Thursday, September 27, 2018

Tomorrow's Appointment

I'm a little scared.

I've not been feeling well.

And my doctor is away right now.

The clinic I go to is great, the woman who books our appointments asked if I would like to see a different doctor on their team. Inside I shouted 'NO, I WANT MY DOCTOR TO COME HOME.' but outside I said, 'sure, of course.' I have an appointment for tomorrow.

My doctor sees and treats me like I am fully human, he speaks respectfully to me, listens to my answers carefully. He has made the experience of receiving health care feel like it's a collaborative venture. On top of that, he just knows a lot of stuff and stays up to date on research.

I trust him

I trust him because both Joe and I feel that we get really good health care from him. Never better.

I trust him because I don't expect to be humiliated when I see him.

It took a long time to find this guy.

But now, because I'm not feeling well, I have to roll into a room with a doctor I don't know and I feel that I am at risk. Will he be able to see me, hear me, or will he be deep in conversation with prejudice and preconception? Will my voice be able to push itself into the visit?

I don't know.

And that scares me.

A lot.


Andrea Shettle, MSW said...

I hate how hard it can be for people in marginalized populations to find doctors (and other service professionals) who see us as complex humans and respect our dignity.

Good luck with this, both health wise and social wise.

clairesmum said...

I get it. I hate to see the nurse practitioner or any one else. If it is urgent then I can break down and go to urgent care (different system in the states) but I. know the focus will just be on my key symptom, not my lifestyle or diet or implied judgement of my value as a human being.
Hoping this person is as kind and respectful as your primary doc, and that you are feeling better soon.

ABEhrhardt said...

Tell him. Proactively. How much you like how "doctors in this clinic" have always treated you in the past.

You do need a substitute for when your preferred doctor is not available. Maybe this doctor could be that for you - and then you'd have two.

Girl on wheels said...

I really hope it goes well for you, Dave. I know just how scary seeing a new doctor can be. I had a freaking panic attack when my lovely, switched on, knowledgeable GP told me he was leaving my practice. And then I had a shockingly bad first appointment with the new GP I was assigned, and sobbed on my partner once I was home. I actively avoided my new GP until seeing him became unavoidable, and the first thing he did when I rolled in his room was apologise. He told me he hadn’t read my notes properly before meeting me and that he had treated me appallingly based on nothing but biases from past bad experiences. I gave him another chance and he’s been a great GP since, even trying to get me additional services that aren’t usually available in my area. Still every time I have to see a new doctor I am nervous, and I joke to my partner about how I have to train them up before they become adequate.

Unfortunately there are far too many doctors who want an easy/quick answer, and they see your weight, or your lack of formal diagnosis or your history of opiate prescriptions and they stop seeing the whole picture. It’s shitty and it’s lazy and if I had my way they’d all be struck off. But there are also lots of good doctors who genuinely want to help, who will admit they don’t know but they can refer you to someone who will, who will respect that you are far more expert in you and your health than they are. And even the good ones can have a bad day, so I always give them another chance these days. However I had a terrible appointment with my main consultant’s fellow recently, he actually made me cry and my normally completely non-violent partner was ready to punch him, and so I took great pleasure in telling his boss all about it the next time I saw him. He took my complaint very seriously and looked absolutely furious, I’d have loved to be a fly on the wall for that dressing down.