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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you say "No, that's way too much!" at the doctor?

I have had a problem with one knee after I moved ten 35 kilo sacs of building sand last October. I know I shouldn't have, but I had to move them from my driveway or I would not have been able to have wood for my boiler delivered.

Anyway, the knee is still a bit painful after six months, and I have been to the doctor to see exactly what's wrong.

At first he gave me an ordonnance for X-rays of my spine, both knees, and my pelvis - more X-rays than I have ever had in my life!

When he looked at those, he ordered a blood test for something that shows whether you have a deep blood clot or phlebitis, and an ultrasound, but when I looked closer at that the ordonnance for the ultrasound after the appointment, it was for an ultrasound for the veins in a penis!

I had the blood test (which was negative) but obviously not the ultrasound, and returned the next day to have him change the ordonnance. He had suggested I go to a radiologist in a town about 20 km away, but agreed I could use the local radiologist.

When I looked at the ordonnance afterward, he had asked them to look at ALL the veins in BOTH legs, which I felt was a bit of an overkill considering it's just the one knee, and sure enough, when I phoned the local radiologist they said that they can do an ultrasound of the knee but not of all of the legs and if I wanted to have one of just the knee I would have to get another ordonnance.

I refuse to spend this afternoon at the doctor's surgery, and I am getting really fed up with his refusal to deal with my knee.

I don't want any medical advice, just advice on how to say in French that I refuse to have any more tests that don't include the knee in question! I know French doctors are not used to patients having opinions, but I have really had enough!
 

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How do you say "No, that's way too much!" at the doctor?

I have had a problem with one knee after I moved ten 35 kilo sacs of building sand last October. I know I shouldn't have, but I had to move them from my driveway or I would not have been able to have wood for my boiler delivered.

Anyway, the knee is still a bit painful after six months, and I have been to the doctor to see exactly what's wrong.

At first he gave me an ordonnance for X-rays of my spine, both knees, and my pelvis - more X-rays than I have ever had in my life!

When he looked at those, he ordered a blood test for something that shows whether you have a deep blood clot or phlebitis, and an ultrasound, but when I looked closer at that the ordonnance for the ultrasound after the appointment, it was for an ultrasound for the veins in a penis!

I had the blood test (which was negative) but obviously not the ultrasound, and returned the next day to have him change the ordonnance. He had suggested I go to a radiologist in a town about 20 km away, but agreed I could use the local radiologist.

When I looked at the ordonnance afterward, he had asked them to look at ALL the veins in BOTH legs, which I felt was a bit of an overkill considering it's just the one knee, and sure enough, when I phoned the local radiologist they said that they can do an ultrasound of the knee but not of all of the legs and if I wanted to have one of just the knee I would have to get another ordonnance.

I refuse to spend this afternoon at the doctor's surgery, and I am getting really fed up with his refusal to deal with my knee.

I don't want any medical advice, just advice on how to say in French that I refuse to have any more tests that don't include the knee in question! I know French doctors are not used to patients having opinions, but I have really had enough!
You simply tell him that.

Edit:
You are not required to follow you doctor's advice. You might also consider seeing another doctor.
 

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First I would ask him was there anything on the X Rays to cause him to apparently overreact,if no then tell him
 

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Bon, M le docteur, me voilà encore une fois ! Désolée, mais j'en peux plus. Then just explain your view and ask him to explain why he is ordering all these tests (analyses). Expect it to be a long appointment, but he should explain to you what his concerns are. You should enter into a full discussion about the issue, explaining why, how and when the injury occurred.
 

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First I would ask him was there anything on the X Rays to cause him to apparently overreact,if no then tell him
I think some French doctors may be panicking about thrombosis (and also some other things) at the moment, given issues raised with the vaccines.
 

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Honestly, I have changed doctors over less than that. And when I started with the new doctor I had a little discussion of why I was changing. I realize that may not be easy in some areas where the supply of doctors is getting to be limited, especially those taking on new patients.

But I am also one of those folks who generally won't go to the specialist recommended by the doctor. I prefer to find my own and have located some really good ones this way. Usually via a suggestion from the pharmacist.

Or, one trick I learned from a colleague of mine - start your question with the phrase "help me understand" - why it is necessary to do an ultrasound for both legs and the surrounding areas. I do feel that those of us from other countries have a mission here to ask our doctors for explanations of what they are prescribing and why.
 

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It’s amazing how different people are, My attitude would be I would be grateful for a good examination if I got the opportunity and would be pleased to have the tests done .However I accept that we aren’t all the same
 

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There are lots of people here who treat doctors (and most "experts") with exaggerated "respect" - in that they are sometimes afraid to ask questions. I figure that for us expats, given that we're functioning in a second (or third...) language, it's imperative that we ask questions to make sure that we understand what we're being told. (French is a very subtle language and I had a few bad experiences with not fully understanding what the "expert" thought she or he was telling me.)

Granted, some experts aren't used to being questioned at length on their decisions - but if they get a little squiffy about all my questions, I'll simply explain to them that I am trying to make sure I understand what they're trying to tell me. If they can't deal with that, then I'll find someone else to take my case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks to all who replied.

I would give him a piece of my mind but doctors are in short supply around here and I don't want him to take me off his list.

