This is a bit of a tough one for me and admittedly a double-edged sword. I tend to want to see the good in someone regardless of the wrong they do (within reason). More so, I remind myself to give people the benefit of the doubt, should the situation require it. With that said, it’s not always an easy thing to do. And, here’s why…
The doctors I’ve dealt with have certainly managed to get my blood pressure rising and pushed me to the point of boiling over. I expect them to have all the answers and I expect them to know a solution to the problem I place before them or at the very least, to know the first step to figuring it all out. But…they don’t always have it. Listening to a recording a few days ago, the woman (a specialist of some sorts – my memory fails me right now) was saying that “Doctors don’t always have the answers and in most cases, they’ll do exactly what you’ll do to find an answer…they’ll Google it”. I thought that was a bit bizarre for like a nanosecond until I was reminded of a visit to the local pharmacy where they did exactly this. Sure it’s a pharmacist, not a “doctor” but, they sure are close enough in the profession (IMO).
Also, watching the start of a documentary not too long ago, a husband was telling his sick wife (lying in ED) “If you don’t give them enough details, they can’t help you and if you give them too much, they’ll…treat you like a…nutcase”. I could certainly relate to this from having been at the Emergency room countless times before. I’ve even had the debate (with myself) about what and how much to tell the attending doctor before they appeared from behind the curtain. Willing my body to alert me to how it was feeling and running through some of the known symptoms in my head with a mental checklist. The internal dialogue I have at that time is one that would surely be frowned upon and place me immediately in the nut basket.
Further to this, I’m reminded of a time where someone told me “Doctors can’t help everyone. For every person born, someone, somewhere will die” as if that’s the equation and balance of life. I found this very unnerving and quite disturbing, to say the least. Though, in hindsight, I can’t honestly say the theory hasn’t remained with me on occasion.
All these things may just be totally unrelated or they may not be. I had a discussion a few days ago with a colleague and told her that if I didn’t know differently, I would probably not have a problem with the medical care I’ve received thus far (the last 6 years specifically). More importantly, if I didn’t have something (better care – said in hindsight) to compare it to, then maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. But, I do…which is why accepting the level of medical care I’ve received up till now, is so hard. (This would be something that falls into the category of: You don’t know what you have until you lose it).
Furthermore, I’ve also recently been told by a well-meaning friend, “You have complicated health issues” in defence of doctors who can’t figure out what’s wrong with me. The very same friend who joked about the purchase of a GP visit being the perfect gift for someone like me. As if this makes it right…If anything, it’s hurtful at best and something which would cause me to never again answer truthfully when asked: “How are you doing?”.
I’m at a point in my health care where I just feel like giving up. My body can rebel and throw at me whatever it feels like, I won’t respond and I sure as hell don’t want to go running to another doctor, regardless of how bad I feel. Call it health suicide if you like…I’m jumping over the edge, accepting that this is something I just can’t change. The only difference is, I’ll physically still be here…waiting patiently for the inevitable. (Before you think it, I’m not being negative, just realistic at best).
What’s the point anyway..!?
Helpless…that’s the word I’d use when it comes to the topic of today’s post but, wiser in the sense that I think we as patients probably depend too much on doctors. They don’t have all the answers, they definitely make mistakes and more importantly, they are only human after all.
It still makes me mad, sad and despondent nonetheless. But, that’s my stance until someone proves me wrong. This way of thinking makes it easier to just accept the way things are and not depend on people too much…Acceptance comes easier that way (at least it does for me).
Feel free to share your thoughts…