Something to think about

Two hours ago, I knew exactly what I was going to write about this morning. I know, I should have made a note, or written at least the first line of my post, but I didn’t. My intentions of speaking to my doctor today fell flat as well, apparently, he isn’t going to be in the surgery until later this week. I know that I could have spoken to his partner, but I really didn’t want to put myself through that. I knew that it’s wrong of me, but I really can’t stand talking to her. She is one of those doctors who is never satisfied with anything that you say, and always wants to go through everything and every little detail, before, she does anything at all. If she prescribes anything for you, she then insists in telling you every single side effect that might just happen, even if you have had the drug before. If I were desperate and needing assistance right now, of course, I would talk to her, but as this is just a step on from my conversation of last week, and a couple of other small things, I decided that it was better just to wait. In some ways, that’s good, as it shows that I am more than happy with and totally trust my own GP, but it also has a bad side, as she is the only other doctor in the practice. Our relationship with those who care for us, is so, important, it is probably the relationship, next to our family, that matters the most. If my GP were to retire, I believe that I would have to find a new surgery to take me on, as I quite simply couldn’t put up with her as my solo medical contact for everyday matters.

I have lost count long ago how many different consultants I have seen, since, I first knew I was ill. Even now, the consultants who care for me, keep changing, you never know until you arrive at the hospital exactly who you will see. To me, this is wrong. Personally, I honestly think that our care should always be in the hands of the same doctor throughout, of course, should they leave that is a whole different issue. Trust, is the greatest part of care, and it is something that has to grow, it just doesn’t appear because the person in front of you, is a doctor. Especially, if like me, your experience over the years, hasn’t always been exactly a good one. I have been dismissed, wrongly treated and sent home with the feeling that they don’t believe me, so many times, that trust, is now, an even harder thing to find. Being wheeled into a room by Adam, to be faced with yet another stranger, yet another person who knows nothing about my or my health, always, makes my heart fall. It doesn’t matter how nice they are, how much they try to put me at ease, or how friendly their smile is, the second those questions that I have answered a million times before appear, I know once more, that I am back at the beginning.

Sometimes I wonder what the point is of all those notes that they write. Why bother writing any of them, if no one reads them? I know they don’t have the time to read them from beginning to end, but even a brief scan, of the last two visits, would put them on the right road, before, they start asking questions. I honestly fear, that the day will come, when I will just shout back at them “Read the bloody notes”, but I wouldn’t be that rude, I just think it over and over. How hard is it really when booking a repeat visit, to book it with the same doctor? I have sat there in the waiting room, over and over seeing the doctors I know, passing and smiling a hello, then to be called in, to see yet another total stranger. Why? I can’t find the logic, as surely if I saw the same ones, the ones that know me, the consultation will be shorter, with less stupid questions. Yet, time after time, this has happened, and there seems to be no way around it. Yes, I have in the past asked to see the same doctor next time, the answer is always the same, “We can’t guarantee that”. OK, I get it, four months from now they might be on holiday, or sick, or not even work there any longer, but they could at least try.

If you don’t have trust in the doctor in front of you, there is no point you being there, no point even talking to them. If you don’t trust them, don’t trust what they say, or what they prescribe, I expect, in some cases, their treatment may even fail, down to that lack of trust. Our minds dwell on what we fear, are ill at ease with or even just question. Our minds can do things that we ourselves aren’t even aware of, they can make our physical state worse, simply because we don’t trust, or like, or want to see again, that one person. Every time you take the tablet they prescribe, you look at it with mistrust, as you are putting your feeling for the person, into what is lying in your hand. That person who made you ill at ease, who dismissed you from their office without a smile, or even a pleasant world, is there in front of you every time you take their horrid little pills. Yes, I have been there, a long time ago now, but I remember it all too clearly.

A good doctor isn’t the one who knows more, who has read every medical paper ever written some or has an arms length of initials, after their name. Without a doubt, knowledge means a lot, but it makes them knowledgeable, not good. A good doctor is the one who greets you as an equal, not an irritation, who listens with knowing nods, not disinterest and with a twisted mouth or raised eyebrow. A good doctor takes the time to know you, to understand you, not just as their patient but as a person. A good doctor doesn’t just go for what they think is obvious, they don’t just look at your list of conditions and medications and draw a conclusion, without first listening to what you have to say, even if, it takes a little longer than they would like. A good doctor treats the patient, not just the symptoms and conditions, and before you think that they don’t have that time to do all that, the good ones, don’t need extra time, as they’re humans, not a know it all machine.

Each one of us as we navigate the world of the chronically ill, will meet more than our fair share of the rogues, and all too few of the good. Is it surprising, then, that I along with the rest of us, know the doctor we want to talk to, the doctor we want to be treated by, the doctors that we trust. In this relationship, we need trust, we need to know who they are and what they can do for us, as it is our lives, that they literally have their hands, not for a minute, or even ten, but forever. Every second, we live, depends on their care and our trust in them. Every second of the outstretched years that await us, our comfort, our pain, and every breath that we take, can depend on them. How our doctors make us feel, doesn’t end at the hospital or surgery door, it doesn’t end until we do.

Today, you might want to see one about a cough that doesn’t go away, it’s a moment, a piece of paper with a scroll you can’t read. You might not see one again for years, with luck, or you might be back as that cough just won’t go away and you find yourself at the start of the trek called chronic illness. Do you like your doctor, do you trust them without the slightest doubt? Would you put your very life in their hands without a seconds thought? Would you really? If you’re not sure, them maybe, just maybe, you should think again about the doctor you see. Their surgery may be convenient, near your home or your work, but is that a good enough reason to be registered with them, did you really check the other ones out there, or was it just pot luck? We, the chronically ill, live with their hands and their work guiding us throughout every day, to us, our doctors are our life, as, without them, we wouldn’t be here. So ask yourself again, just these simple questions….. Do you trust your doctor? ………Totally?


Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 26/01/2014 – At last the proof

One of my many questions about my health has I believe been finally answered, how, well it was simple I just needed to use my eyes, something I seem to have forgotten to do. For months now there has been a possibility……