of sonogram machines must cost a fortune. It would be nice if they were more conservative with the use of them, maybe costs would be cheaper.

I was brushed off several times when I was pregnant when I knew there was something that needed to be seen. I had to be adamant that I be seen. Make sure you write down what you want to say to them, and give them the note at the beginning of the appt, this way you don't forget and they have to stop and talk to you.

A., it's important to get help if you have a sinus infection. I'm facing sinus surgery, so I really feel like you cannot let this go.

Patty is giving good advice about the nasal irrigation. You can find something called a neti pot to help you. Google YouTube and neti pot and you can watch someone do this so you can learn how to do it.

Good luck, and hope you feel better soon.
D.

Go to your husbands Company Comanders office and tell him the way the Dr.is treating you and about the headacks.He's not only there for your husband he is there for you to.I had problem where a Dr., and my child ,and it took a General to put a note in my childs folder to get him to do his job.So if the Comander want do it. Go to a highter rank. Sometimes it pays to talk to the Generals wife. Good luck. C. from Tn.

As a retiree,,I am very familiar with medical care at military hospitals. It is
sad to say..but you almost have to over exagerate your symptoms to get
someones real attention. Dont be afraid to tell them how you feel..and
make a list of questions to ask them the next time you go. If it is close
to your due date..you should be asking questions related to your delivery.
Just ask your doctor when you will be getting an ultrasound. Good luck,
and hang in there !!

My input is on the ultra sound only basically but if everything looked good at 4 months there is absolutely no reason to check again. Unless they think something might be up. my last ultrasound with my kids was usually around 20 weeks and that was it. No reason to go again unless they feel like it.

My husband used to be in the military and we were even stationed overseas for a while, where I used the dental too and not just the medical on base. I remember feeling very rushed and not always having my medical concerns taken seriously, especially if it was a sick visit that was not to my regular doctor. Now that he is out of the military, I have seen regular doctors and it is pretty hit or miss whether they treat you any better, honestly. It is tricky finding one you love.

You might be able to switch docs at the base, you just have to say that you are unhappy with the one you are assigned to. Maybe ask around and see if there is one that people really like. I had a few that I loved, and a few that i absolutely hated seeing.

Your visits sound totally normal to me. They don't do additional ultrasounds if everything looks healthy at the 4or 5 month one. For one thing, they don't know for sure that ultrasounds are totally safe, so they don't do them unnecessarily just to be on the safe side. Then there is always the cost issue- they don't do extra things that cost money. At my civilian OB I was so frustrated after that 20 week ultrasound because nothing happened anymore. There was nothing to look forward to at each appointment like there had been. They were totally quick and boring. If there are concerns that you have, you should make a list before the appt so that you talk about everything with your doctor. I kept a running list on the fridge. (By the way, this is a good idea once baby is born too, keep a list of questions for your pediatrician. You will have lots and never remember them all.) A healthy pregnancy is pretty uneventful. It isn't the docs job to make the pregnancy exciting. But if you don't like their bedside manner or treatment of you, see if you can get assigned to a different one.

As for your sinus infection- my only advice there is to try using a Neti pot, they are supposed to be amazing. If it is still bothering you in a week, go back, and see a different doc if you can. (Tell them that particular time won't work out if they try to give you the same one, until they give you a different doctor's time slot.) I was always seeing other doctor's besides my primary if it was sick visit. Once I had bronchitis and the stupid lady who saw me first basically called me a big baby and said it was just my asthma, when I rarely go see the doctor, so it wasn't like I am a hypochondriac. And I certainly know what my asthma feels like. She didn't listen to my lungs or anything. When I finally went back after a month of coughing and saw my own doc, he was livid that they had left me like that for weeks without treatment. I had a few incidents like that. Once they even refused to see me because they wanted to get off early when I had an eye injury, and sent me to the ER where they had no equipment to deal with cornea injuries. Someone got in big trouble that time too. So you never know what you are going to get, just like with private health insurance. Just keep standing up for yourself, but it always helps to go in armed with a list of questions/concerns. And your ob appointments will start to get more exciting at the end, I promise. There is something to look forward to at that point.

When I was pregnant I was very congested the entire pregnancy. I did not have a sinus infection it was just apart of the pregnancy for me. It was very agrevating and I had to sleep sitting up sometimes. This can be common with pregnancy which maybe why your doctor is kind of blowing it off. If you are definite that you have one go back and demand that she take a look. She may be an army doctor but she is still working for you.
As for the ultrasounds, normal pregnancies with no complications usually only have 1-2 checks for the entire pregnancy. And visits usually consist of weight, blood pressure, measuring the belly and listening to the heartbeat. And usually questions of how you are feeling and if the baby has been moving around, depending on how far along you are. If you feel strongly that something might be wrong then speak up otherwise don't expect another ultrasound.
After many years of dealing with government doctors you have to speak your mind sometimes to get some attention. They are seeing a ton of patients everyday and it is easy to get lost in the paperwork. Good luck

If it has been 2 weeks and your sinus symptoms are still not improved, call the doctor and make another appointment for a follow up. Maby after seeing you a second time the doctor will diagnose a sinus infection and give you appropriate treatment. I have had to go back to my MD (who I love) a second time due to similar circumstances. It is possible that during your first visit it was not apparent to your doctor that it was actually a sinus infection and not just a head cold which wouldn't be treated with abx anyway. As far as the ultra sound, they do not routinely repeat ultrasounds unless the dr. suspects a problem. Most ob/gyn don't offer much tender loving care during the prenatal visits, what you describe sounds pretty typical. Hang in there and I hope you get rid of that nasty sinus infection.

How did they treat your sinus infection last time around? Everytime I think I have one and have similar symptoms, I'm always told I don't either (based upon the medical exam).

