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A Poem for My New Doctor, From Your Undiagnosed Patient

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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

Boxing lessons




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.

Originally published: August 17, 2016
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