So this happened yesterday.
Background: My doctor is fully aware of my distrust of the medical system and in accessing health services. He has never challenged or doctorsplained away any of my concerns or fears. He knows I come with a long and vast history of interactions that were disrespectful because of, first, my weight and second, my disability. I put them in that order because I was fat long before I was disabled. In one instance early on in seeing him he actually sat at his desk, shook his head, and apologized for something that had happened that he didn't do. It's unusual to be believed. It's unusual to be taken seriously.
So, as Joe and I hadn't seen the doctor for a while we both had little lists. We went through them and for one of my concerns he's decided that I need to see a specialist. He asked me about my experience at one hospital, how had I been treated, how safe did I feel. Then he asked about the other hospital where I'd also received service.
He wanted to take my experience into account when deciding where to send me. Ultimately he will choose where he thinks they have the expertise needed, but all things being equal. My opinion weighs in.
I am astounded by this kind of support.
I am astounded that my voice matters.
I shouldn't be, but I am.
I think of this in relationship to the people I support. Do they get asked often enough? Do they have their voice heard and valued rather than heard and dismissed? Do they still live, like I do, with feeling grateful for being involved in the decisions made regarding my health and my care?
I hope so.
I really do.
Because I was astounded.
And I shouldn't be.
Any decision now made by my doctor, I will have faith in, I would have anyways, he's a good doctor, but now the level of trust in a system that has often served me poorly, has risen just a little bit.
Which is, in my case, just a teensy bit miraculous.