Facebook Pixel

Need an Endocrinologist Who Takes AHCCCS, Mercy Care

By June 19, 2009 - 9:07am
Rate This

I was diagnosed with hypthothyroidism in October 2008 by my GP. She prescribed 25 mcg of levothyroxine and did bloodwork two months later in December 2008. She did not change my dose then. Recently, however, I had an additional thyroid panel done because of an increase in symptoms. In May, for example, I had a heavy period for three weeks. Shortly thereafter, I had an additional heavy period for a week. I have also been sleeping about 10-12 hours per day, have gained a lot of weight, have gotten a puffy face, have lost hair, have incredibly dry skin, have water retention problems, and have developed other symptoms like short term memory loss. A week ago a full thyroid panel produced the following results: T3 82, T4 .91, and TSH 10.13. A staffer from the doctor's office left a voice mail when the results of this bloodwork came back in which she noted that I should call the doctor's office with a pharmacy number so the doctor could call in a higher dose of levothyroxine. The staffer further noted that I should come back in eight weeks for more bloodwork. I have decided that it is time to get a referral to a good endocrinologist, and need one who takes AHCCCS. I would appreciate doctors' names and any other suggestions.

Add a Comment39 Comments

Dr. Knecht is not taking new patients until October. Same thing with Drs. Bailey and Matta. Does anyone have any suggestions about how to get in more quickly to see an endocrinologist? I am really symptomatic.

June 30, 2009 - 10:57am

Hi Everyone, and thanks again for your support. My GP's office faxed Dr. Knecht's office my referral paperwork last Tuesday, and yet by Friday it had not been processed:-( Meanwhile back at the ranch, I'm exhausted. I have been on 50 mcg. of levothyroxine daily for two weeks, and it does not seemed to have helped at all. (As I noted in another post, I had been on 25 mcg daily from October 2008 to two weeks ago.)

I have been reading The Thyroid Solution and Screaming To Be Heard. I'm glad that I have these books and the support of the board here; for it seems that I have run up against an unhelpful medical professional whom I would have thought would be an ally, my therapist.

I have been in therapy for depression, which is doubtless related to my hypothyroidism. When I discussed my lack of energy and other symptoms with my therapist this week, her own issues intruded.

She told me that her father has hyperthyroidism, and her mother and sister have hypothyroidism. Her sister's children, as well, are having problems. The therapist told me that she had recently had her thyroid bloodwork done, and was relieved to find that, at least for the time being, her thyroid is normal. She told me that "millions" of people have thyroid problems, including, as she put it, "ectomies," and yet live normal lives. She told me that I should expect to have my problem completely resolved by the Fall.

When I told her that according to what I had been reading, I needed to be patient, for it may well take longer than a few months for symptoms to resolve, she indicated that I may be reading too much about thyroid problems.

Needless to say, all of this was discouraging. It's bad enough to feel so bad without having someone who is supposed to be empathetic let her fears related to her own family's history of thyroid problems intrude. I am very glad that Dr. Arem discusses the matter of unsympathetic health care professionals in The Thyroid Solution. One can't let a health professional who is not understanding tell one how one feels or should feel. I am going to bring the matter up diplomatically when I next meet with the therapist. If she can't be supportive of me now, I have to rethink whether our therapeutic relationship is as strong as I had thought.

June 27, 2009 - 11:01am

Hey Cheryl,

Can you private message me through EmpowHer.com? I'd be happy to help distill some of this info for you. Just hit my messages toward the top of the EmpowHer Website and click on the 'Write a Message' tab. I'd be happy to assist. Thanks!

June 22, 2009 - 12:51pm

Drs. Bailey and Matta do not take Murky Care, ummm, excuse me, Mercy Care. Dr. Knecht does. For anyone else on AHCCCS, here are Dr. Knecht's details: 350 West Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85013, (602) 406-3540. I am now waiting for my General Practitioner's office to do the referral paperwork and will see Dr. Knecht as soon as possible.

Over the weekend a friend brought to my attention a website for folks with thyroid problems that has a lot of information about what a good doctor will look for in addition to running blood tests. For example, the website discusses adrenal fatigue and saliva tests, and suggests that it is a good idea to get levels of one's sex hormones done when one has blood work.

While I am happy to have this information, it is a bit overwhelming; and I don't want to ask for too many tests. One of the reasons it is overwhelming is the negative vibe of the website, so I am not posting any links. Can someone help me to distill this sort of information from sources that they have found helpful? (I am sure that this sort of thing is discussed not just on the website that I found for, for lack of a better term, thyroid sufferers.)

I do want tests that make sense for my symptoms. For example, I have been having sharp pains in my lower back and my sex drive has been so low that one would have to scrape it off of the floor with more than a spatula. Therefore, a testosterone test probably makes sense for me.

I am also reading The Thyroid Solution.


June 22, 2009 - 10:20am

Please read this post. https://www.empowher.com/community/ask/what-should-my-next-step-be-my-thyroid-issue I am very concerned that your TSH is so high. My TSH level was 3.67 and I think my level was a little high (it has lowered to better range since I started taking a thyroid supplement and make some diet changes).

June 21, 2009 - 9:59am

Hi Cheryl!

I was just reading your post and then the replies and I can wholeheartedly second Michelle's suggestion that she got from the VA physician to go see Dr. Joan Bailey. She is my endocrinologist and I just love her. She is knowledgeable, personable, and helpful and she does not rush you through your appointments. I really hope you can go see her. I see her for insulin resistance, not thyroid, but if anyone needs an endocrinologist I would definitely suggest her. One of the other names above, Dr. Grace Matta, also practices in the same office as Dr. Bailey and my guess is she is also excellent. Their phone number is 602-258-9955 and the office is near 3rd St. and Virginia in/near downtown Phoenix. Good luck to you--I hope you can get in to see her and that she accepts AHCCCS.

June 19, 2009 - 10:07pm
Expert HERWriter

Hello Cheryl,

Thank you so much for visiting the website and for posting your story here on the website. I agree with you that it's time to see a good endocrinologist who can help you get your thyroid issue under control, on the right medications, etc.

I exchanged emails today with an endocrinologist who works at the VA Hospital in Phoenix, and she suggested a few endocrinologists who practice in Phoenix. This is what she wrote: "I recommend Drs Joan Bailey, Grace Matta, Laura Knecht in Phoenix metro area."

If you need help tracking down any of their phone numbers, please let me know and we can get them for you. I had told the VA doctor in my email that you were needing someone who takes AHCCCS, so hopefully they all do.

Please post again and let us know who are you able to go see, and how it all goes. The VA endo came highly recommended to me so I would trust who she suggests. Good luck to you Cheryl, and I'm so glad you are here in the EmpowHer community. Big hugs to you, Michelle

June 19, 2009 - 10:02pm

Diane P,
I live in Phoenix, Arizona. Thanks for any suggestions.

June 19, 2009 - 11:09am

What city and state do you live in?

June 19, 2009 - 10:19am
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.