|Image Description: The words JUST ASK written on what looks to be the side of a crumpled paper bag.|
I am well.
Except for a cold.
I'm going to write about a conversation with my doctor and every time I mention seeing the doctor I receive emails from people asking how I am and I have to stomp out rumours that I'm really sick and have quit working and lecturing. So ...
For the last several visits to my doctor, I've had a couple of questions that I wanted to ask. They were questions that I found hard forming into words, not because I didn't know the words but because I didn't want to string them in a sentence. I didn't want to have them spoken out loud in sequence because, somehow, the whole thing embarrassed me.
It's not about sex.
I have no trouble asking my doctor about sex.
It's not about my genitals.
I've already aired my genitals to the world ... and really, have you met me?
So, anyways, now that I'm comfortable you aren't guessing (are you?) because the topic isn't what matters, it was my reticence to speak to my doctor about something that concerned me because I thought I'd be embarrassed, deeply, in front of him. Now my doctor is a cool guy. He answers questions in a way that is both dispassionate and friendly at the same time. I imagine, that after a while, family doctors are hard to shock. But at the same time, I realized, when thinking of it, that even though he's a doctor, he's also a person and sometimes people who are persons can be judgemental. Yikes. I don't want that.
I had a follow up appointment with my doctor yesterday and I was determined to just out with my questions. I mean why not? What can I lose? So, after everything checked out fine I asked him if I could ask him a couple of questions. I needed some information and I didn't know where to find it. So he looked at me indicating to go ahead.
So I did.
And the world didn't stop.
He didn't fall out of the chair.
I didn't die of embarrassment.
He just thought for a second and said, "I don't know. But we have someone here at the office whose job it is to find those kinds of things out. Would you like me to have her track the information down and get to you, probably next week?"
It was done.
I left thinking about the MONTHS of worry and work it took to get me to the point that I could openly ask questions that I needed to ask. MONTHS!!
So, here I am, living proof that asking and seeking are better than hiding and worrying. Now that it's done I don't know why I was worried. My doctor's reaction is entirely in line with his character and his professionalism - why did I make him different in my mind? Why did I make myself shameful over reasonable questions to ask? I don't know.
So, if you have a question, and you have a safe person to ask, ask it.
It will be okay!
Even if you get an answer that you aren't wanting, knowing is better than worrying.