Doctor – Patient Relationship

drpatient

 

I was brought up to respect my elders and to listen to what they told me.  I always looked at doctors with awe and listened intently to anything they would tell me and to always follow their directions.  But lately, I am realizing that they too are just people, doing a job. Unfortunately, they are not fully invested in helping me get well.  I am just another appointment on their calendar to get through.  Heck, they don’t even show up on time for 90% of the appointments.

As I sat waiting in a doctor’s office yesterday afternoon, I had plenty of time to think.  The appointment was at 1:15 and I was seen by the doctor at 3:45.  The doctor is a genuinely nice man, highly respected in his field and his staff is exceedingly friendly (which is a big plus), but I still had to wait over 2 hours.

I will continue to see this doctor, as I value his advice and he is very respectful and courteous and doesn’t rush you during the exam (which is why you have to wait so long), but their are other doctors that I am currently seeing that I am seriously considering severing the relationship with.

I recently read an article about the relationship with your doctor and it stated “With a good doctor, you always leave the office feeling that they care about you.”  I can’t say that is true in most of my experiences.  I guess I’m not alone in feeling like this because the article also states that 2/3 of patients worldwide say that they are dissatisfied with their doctors, but many stick with them anyway because they assume all doctors will treat them the same way.  The other major reason we stick with a doctor is because we are worried about offending them or we are just so overwhelmed by the idea of finding someone new and starting all over again.

I am guilty of these 3 reasons of sticking with doctors, long after I know I should move on.  Recently, I had a test done at a lab and sent copies of the results to 2 different doctors (Dr. E and Dr. G).

Dr E. called me back within a week to discuss my results and a plan of action to help me improve the situation.  It involves starting a new medicine, with major possible side effects.  Dr. E spent a substantial amount of time on the phone with me answering my questions and then gave me her email address and said if I have any side effects or any additional concerns, just drop her an email.  I have always loved this doctor and her handling of my current situation is just another reason why I am glad I did change doctors, because the previous specialist I was seeing was so rude and dismissive to me, that I left the office in tears (that’s the first and last time I hope that happens).  But even after I left the office in tears, I told myself that maybe she’s having a bad day and I should give her another chance.  I did use her one more time and while she wasn’t as rude, I just didn’t like the experience in her office, even with her help.  They weren’t understanding of my needs and I promised myself I would look for another doctor.

Getting back to my current results, Dr. G’s office called me back two weeks after the test was done and the assistant requested that I make an appointment to see the doctor to discuss the results.  I explained my situation and asked if the doctor could get on the phone for 5 minutes and I could discuss the treatment plan my other doctor suggested.  The following day the assistant called me back and said I have to come in to see the doctor and that she wouldn’t be giving me advice over the phone.

Now which doctor do you think I’m going to continue to see?  In this situation, it’s really cut and dry, but many situations aren’t as clear. The article stated there are 5 common signs that suggest you need to change your doctor.  They are:

  1. The doctor. doesn’t tailor recommendations to your life
  2. The doctor is always running late
  3. The doctor rushes you
  4. The office is disorganized
  5. The doctor is arrogant

So from now on, I will periodically reevaluate my satisfaction with the doctors I see (and unfortunately there are many).  If I don’t feel as if I’m working as a team with my doctor and that we are not partners in this important relationship, I will look for another doctor.

It’s easier to find a doctor these days, then it is a potential mate, so why suffer with either relationship when you know in your heart it’s time to move on.

Forgive and Forget

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I’ve written about a certain friend I have several times in my blog.  This friend is one of my “toxic” friends, who spread negativity and suck the air out of a room when they enter it.  They have hurt me more times than I can count and I swore to distance myself from this person this year.  But what do you do when out of no where they appear at your door, in a very fragile state, and apologize for every hurt they have caused you and tell you that you are one of the strongest people they know and respect me more than they can say for how I’m dealing with my chronic illness.

The apology was sincere and making an apology is an act of courage,  not a sign of weakness, as many people see it.  Fear usually delays the apology, fear of rejection or humiliation and this is very unfortunate because most genuine apologies elicit gratitude as a response.  I believe a sincere apology is one of the most profound human interactions between 2 people because the desired result is the reconciliation of a broken friendship.