I accepted the original X-rays because you never know what could come up and I do understand that everything's connected and it's important to know if the 'connections' are the problem. However, the radiologist explained to me that there was nothing wrong with any of the bones in my knee (although I do have a tiny bit of arthritis, not surprising because I'm nearly 70). His report mentioned that there was an excess of synovial fluid (the fluid that bathes the joints), which was most likely due to the damage to the knee and was the reason for the swelling, and he said I should just try to manage the pain. The doctor did give me a prescription for a non-steroidal anti inflammatory pill, and just one half of the pill each day more or less stops the pain and swelling, so I am a bit further along.

I also accepted the blood test, because it wouldn't be a good idea if there WAS a blood clot waiting to happen and I started exercises or physical therapy for the knee.

But now that we've established that there's nothing wrong with the bones in my knee and there's no chance of a blood clot, in my opinion it would be best to carry out any further investigations only on the knee that's giving me the problem!

I am perfectly willing to have an ultrasound on the part in question, but I don't have any other problems with any other part of my body, it's just that I damaged my knee lifting something that was really too heavy for me to lift, and at my age I don't mend like I used to.

My friend knows of a cabinet of osteopaths and kinesiotherapists she recommends, so if the doctor won't give me an ordonnance to go to them I'll just take all my X-rays and go there on my own.

I might also have a word with the women at the reception, because they were the ones I first spoke to about the problem with the original ordonnance (and they reacted appropriately with the obligatory raised eyebrow) to ask if there are any other doctors at the medical centre that could take me on, but if not, I'm stuck with him.

But I will ONLY have the ultrasound on my knee. If he'd ordered that at the beginning, I could have saved all this bother!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Why on earth give someone who is trying to help you ‘A piece of your mind’ ?
I didn't mean tell him off in that way, it's just that I've asked several times if I can go to a kine or osteopath, but he just keeps adding tests, and now he wants me to go get a rather complicated ultrasound ( I know, I read about the procedure) of all parts of both my legs!

I must explain that in 2013, I fell off a ladder I had propped on the wall so I could paint the coving around my bedroom ceiling. It was a hot day and the old wax on the floor got slippery and the ladder just 'fell' down the wall. I could see what was happening and, like you do, put my wrist on the other wall to stop my fall. This worked for a short time until the full weight of my body was on the ladder, and I rapidly fell to the floor on top of the ladder, landing with my left leg folded under the other leg. I also managed to break my wrist and cut my face rather deeply, starting between my eyebrows and continuing down the middle of my nose. The cut required 7 stitches and I had a plaster on my wrist.

Since that fall I had trouble with a slightly swollen ankle (now healed) and a 'sensitive' knee. I am convinced that this is a result of my landing with the full force of my body onto a leg bent at the knee. So when I overdid things lifting the sacks of sand it was too much for my knee muscles, etc.

This was all explained to the doctor, and I showed him the X-rays of my wrist and the description written by the doctor at the time explaining the other injuries, so one would think he would take that into account and pay more attention to my knee I fell on that is now injured and less time with the circulation in both legs and my spine and my pelvis.

He may just be thinking that, as a woman of a certain age I might have osteoporosis (they did a test for that at the time of the fall and I didn't), or perhaps I'm going all 'Nora Batty', Nora Batty - Wikipedia
instead of seeing me as someone who's hurt their knee lifting something heavy.
 

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I don't believe a doctor can give you a prescription for an osteopath. Last I knew, osteopaths are not covered as part of the national health plan - though with a really good mutuelle, you may be reimbursed. If you want to see an osteopath you just book an appointment and go see one. But it's on your dime.

The kiné is a different matter - though I think the doctor needs to give a diagnosis and if your doctor is still ordering up tests he doesn't really have a diagnosis for the kiné to work from. (Though at least the kiné prescriptions are apparently not limited to a fixed number of appointments like they used to be.) But the kiné normally is fully reimbursed by the sécu and your mutuelle.
 

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He may just be thinking that, as a woman of a certain age I might have osteoporosis (they did a test for that at the time of the fall and I didn't), or perhaps I'm going all 'Nora Batty', Nora Batty - Wikipedia
instead of seeing me as someone who's hurt their knee lifting something heavy.
Maybe he finds your wrinkled stockings a little 'distracting'..........
 

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You just need to learn to enter into real conversations with your doctor (you know, where you discuss issue and concerns and clarify what is being proposed) - in fact as you know, your are very fortunate to have a médecin traitant. Still, he was not previously your MT and given pressure of work and CPAM rules re reimbursement to doctors, you cannot really expect him to check back on your file at each consultation, and the chances are he is really busy if MTs are hard to come by in your area.

Many French people do indeed follow their doctor's advice to the letter, but others don't and do enter into such discussions, even going so far as to book a longer appointment so that they have sufficient time to do so (15 minutes often not being sufficient).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've booked an appointment next Tuesday afternoon to talk to him.

It could be that he is hesitant to discuss details with me for fear I won't understand (the French or the science), but it could also just be that he's one of those doctors who would rather I just do what he says and not have an opinion of my own about things.

If it's the latter, he's definitely not the doctor for me.
 
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