I had an appointment with my primary care doctor yesterday that I had been waiting on for about three months. It was only the second time I had seen this doctor. The weeks leading up to this appointment were filled with long conversations with my husband and an intense scrutiny of all my current “ailments.” You see, I had been going to another doctor for several years and had many little ailments nagging at me all along. I had switched doctors to finally get some answers and I was hoping this appointment would provide them.
I gave blood last week so they could run some tests and yesterday, I got those results. They were nothing mind blowing, no significant tests really–just cholesterol, thyroid and the run-of-the-mill ones. But I was anxious to know what might be “off” and I was eager to run down the small list of consistent issues with my new doctor. I wanted solutions.
I was so unbelievably nervous about this appointment that I hadn’t been able to sleep properly in a few days. My husband noticed my nervousness and commented on it frequently, but I had nothing to help me relieve the anxiety. As a society, we see so much pain, suffering and hear so many stories of “if they hadn’t caught in time” or “she didn’t go to the doctor in six years” kind of thing that, I think, many of us, me included, can become paranoid. And I certainly did.
For instance: I have had ongoing, massive indigestion issues. I couldn’t pinpoint what caused it each time. And then several friends had similar issues. One had a triple bypass (it was really heart issues all along) and one had hiatal hernia surgery and was out of work for several weeks. It was needless to say these began weighing on me. What if it wasn’t indigestion? What if I needed surgery? What if? What if? What if?
As my husband (along for support) and I waited patiently for the doctor, my mind raced with all the things I wanted to accomplish in this visit.
My fears were all for naught. When the doctor came in it was as if we were one–so in sync with each other–and my fears were almost instantly dissolved.
My blood tests: I believe he used the word “outstanding.” And he went over every line with me. This test meant this and the numbers were “superb”, this test was this “don’t worry about that”, this one means this, etc. Every. Line. My last doctor would have said “everything was fine”–no explanation, no printout, nothing. My husband said he was jealous (he thanks his family for his high cholesterol issues). I was slightly low on B12 and he explained what that meant (fatigue, depression, possible anemia) and suggested I take a vitamin to help.
I have not done that well on a test in YEARS.
What about the hip pain? He suggested seeing an orthopedic doctor and set it up for me. Done.
What about the indigestion? Here’s some samples – see if these work – if not.. here’s a prescription for a different one and if that doesn’t work… We’ll have tests. Call me if it gets worse. Done.
Two doctors visits. I’m already further along than I was with over five years with my last doctor. My hip pain? She told me she couldn’t do anything for me. Take some Aleve. My indigestion? No clue. Take some Tums. I am not joking.
This is the importance of being HEARD. Is your doctor hearing you? Or are you being pushed around, giving pills that don’t do anything except calm your nerves (I know WAY too many people on ativan… I was too. Until now. It’s a muscle relaxer folks. Not a cure all. It numbs the way you feel. It doesn’t CURE anything.) (and, hey, some folks need the relaxer – I totally get it. But these doctors dole it out like candy and it’s ADDICTIVE. If you’re taking it – examine the real reasons why. If it’s not for the real reason it’s prescribed for – ask your doctor more questions. Get to the root.)
Let’s just say that the last day and a half has been so different. I feel like a new woman. No, all my ailments aren’t cured. They may never be. But I know what I am doing – healthy eating, exercise – are helping. My family has major heart and cholesterol issues. I don’t. It’s a blessing. And now I know.
Make sure you’re heard today. It will change your entire attitude–I guarantee.