I'll agree with the other moms that what you're experiencing in prenatal care is common whether you're covered under TriCare or private insurance. The average time a physician (US based physicians) get to spend with patients in the exam room is 7 minutes. They usually have appointments every 15 minutes, and the other 8 is dedicated to dictation, prescription writing, etc.

You don't have to go to the Army hospital, but you would have to pay completely out of pocket to see a non-Army-based physician.
If you're concerned about your sinus infection, have you considered spending the $60 to go to a Minute Clinic or other pharmacy-based clinic? They treat acute illnesses such as this, are staffed by Nurse Practitioners or Physician Assistants who usually practice in other facilities full-time, and may be a cost-effective alternative if you don't have other options through TriCare.

In my experience, though, TriCare has always been a very good insurance plan in terms of allowing patients access to medications.

Unfortunately it sounds like your doctor is one of many who are more clinical and less patient focused.
That being said, I wouldn't worry too much about a sinus cold or pressure, as long as its not debilitating of course.
Since you aren't getting emotional support or encouragement from your physician, do you have any other people who can help you celebrate the upcoming birth? Friends or family? If not, I suggest joining other mom groups (like this one but for expecting mothers) around your area. There are tons of them!
You'll find many other moms-to-be who are wanting friendship, support and understanding. Join these groups, and start celebrating your baby! :)
Good luck, and remember other mommas are out there for you :)

My husband is in the army as well. I know EXACTLY what you mean by the 10 second visits. I didn't get sick while I was pregnant with my last. I did though, have concerns about feeling a lot of pressure, like a fist pushing down, this was not Braxton-Hicks and from reading the "preterm labor" warnings on a poster everytime I was waiting I knew I should ask about it. I did, it was poo poo, and I ended up going into labor 11 weeks early. I was laid up in the hospital (thankfully they were full and sent me to a very nice hospital further away, even the local hospital was full) and had my daughter 5 days later. I am at a very busy base and I am hoping to be allowed to go to off post care. You could call tricare and see where you can go. Also, you are allowed 2 off post appts per year, go to a clinic on a Saturday or something. Sometimes it's the only way you get what you actually need. It is ashame, but it's worth a shot, and would be immediate.

I know you dont want to hear this but not all infections need meds so the doc was prob right

Don't blame it all on the doctors. I went to military doctors when I was growing up and got better service there. They don't have a quota of patients to see daily. When I was pregnant with all 3 of my kids my appointments went the same way. I got an ultrasound at about 19 weeks, then I got a second ultrasound at about 30 weeks for each of them because of a low lying placenta. That was the only thing checked on the second ultrasound because the babies were growing properly. You get more ultrasounds if everything is not going as planned. I was scheduled for a 3rd ultrasound with my 1st one to check his size, but he decided to come before I got that ultrasound. As for the normal appointments, most of the time I got exactly what you did. If I had a problem between appointments they would either blow it off saying it was normal or check it out briefly. Don't worry about your appointments just be excited for your little bundle of joy. For your sinus infection, warm up a wet washcloth in the microwave slightly. Or if you have really hot, hot water you can use tap water and place the washcloth over your nose and eyes. Breath in the steam through your nose. The moisture helps your nasal passages and the heat helps the pain. Do NOT make it to hot thought.

I would call back and tell them that you had an appt the other day and the doc said that nothing was wrong but you know something is wrong. Tell them that you have had a sinus infection before and KNOW that is what is wrong. Don't wait for a response, ask them, "can you call me in some meds or do you need to see me again?". I would also suggest a Neti Pot. You can get them at the local drugstore. It is basically a way to rinse your sinuses with salt water. It feels weird at first but works GREAT. It literally cleans out anything that stays in there, dust, etc and prevents further infections.
Other than that, my insurance only covered one ultrasound unless there was an emergency. If all is well, you can hear the heartbeat, the baby is growing at the right pace, weighs what it should, etc then you probably are fine. No need to worry. BUT, your next visit, have a piece of paper with any questions that you may have and TELL the doc that you have a few questions for him/her. Then proceed to ask them. Don't let him/her rush you out. They are being paid.

I was on a government medical card when I was pregnant, and the clinic where I went to I actually only saw the doctor twice and both times we only exchanged a few sentences. One of those times was because I had morning sickness so bad I could barely eat, and I was 6 months pregnant. The doctor walked in, said to me "you know, you really should try to eat..." and then left.. lol, I was too shocked to even say anything to him. So not only have I heard of it being almost normal.. it can even be worse... but that doesn't mean you have to deal with it...

How far along are you? There should have been a 20 week ultrasound, but the rest of the appointments sound about right. Is there any wiggle room to see a different doctor? I know that you have to go to the army one, but how are they at letting you switch doctors? Can you go to a doc in the box kind of place for the sinus infection? I think you need to advocate for yourself and let them know that you want/need more. And let them know what that more is. They may be army doctors, but they should still be responsive to their patients.

Granted, I am not military, but that is what I have done with my non-military docs.

The prenatal care your received is standard. I had the same care and I am a medical professional and my physician is my friend. I hate to say it, but, your problem WAS probably "nothing". You are pregnant, not sick. As for your "sinus infection", don't forget--you can't take much medication while you are pregnant. And, it is normal to feel stuffy and pressure on your face during your pregnancy. Funny, it goes away almost as soon as you deliver. Relax, you are getting the proper care through the army.

It's not just the Army. That's how it was when my husband was in the Air Force (for our first child) and how it is now with a private doctor now that he's out of the military. Literally we'd be in and out of appointments except the initial first u/s, the one at 20 weeks, and then the final one at 35 weeks. So it sounds like your appointments are totally normal.

However the abnormal thing is going for a sinus infection and not even having the doctor look at you. weird. I would call again for another appointment and see if you can switch doctors.

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