Do people change?  Can you move forward in a relationship with someone and wipe the slate clean?  I am trying to do that, but am just not sure that this insight wasn’t a momentary lapse because my friend hit a new low and realized that she has problems, real emotional and mental issues to deal with.  Acknowledging the problem and fixing the problem are two very different things.

For the time being I will approach this friendship with caution and see if there are any subtle signs of change.  I hope for their sake they are going to try and get help because the path that they are walking down is not a good one.

But since I am a strong person, I will forgive them for the hurts they have caused, but I am not sure I can forget.  Maybe my brain fog will help with that!!

The “EX” Factor

exhusband

Since I  have a lot of time on my hands and can’t physically do much, most of my activity (when the brain fog isn’t present) is in my head.  I think about the past and about forks in the road where decisions could have been made differently and maybe I wouldn’t be where I am now.

I was married and have been divorced since 2006.  I was on my own for 3 years prior to getting ill and really hadn’t thought about my ex husband much or missed him.  He was a nice enough guy, but lost interest in our marriage and became almost nonexistant.  He was retreating from life and knew he needed help but refused to seek it out.  He also had “mommy” issues, which is where he wound up living after we divorced and to this day is still living with him mother and recently I found out that he is also her full time caretaker as she had a massive stroke.

A while back, I was on the computer and someone was trying to IM me.  To my surprise, it was my ex husband.  The first words he typed were an apology to me, which kind of through me for a loop.  He did owe me an apology for how he was at the end of our marriage, but I had long ago written that off and really had made closure with him and my marriage.  We chatted briefly on IM and he told me about his mother and I really didn’t feel anything but sadness for him and the choices he made in his life.  His mother controlled him throughout our marriage but I didn’t think it would go as far as it did.

When I think of my current situation and wonder if it would have been better if I was sick and had a husband, of course the answer is yes. When I see healthy relationships, like the one my sister has, having a husband to help with the everyday issues and emotional support needed when dealing with a chronic condition is a blessing.  But if I think about having my ex husband in my life right now, it would have been anything but a blessing.  I would have had to take care of him and support him, even in my fragile disabled state.

He had a business when we were married, but most of the money he earned was sent to his mother.  By the end of our time together, he was unemployed and lied on the couch from morning to night.  I went to work early in the morning and returned most nights after 7pm and he’d still be lying on the couch in his pjs.

So when I think about this choice to end my marriage, even though it was hard to go through at the time, it was the right choice as we weren’t right together.  Being with someone and feeling alone, is so much more lonely, than actually being alone.

 

 

 

I wanna see you be BRAVE

I heard this song a while ago and didn’t really listen to the words until the other night, when I watched her perform the song on the People’s Choice Awards.

I know the meaning of this song is for people to speak their mind and say what they really feel, but why is it so easy for some people to speak their mind at the expense of others.  I try to say what’s on my mind, most times, but never will say something without regards for the person I’m speaking with.

We can’t speak the same way or in the same tone with everyone.  Each conversation has to be geared towards whom we are speaking with.  For example:  I wouldn’t speak the same with with my nephew as I would with my doctor.  My consideration and respect for the other person is always present, but I consider my audience, just as if I was standing up and giving a speech.

However, not everyone in my life does that.  In particular there is one person that doesn’t care who is around, she just has to say whatever is on her mind.  She is an extremely emotional being and can not control her thoughts or her emotions or her words.  Whatever and however she feels, she puts out there, no matter who she hurts.  I have been stung many times by this person and I think I finally have had it over the holidays and am now done caring about her.

It is very hard to let a friend go, especially one that has been in your life for a long period of time, but being around this person or even speaking with this person, brings me no joy or satisfaction.  I like to figure things out and I guess what’s so puzzling to me is how someone can just BE all the time and just only care about themselves at the expense of others.  It drives me insane that a friend I care a lot about, could care less about my feelings.

I thought I was being BRAVE, when I had a conversation with my friend and told her how she hurt my feelings and that I would never treat her like she treated me and I asked for an apology and this took a lot of courage for me to have this conversation.  The response was, “I have nothing to apologize for.  I did nothing wrong.”  For her not to even see my side of the story, after I explained my feelings, once again I was disregarded and that was the final straw for me.

Initially I was very angry, but anger gives the other person power over me and this so called friend, will not have any more power over me.  Now I feel sad that I have invested time, energy (which I don’t have much of) and emotion on this person as they weren’t deserving of it.