Healing Myself: Day 3

smoothieWell, yesterday went fairly well. I started the day off with an anti-inflammatory smoothie. It consisted of banana, strawberries, blueberries, mango, acai juice, and a little bit of milk (though I might switch to almond milk in the future). It was delicious and I felt fantastic yesterday morning. I also skipped my Prilosec. I didn’t have any heartburn or reflux, even though my husband and I had burgers and fries for dinner. (Yeah, I’m still working on cutting food like that out for a while.)

I didn’t take any┬áPrilosec today either and I had another delicious smoothie this morning. If I feel up to it today, we’re going to go shopping for an exercise bike. If I don’t feel up to it, I think I’ll just sit outside for a while in the gorgeous sunshine with the pup. I don’t get nearly enough of that in Seattle, which is one of the reasons my doctor also has me on vitamin D supplements.

On the way home from work yesterday, a shuttle I was taking to the transit tunnel went past the Polyclinic on Madison. I got excited because I was trying to figure out on a map where it was and now I know exactly where it is in relation to work. It’s only a few blocks away, in fact! It’s a short walk, but it’s all uphill. Ugh. Anyway, there’s an endocrinologist specializing in thyroids there that I’m going to try to get in to see. He’s not taking any new patients unless they have a referral, so I’m hoping he’ll accept me. I’m really hoping he can help me get my TSH stable and my Hashimoto’s in remission.

Finding the Right Doctor

Finding the right doctor can be frustrating and difficult, especially if you need a specialist for a disease like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Let’s face it, doctors who understand what Hashi patients go through, are willing to listen, and will try treatments “outside of the box” are few and far between. I have had those who were knowledgeable and I’ve had those who listened, but rarely did I have both. Hashimoto’s sufferers need doctors who will do more than just look at numbers and adjust medications.

I am in the process of looking for a good endocrinologist. I have not had one for a while since my last one moved and shortly thereafter, I moved to another state. While doing some research on doctors in my local area, I ran across several great websites that provide doctor ratings across the US. Each of these sites work a little differently, so you’ll need to pick one based on your particular need. For example, some of these sites provide a list of doctors to read reviews on, which is great if you do not have a particular doctor in mind and are just searching for a highly rated doctor to try. Other sites let you research on a specific doctor’s name, which is best if you’re checking up on your own doctor or perhaps a doctor you plan on visiting. Some sites offer reviews by patients and others have reviews by medical organizations.

Below, I will detail the different sites I’ve found so far, how they work, and what information they provide. I will be adding to this list periodically, so check back soon.

Angie’s List.

Angie’s List lets you search doctor ratings by medical specialty. They provide a list of doctors in your area in that specialty, along with a report card compiled from the reviews of Angie’s List members. Each doctor is rated from A to F on:

  • Availability
  • Office Environment
  • Punctuality
  • Staff Friendliness
  • Bedside Manner
  • Communication
  • Effectiveness of Treatment
  • Billing and Administration.

Each patient review includes date of treatment, description of experience, patient comments, and answers to such questions as:

  • Value of service compared to price
  • Why the doctor was chosen
  • If the patient would recommend the doctor and/or visit them again
  • If the staff was helpful and courteous
  • If the examination room was clean and comfortable
  • If staff filed insurance claims for you
  • If staff or doctor helped with ongoing issues with insurance provider
  • How soon after scheduled appointment time patient was admitted to exam room
  • How soon after entering exam room patient was seen by physician
  • Did physician and/or staff discuss preventive care techniques
  • What patient liked most and least about the doctor
  • … and much more.

In addition, the list of doctors in your area includes how far they are, map location, any coupons or discounts offered, and any honors they’ve received.