Friday, January 10, 2014

Doctor, impossible

Today, it finally happened: I FINALLY got to talk to my doctor! After over a month of getting the runaround and NOT getting any answers about a medical situation I am in, I finally, FINALLY had a sit-down with my doc to talk about the situation. To ask her all of my questions and express to her all of my concerns. I had some complications because of the last medical procedure I went through, and these complications lasted for over a month. In fact, I was finally pain-free on Christmas Day. (That was certainly a nice Christmas present!) But, you know, it scared me, and I was frustrated because I could NOT talk to my doctor over the phone about what was going on. That was just aggravating!

So I told her that today. I also told her that I was stressed out by this other procedure she wants me to have. I told her that I looked this thing up on Google and saw these pictures of what happens AFTER the procedure and those were NOT nice pictures. I told her when I saw those pictures, that “it freaked me out!” I even had a panic attack – and I don’t have those very often. Every time I called to speak to her about it, though, I was given a nurse to talk to instead. I talked to 3 nurses and they each told me “the doctor says you need to have this procedure” and nothing more. I got a second opinion; was told the same thing.

None of this seemed to concern my doctor, though. She just didn’t care about the anxiety or stress that threw me into. She only said that my “disability,” my deafness, makes it hard for her to communicate with me, and that in-person contact was better.

How hard is it to pick up the phone and answer a few questions????

Now, I did not blow up at her about the whole “I can’t talk to you over the phone because you are deaf” thing (I do use relay), but I have been stewing over it since. Everybody else at that place talked to me on the phone. Why couldn’t she?? I mean, she’s my DOCTOR! A doctor should be THERE when a patient really needs her! And she’s been my doctor over 5 years. It’s not like she doesn’t know me at all.

I am just glad I was able to express all of my concerns to her at my appointment today. I am also glad I FINALLY got answers to my questions. I am still a little angry that her avoidance of talking to me at all put me through all that stress, but I know I need to let that go. I’m going to let it go because I don’t want her to be my doctor anymore. I want a doctor I can actually COMMUNICATE with. We have relay to ensure a deaf person can talk with a hearing person over the phone. You know, it’s not all that hard. But she didn’t even TRY.

All the same, I decided to go through with the procedure. My doctor said, “You’re 39. You’re healthy. You don’t smoke. There’s no reason not to do this.”

If I don’t do this, it will lead to cancer. That’s a guarantee. So I have to go through with it. Just get it over with.

I was stressed about it because I’ve never been through it before, but the good news is that my ASL interpreter at the appointment has. She HAS been through this. I am sooooo grateful she was there and that she took the time to tell me what it’s like and talk to me about it. That helped me feel a lot better. She definitely talked all about it and told me what I can expect from it. She echoed my doctor’s sentiment that it was a small thing and not as big of a procedure as I made it out to be. I’ll be out of there in 45 minutes. She said, “You've had two kids. If you can get through giving birth to a baby, you can get through this. This is nothing.”

I joked that I guess after a woman has given birth to a baby, she can do anything. We had a good laugh over that. (She’s had four!)

Well, I feel much better now and I am grateful that all of that stress, anxiety, confusion and frustration have permanently been quashed. I know I have some changes to make soon. I just hope I can find another doctor that is a little more deaf-friendly.

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