A Poem for My New Doctor, From Your Undiagnosed Patient
You’ve seen in my chart I’ve been looking for help for a while
For two and a half years
But while my chart has lots of numbers and notes
It doesn’t paint a picture of who I really am
Or what my experience has been
You can see the list of doctors I’ve seen before you
But you can’t see the things they’ve said to me
Or the way they’ve treated me
You can’t hear them ask me “But why do you want to be sick so badly?”
Or brush me off and inform me that I’m going to the bottom of the list
Because there’s nothing really wrong
It’s just all in my head.
You can see my age
But you can’t see what being so sick does to someone at this age
You can’t see the marriage
Life I’ve had to postpone.
You can see the images of my lungs
But you can’t see that my lungs have stopped me from doing my favorite things
You can read about my pain
But you can’t hear my cries at night as I try to fall asleep
Or feel the frustration and weariness as it follows me throughout the day
Or understand what it’s like to be a captive of the couch
When all you want to do is go outside
You can see the name of my emergency contact
But you can’t see what years of this has done to him
He’s tired too
He’s worried too
He wants answers as desperately as I do.
And you can’t hear us encourage each other
As we walk the hall to your office
“This one might figure it out. This one might have the answers.
This one might listen to us.”
And I know you do this every day
But please try to see past the lists and numbers
And understand the trust we’re putting in you
Please, try for one second to not see a chart
And just see me.
Image via Thinkstock.