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When I Worried About My New Doctor Being Patient With Me

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When walking into a doctor’s office for the first time, or in fact long before the scheduled appointment day, I worry. Will this doctor have what it takes to be able to help me? The patience? Willingness to learn? And I worry about so much more.

Well, this day was not any different. We’d already been to multiple doctors and had many tests done once I started saying something hurt back in August. Mom and I go to this appointment, hopeful that this doctor will have some answers. They call my name, and Mom and I walk back with the nurse. Then we see the doctor, Dr. Ann. She greets us warmly and explains that she is the mom of an adult son with autism. I breathe.

I’ve seen Dr. Ann three times since that first meeting, and each time I see her, she is patient. She listens as I used my iPad to help explain the problem. I am verbal, but sometimes I use my iPad to help me communicate and get my thoughts out. Pain and hurt is hard for me to communicate. Things just hurt, I want it fixed and usually in-depth, abstract questions related to the hurt are hard for me to answer. Although, I’ve gotten better in this area, and my parents have become pretty good interpreters.

I used my iPad to answer Dr. Ann’s questions, including, “How does it hurt?” Mom and I left that appointment feeling blessed, because we think we may have found the person who may be able to help us solve this mystery. Dr. Ann goes above and beyond to make sure my needs are being met.

Today she made time in her busy schedule to stop in and see me and talk to my mom and I while I was in the office for an appointment with a nurse. She didn’t have to do this, but she did, because she gets it, she understands. Dr. Ann is my hero, a true blessing. Like I told Mom today, I really like Dr. Ann. I wish there were more doctors like her.

Remember, sometimes the journey can be long and bumpy. The road to answers may have many pitstops and detours on the way to the finish line. But don’t give up. Don’t let this stop you from advocating. Trust your gut instincts. Find a doctor you trust and feel comfortable with. Remember, sometimes this may take time. I wish it was easier to find doctors like Dr. Ann. Hopefully it will be in the future.

Thank you Dr. Ann, and to all the doctors who go out of their way and above and beyond for their patients. It really makes a difference.

Woman on a hospital bed

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Originally published: February 16, 2016
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