One of the problems I have had all my life is an enquiring mind. I know that many won’t see that as a problem at all, but trust me it is, as it has managed to cause me more strife and lost friendships than anything else. I have always soaked up information, stuff that most people forget or don’t even listen to, in itself that can be a good thing, but the downside is that I have never understood that knowing something someone else doesn’t can really make them not like you. For as long as I can remember, if I thought I could add into a conversation some fact or other, I do, I can’t stop myself and usually the words are out of my mouth before I have managed to even think about it. I have learned that if there is one thing people don’t like, it is someone who carries useless information around and likes to share it, especially when once checked I proved usually to be right. I learned in time to hold back and to listen carefully before adding in my bit, always couching it with what to me were unnecessary words, like “I believe”, or “if my memory is right”, or even just changing the tone of my voice so it sounded a little bit more like a possibility rather than a fact and somehow that made it acceptable. To me, being able to have knowledge and to be able to pass it on, is a joy and something we all should do freely, just imagine how much we all could learn daily if people just spoke, rather than playing strange games all the time.
Being emotional creatures is truly a double-edged sword, especially as your health deteriorates, getting a straight answer out of anyone is often the hardest thing to do, even from the medical profession. Personally, I have never liked it when I have the feeling that someone is thinking something different from what they are saying, the protocols of life getting in the way from the honest, straightforward truth. It doesn’t matter how many time either that I have said to a doctor, just tell me the truth, within a very short time, once again I find myself once again feeling I am having to fight for an answer. I was watching “Holby City” again the other day and there was a scene where a junior doctor was being told to improve their bedside manner, to learn to smile, speak softly and pass on information in a more caring way. I know all these things are down to personal choice, but I would rather a doctor didn’t stand there smiling, looking at you as a child and explaining things a two-year-old knows, but gave me the straight fact, in concise detail and as though I were their equal. I know it isn’t all their fault, as I have been groomed like most of us to treat doctors as our superiors, demi-gods who we have to listen to and accept without question what they are saying, not asking questions that might waste their precious time, so the guilt is on both sides. So many of us, including me playing games with them and they play the game too and no matter what I have tired decided before seeing them, or even thought through in detail in advance, once face to face, it happens all over again.
You would think after the number of doctors I have seen through my life that I would have by now got it right, found the way to put across the fact I’m not stupid and I don’t appreciate being treated as such, but I haven’t. I still dread having to see another new doctor, having to put up with their apologetic looks as I go over my medical history and all that has brought me to be there sat in front of them. I dread the fact that once more I will know that in their heads they will be making conclusions, ones that they don’t share with me, as when I ask questions, their answers is always the same, “well let’s wait and see what the test show”. I don’t care how wildly wrong their thoughts might turn out to be, believe me I will already have been there before them, I would far rather have a guess than to be left yet again just waiting, not having the time to prepare if that thought is right or not. I know they are covering their backs, making sure I don’t have a reason to complain or sue them, but I would sign anything to say that would never happen, I just want doctors who say what they think, in the way they would if talking to another doctor about me. Does it never occur to a doctor that if they just shared that information, I might then be able to add in more information, things I didn’t think important before, or to give them a clue that can only come from informed adult conversation.
Knowledge is a wonderful thing and should be shared freely without out fear of hurting someone’s feelings, or even getting it wrong. There have been more discoveries through informed conversation, than there has been through anything else if inventors and scientist didn’t share their knowledge, well we would be in a very different world. Talking as equals should be taught from childhood onward, people shouldn’t be pushed into playing some antiquated role, or to act differently in front of one person than they would in front of another. I doubt I will ever find my perfect doctor, but they too need to be taught that smiles, soft voices and patting people on the head, isn’t been a doctor, as none of that will make their patient better. All the bedside manner in the world does nothing, other than keep this game of patient and doctor going, is it not time that we started to see each other as just what we are, equals who need each others knowledge.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today =- 05/06/12 – Degrees of housebound
Housebound, or if you prefer house bound, I don’t care which as the meaning is simple isn’t it, isn’t it? Well to me it is it means never leaving my home, a simple fact nothing difficult there, but it appears I am wrong in my belief. It surprises me how many people think that housebound means you can’t go out without a wheelchair or walker, some think it means that you can’t go out shopping, socializing or to the doctors, and other still that it means being unable to go out without a carer. It appears……