Bad Doctor

I recently injured my ankle. By recent, I mean back in February.  The injury occurred as I was quickly walking down some stairs. My ankle rolled out and I have been in pain ever since.

I hate hospitals, so for four weeks I did what I could to keep the swelling and discomfort to a minimum. Finally I decided to see a doctor. 

The first week in April I hopped into the NYU Trinity Medical Center in lower Manhattan. First off I arrived earlier and was not seen by a doctor until two hours later.

Initially I was seen by Dr. Geri Hason. She wasn’t at all friendly, unlike the rest of the medical center staff. She spoke in a cold and disinterested tone. She reminded me of one of the Time Warner representatives that you have to speak with when your cable stops working. The ones that are very obviously just reading instructions off a computer screen. So, that was Geri. 

After my X-ray, Dr. Hason showed me what she thought was a hairline crack in my fibula. She explained that she did not specialize in orthodontics and suggested that I wait to speak with the Trinity Center orthodontist Dr. Mehul Shah. I agreed and waited another hour. 

Before Dr. Shah entered my examining room, I over heard him greet the patient in the room adjacent to mine. The patient sounded much older and complained about being in a deep amount of pain. Dr. Shah exchanged a few more words with the woman and then entered my room. 

Dr. Shah was very kind and had a friendly, but slightly nonchalant personality. He confirmed that I did in fact sustain a fracture. Dr. Shah explained how rolling my ankle resulted in this type of injury and said that I am lucky that I am young. His older patients tend to brake their bone, rather than fracture it. He recommended an MRI so insure that there was nothing else wrong with my foot, stood up, shook my hand, said I would be okay and this was nothing to be concerned about, then started walking out of the room.

I stopped him before he made it out and asked him what steps I should take to make sure that it heals properly. Dr. Shah looked up at the ceiling, rolled his head and walked back towards me and said, “Keep it elevated. Icing it for the swelling at this point is probably pointless. I would say take some anti-flamitory medication. And maybe getting a brace well help.” Then he left the room to attend to his other patient.

A few days later, I decided that I should probably stay off my ankle for a while and requested time off from work. Dr. Shah denied my request. I explained to his assistant that I work full time in a retail store and am required to stand for eight hours a day and that I was in a lot of pain and that my ankle was still swollen. The assistant said that there was probably a misunderstanding and that she would see if Dr. Shah could give me some time off. They gave me two weeks off.

In-between that period I had my MRI exam. After returning to work in the same amount of pain and experiencing the same swelling, I got a call to return back to the medical center to receive my MRI results. I took the day off from work to go to my appointment. 

Again, I showed up on time. I waited only forty minutes this time. Dr. Shah walked into my room and examined my foot. He said the MRI came back fine. The exam just confirmed that I sustained a sprain, which is was what the X-ray had previous displayed. Dr. Shah said I was fine and would be okay. “It’s just a sprain”, he said. The injury happened six months prior, so I wasn’t buying his optimism at this point.  I told him that I still felt much pain and that my foot was still visibly swollen.

Dr. Shah prescribed anti-flametory medication called Naproxen and recommended that I begin seeing a physical therapist. He also told me that I should be a podiatrist because my feet are unhealthily flat (FYI: This was the most concerned he sounded since our initial meeting).  After what could not have been more then five minutes, Dr. Shah left the room.

The next day I decided to get a second opinion and have not returned to the NYU Trinity Medical Center since. 

My new doctor, Dr. Pushpa Chauhan is absolutely wonderful. Night and day difference from Dr. Shah. 

She went over all of my medical records from the NYU Trinity Medical Center. Immediately, she put me in a cast and said that I should not have been walking in my condition. Apparently Dr. Shah failed to notice the two tears in my foot which were diagnosed in the MRI that he said came back fine.  

Dr. Chauhan is incredibly kind and pleasant. She is very conversational in all of my visits. She is not coy with her opinions and made it very clear that I was not to be on my feet. 

I have been going to Dr. Chauhan’s office for three weeks now to have my foot rewrapped and for the first time since February, I noticed the tightness in my foot going away. There is definitely no more swelling. I still feel pain near the heel of my foot, but for the most part I am longer limping.