I went to see my doctor today, I had had some routine testing done - nothing wrong, nothing expected to be wrong, but just to check everything out. Normally my visits to the doctor are very short. I know that there is this idea that because I'm fat and because I'm disabled that I am a burden on the health care system but in reality I see the doctor only a few times a year and then only for a few minutes. My doctor is very thorough and always inputs my results into the computer so that when he's talking about my 'sugar' or my cholesterol, I can see from the graphs how my health is over time. It's cool.
This time though, I had a question for him. I'm not going to write about it here because it's personal, so after he finished reviewing my tests - everything good to go, I asked him. He asked me a few things to ensure he understood my concerns and my intent and then we had a conversation. I felt respected. I felt he was interested. I felt that I was listened to. I felt like he was willing to spend the time necessary to make sure that we covered, in all the detail I wanted, the issue I'd raised.
On my way out I thanked him for being the kind of doctor that I felt that I could talk with. He was embarrassed, I could tell, but I still wanted him to know that the time he took with me mattered to me. Too, the attitude of interest and attention mattered even more. I left with things to think about and with the information I needed in order to be able to muse properly.
I'm writing this because I was reminded, again, by example of how to 'be' with people who have questions, needs or concerns. I am the one who sits on the other side of the desk, on the pen side of the report, on the opinion side of a matter.
It was important for me to be listened to, with interest but without judgement.
It was important that I didn't feel that the rush of people waiting press through my doctors words.
It was important that information be given in such a manner that I could understand it - free of jargon, free of big long medical words.
Maybe it's important for me to do those things too.
Getting service is sometimes the best way of realizing what kind of service to give.
(Please don't read too much into this - I am in good health!)