Saturday, February 20, 2016

Just Ask

Image Description: The words JUST ASK written on what looks to be the side of a crumpled paper bag.
Everything is fine.

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 ...

I'm fine.


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?"

Um, yeah.

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.


clairesmum said...

again, 'doing damns the darkness'. i've adopted your words as my reminder to myself that taking an action that I am afraid to take, is less painful than stewing and fretting in the darkness of worry and anxiety and imagination.
And you have a great doc!

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

A doctor might be non-judgmental; but my experience of many doctors says they don't listen well, don't have much time, and I really need to be organized so as not to waste the doctor's time.

So no matter how much you like yours, you can't completely remove from your head the many non-pleasant, non-informative other doctor visits you've had.

Plus, in the back of my mind would be, "If he doesn't like my question, or thinks less of me, I'll have to start all over with some other doctor and remember not to ask those questions."

You could have lost something that was okay for now.

Those of us who have been dissed or ignored by the medical professions are skittish. When we go for help, there is that hovering over us. We have GOOD reason for being skittish. You just got to the point where the information was more important than your reservations.

Kimberly Rosa said...

I am glad I found this blog. It is nice to know that I am not alone in all of this. As far as asking doctors questions. After I woke up from my coma, I was mouthing to every nurse and doctor who came near me "Can I still have sex?"I wasn't as concern about the fact that my legs don't work as much as I was for that. So needless to say I will ask a doctor anything LOL! I am glad to see you are encouraging others to do the same.