I didn’t scream it, but I wanted to.
The doctor had been lecturing my son and myself about what had to be done – and so far he hadn’t run any tests. He had asked the basic question, “what brings you here today,” and then gone into his monologue.
My son turned to look at me and rolled his eyes.
My internal rant when on as long as the doctor’s monologue.
Look, I get that you went to school to learn, but I can guarantee that you didn’t learn about everything and everyone.
I get that you went through training, but I guarantee this is the first “me” you’ve dealt with.
I get that your time is valuable and that you have lots of important things to do, but I guarantee we are all valuable and important.
When he finally finished, I spoke for my son – since eye-rolling is sometimes his strongest response. “I appreciate what you are saying, but I’m not sure we agree. We’ll talk it over and let you know.”
We did talk it over and we ended up looking for a different doctor. It was important to find someone that would treat my son, not follow the same path that the symptoms normally led.
It wasn’t my first time dealing with doctors that knew it all without knowing the person.
Several years ago, I had an encounter with a doctor that left me with a taste of distrust. Maybe distrust isn’t the best word to describe it, but I came away with a leery look at people that try to tell me about me without knowing me.
At that time, I trusted the doctor over my own instincts and cues from my body. It didn’t end well, but I learned through that painful experience to trust myself and listen to what my body had to say – and to look for someone who would be willing to listen as well.
When my son became sick, we talked, we researched, we questioned.
Finally, we contacted the doctor to see if he could help. It was not normal for my son to go to the doctor, except for the yearly physical for scouts.
We explained the issues. We connected the dots of this event to a prior accident. I shared some the research we had done.
Despite all that we had to say, he offered his trained opinion and expected us to accept it and go on.
We didn’t. We questioned, so the doctor ran some tests before sending us home. The office called the next morning and said they were concerned about the results. Further tests were needed.
Again, we talked and researched and then went to the follow-up tests.
The process went on – each time we would talk and research and always I tried to defer to my son (because I didn’t want to be the one telling him what he needed for him). He appreciated my being there and my willingness to go either direction with him. It gave him the courage to speak up for himself.
Doctors are a huge benefit for healing and health – but they can only work with what you give them. Be determined to stand up for your uniqueness.
- Listen to your body. If something feels wrong, uncomfortable, or out of the normal for you then speak up. If you don’t share it with the doctor then the doctor will never know and the doctor can’t work with you the best way possible.
- Write it down. Keep a record of all you experience leading you up to the visit with the doctor and also what occurs when you follow the orders. It will give you something to follow up on when you have a return visit.
- Take someone with you. We are stronger together, and when you are dealing with health and wellbeing – or when you aren’t feeling your best – having the backup can be all the difference in the world. Plus, someone else will be able to help you remember what you need to share and also be there to hear what the doctor shares.
- Be okay with walking away. Not all doctors are suited to all patients. It is important to find the medical care person that you feel comfortable working with – because it is a team challenge.
You know more about you than anyone else. Listen to your body. Be honest with yourself first, and then be open to sharing with your medical care professional about it all. You only get back what you are willing to invest in your health.