Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Getting Doctors to listen

Turn-it-Around Tuesday

If you ask someone to marry you and they looked away and told you that they needed to think about it. To give them a week and they will send you a letter, with their response...How would you feel?

A doctor/patient relationship is a marriage of sorts. You put yourself out there in the most vulnerable of ways. An intimate trust is extended, every time we step foot in the doctors office.

YOU are the Doctors managers, in a sense. You have to express how much time you need from them. I walked into my Neurologist, ready to put my brave face....The here comes "THRIVING KRISTI"....able to leap TALL buildings in a single bound! Attitude came out. I was out to prove something, and that was my first mistake.

Call it martyrism, bravery or just being someone who has dealt with pain, her entire life. I wanted my doctor to see....that despite all of my issues, I was okay. I didn't communicate fully, the level of my pain, so how was she to know?

Several ignored phone calls later, however I was at the end of my rope. The "urgent" tests were taking a month to order, my pills were not being re-prescribed, and I was left feeling really dejected.

I wanted to rewind time, and go back to the office visit I had. I would tell my Dr. about my constant and debilitating headaches. My dizziness. Lethargy. I would cry and beg for her to help me. I would show the true pain I am in, on a daily basis.

My frustrations turned to fear and anger, when the MA told me, that I would have to wait 1-3 weeks, for a letter in the mail, instructing me what to do next. "THIS ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH"...I told her. Her dismissive response was to have me go to the ER, if I thought I was that bad off.

Uncaring, under trained, overworked medical assistance, I get it. There are days when I have so much on my plate, that I don't think I can handle anything else. But I still treat people like people. I wonder if in all training doctors or MA's go through, they lose a piece of their heart.

To that MA, I was just a number on a chart. A piece of paper, among a stack of call backs. It's very sad, the way some doctors offices run their business. THEY are there for US, not the other way around.

When my hubby heard how upset I was, after my talk with the MA. He called the Drs office and left a message, explaining how long we have waited for the tests, results and calls backs.....and talked about going to the media with our story, if we didn't get a response.

---We got a personal call back from the Dr herself, within 3 hours. How's THAT for service?

This is MY health we are talking about. This isn't some game of cat and mouse. I was tired of being pushed aside. I am determined to be heard. I'm sick of Drs who tell me, that my NF is not that bad....or that NF doesn't cause pain.

The health care system scares me to death (I hope not literally) and I pray for changes. I pray for these people in the medical field to realize that we are all the same. We need to take care of each other.

Wouldn't be nice, if we could all have a "McSteamy", or "McDreamy"...or heck, even a team of Drs...like the ones on HOUSE, who spend all their time trying to diagnose and figure out what's going on.

I know there are caring Drs out there...I've met a few of them.....and I know I can't realistically have my own team of doctors....but it would be nice, if courtesy, respect and acknowledgement were commonplace at the doctors office.

1 comment:

  1. I have lived this reality with back office people in physicians offices. They often are not medically trained at all. I currently have a primary care Dr. with a staff from a horror movie, and I kid you not. They even call me by my last name first, even on the phone. I have chronic pain due to a failed back surgery and cannot get in to see my pain control dr for an epidural caudel injection for a month. Meanwhile no one cares that I am in extreme pain. I do not want pills. I want help. Even a caring voice over the phone would be an improvement from what I have recieved so far.
    I plan to follow you on twitter so that I can reconnect. Thanks a zillion.