In a world full of medical professionals, (MD's, PA's, NP's, FNP's, SW's), who look at their chronically ill patients as if they've blown a gasket or have something loose up there, I wanted to appreciate the professionals who actually listen to their patients and understand that those who have chronic illnesses tend to be more in tune with their body than most patients are.
This thought was prompted from my memory of a doctor who, rightfully, has retired now.
Doctor T, was my mother's primary care physician. And as her practicing medicine came to an end, Doctor T was completely honest with my mother one day and admitted that when she was listening to my mother explain her pain for the first time, she thought, "This woman is crazy." And at that point in their patient-physician relationship, my mother stated that she didn't blame her.
Years before this conversation, 2003, to be exact, we lost my great-grandmother to cancer, and the loss of her pushed my mother into the most life threatening flare of her life.
My mother went to Doctor T in unbearable pain, which, if you have chronic pain, you know when the pain is so bad you can't push through it anymore, yeah, that pain.
Then the battle commenced. Doctor T insisting that mother was crazy, and mother insisting that something was wrong.
With a sigh, Doctor T peered at my mother over her glasses with a look that we never thought we would see on her face. A look of belief.
So, Doctor T made calls to colleagues, one of which must have been incredibly difficult, because as she got off the phone with him, she slammed her fist on her desk, and raked her hands through her hair.
She said it so matter of factly. And we knew she meant it.
That doctor who challenged Doctor T, we'll never forget his face as he looked at my mother's gallbladder which looked to be in shreds nearly, after the surgery he fought against tooth and nail as unnecessary and impractical.
After recovery, Doctor T told my mother in a very chilling, very truthful manner, "I thought that was the last time I would ever see you."
To this day, I'll never forget her bravery. And to this day, I'll never forget my mother's resolve.
Ending message, if you're a healthcare worker, don't worry about the people who call you crazy, or get upset when you call them in the early morning hours for your patient. Your "annoying" or "ridiculous" call could very well be the only thing standing between your patients life and death.
And if you're a chronically ill patient, you are your body's best advocate, own it. There is one thing a textbook can't teach these doctors and that is what it's like living with chronic illness first hand. Know your body, and don't let anyone persuade you to think any differently.
Have any of you experienced something similar? Comment below!
#Fibromyalgia #Lupus #ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #SystemicLupusErythematosus #arthiritis #RheumatoidArthritis