What I have to take into consideration, as everyone should, is that doctor didn't know me. She didn't know how I struggled with the decision to crawl out of my warm bed, get dressed, go out in the cold and waste most of a day to bring myself to emerge.
Had my doctor been there and seen me, I can see his surprised face now. He likely would have said, "Oh boy, what's up to get you here?"
It's not so much that I'm opposed to seeking medical help, I am not. It is just that I really have spent enough time in hospital, at doctor's offices and having tests to last me a lifetime. I hate it.
So the fact I was there didn't have much impact on the doctor I saw, but sure would have with my own doctor.
That's why building a good relationship with your primary doctor is so important. It's good for them to know who you are outside of that office, as a person and not just a patient.
What does that look like, well it's different for everyone. One thing I hear a lot of people say is my doctor knows I don't like to take medications. Well that's a given, I don't know anyone who has to take medication that says oh good that's great. That doesn't tell him or her much about you. What I'm talking about is letting them know what this disease or illness is taking you from.For example I wanted to volunteer at the hospital between Christmas and New Years, visiting those who were unfortunate to have to stay there over Christmas. I thought Whinnie and I would be at the hospital doing that and not at ER. Perhaps you have had to put off a visit or stop a part time job etc. Let them know what your life looks like.
It's easy to not do things that are not that important to you or unpleasant, but not being able to spend time with grandchildren or friends has an impact on you and the opinion your doctor has of you as well. Saying you missed a significant event says a lot about how you feel.
So don't just go I to the office with a list of complaints; remember to sprinkle in a little bit of your life at every visit, so that there is a real person attached to that visit and not just a patient.
I've had a long relationship with my doctor and it has been confirmed time and time again when we agree on fundamental things, but this Christmas it was confirmed in a different way.
I had been reading Rachel Naomi Remen's book, My Grandfather's Blessings, as I read I often thought of Dr. Shaw. I decided to buy the book for him because it was so much like him, I thought. My thoughts were confirmed when he sent me a thank you note saying he had read her first book and loved it, and looked forward to reading this one and passing it on.
Know yourself, know your doctor, and even the most complicated medical history becomes easier.
Happy New Year friends. Be healthy in your mine if not in your body, and be the best you can be each day as it comes.