Notes: on doctors, patients and awareness

Form J D Faccinetti – So last week, lo and behold, I got a call from a doctor I know. Yes, this is one of the doctors from the group that missed my condition for so many years. But this is one of those calls that make it all worthwhile!

“I just saw a new patient with acromegaly,” he said. “I suspected he had it the minute he walked into my office. I just kept thinking about our experience with your case. His hands his knees,” he said. “He is now being seen by specialists,” he added, and then asked me if I would mind talking with this patient. Of course, I was thrilled and jumped at the opportunity.

As I was relaying the story to Dr. Blevins, we kept thinking about the reasons we started PWN. Experiences like this one are really at the center of our mission. It clearly shows that communication and awareness can have a direct, powerful impact and prevent needless suffering and disease progression. This is a clear example of how awareness results in a positive outcome. That’s why it is so crucial for all of us taking part in this effort: patients, doctors, families, industry professionals, researches, communicators, etc., to get involved, help, and collaborate.

What makes this story compelling is that at the time, this doctor had no understanding that all my symptoms and physical appearance where unmistakable signs of acromegaly and flat out missed it. As he later told me, he had never seen an acromegaly case before mine, and with my physical and physiological changes, being slow and subtle, as is so prevalent in acromegaly, he was unable to put it all together. It wasn’t that he didn’t know. It was just not on his radar.

I recently asked him if he might be interested in writing an article for publication in Pituitary World News. I was intrigued about his experiences as a GP/Family Practice physician in a small tourist, ski destination town where perhaps you see more broken bones and runny noses than anything else. I also wanted to learn if, after his experience with my case his approaches to patients had changed. He agreed to do it, and I was thrilled he had accepted.

Because he is an outstanding physician and a great person, his input will be invaluable to other front line doctors, of that I have no doubt. So, stay tuned folks! We are looking forward to publishing his article very soon.

Photo by Mike Ambs



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