Saturday, November 3, 2012
NHBPM Day 3: A Conversation With My Doctor
One of the prompts for today is to write about a conversation with your doctor. I've had plenty of conversations with many different kinds of doctors over the past eight years; but, ironically, it's the one conversation that I had just last week with my doctor that has impressed me the most. No, it's not just because it was just last week and I'm, therefore, able to remember it, it's so much more than that. Oh, for those of you who regularly read my blog, some of this may be familiar as I know I shared at least some of it within a few days of my appointment. Feel free to use this time to get a bit of chocolate and a cup of tea. God knows, you don't need a repeat of my blog.
Two things struck me about that appointment. One, my doctor shared with me how he was up for a position in a medical organization at the state level. I had just told him how I was planning on advocating for those with EDS. He said, not only could I put information in his waiting room, but if he got this position, he would get some EDS specialist to talk at one of their medical conferences. Wow! That meant so much to me. Not just because it affects me on such a personal level, but because he cared enough to see how much this affected me and eleven others of his patients, that he wanted to get the word out about EDS to his colleagues. We need more doctors like him.
Another thing that made this appointment memorable was how much we were able to discuss and make plans for my treatment. I don't know about you, but so many times I'll walk out of the doctor's office and wonder exactly what was said. Did I remember to ask the questions I wanted to ask? If so, did he answer them? Do I remember what he said? I always come armed with a list (yes, I've read all of those articles), but I don't always refer to it, instead it lays curled up in my purse or stuffed in my pants pocket. I also try to bring someone along as two sets of ears are better than one. Even after all of my preparation, I still, usually, come away with muddled thoughts about the whole encounter. But, at this particular visit, the doctor and I worked as teammates. Each taking their turn and working together for a common goal. I did refer to my list. He did answer all of my questions. When the visit was coming to an end, he ran through everything we discussed and stated what we were going to do. "I'm going to write you a referral for Physical Therapy, give you a prescription for three months of your pain meds, the nurse will give you your flu shot,...." I left there feeling as if I was not only heard, but that I was in good hands. That he cared. That he understood.
In my book, this particular appointment was one of the best. It's pretty sad that as a chronically ill patient, appointments like these are the exception rather than the rule. Not always, of course, but many times that's the case. I will say, that it's so important to find at least one doctor who will stand by you. One doctor who understands, or is willing to learn about your illness. Having that one doctor who will be your advocate with others in the medical community, acting as your "team leader" will make dealing with a chronic illness so much easier.
Whew! I did it, three down! How did I do?
See you tomorrow!