It only matters what works for you.

Expectations

I moved recently. I think I mentioned that. One of the many, many, many…tasks that must be done after a move is to track down new health providers.

Does the very idea strike fear into the heart of anyone else?

I’ve barely taken the time to pull a name off a list of people and do a 5 minute Google to make sure they aren’t generally recognized as horrible. I haven’t even called for an appointment yet, and already I have incredibly low expectations of the care I will receive and the way I will be treated.

What is wrong with our medical system that the very idea of a doctor’s appointment fills me with fear and resentment?

I’m intelligent. I do my research. I’ve figured out how to combat a number of serious health issues in my life. I go to appointments prepared. I’m polite. I’m punctual.

And I expect to be condescended to and treated like an idiot.

That is what experience has conditioned me to expect.

To a great many members of the medical profession, I am the absolute worst kind of patient. I want to actually participate in my treatment, I have opinions, I ask questions, and I’m willing to argue about something I don’t understand or don’t agree with. I threaten their superiority and I take up a lot more time than the passive people who show up, get their drugs and leave.

I don’t think doctors are any more special than any other highly trained professional, and I suppose that shows. Have you ever noticed that the physician is always Dr. Smith, but you are immediately relegated to ‘first name’. That’s actually done on purpose you know. I took a class on medical communication at one point. Using first names makes us socially less than them automatically, so doctors are trained to do that, then assured that it just makes things more ‘personal’.

The other problem is, of course, that I don’t fit in the box. Treatments that generally work haven’t worked for me. I’m inclined to have the 1 in 100 people side effects to popular drugs. The usual tests miss my issues completely. And I’m much more interested in finding the cause than treating an effect. Doctors don’t usually have any idea what to do with someone like me.

How sad is it that I’m ready to have a panic attack about setting up a meeting with someone I’m supposed to trust with my healthcare? ‘Cause nothing encourages trust like a panic attack.

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