The Mighty Logo

To the New Doctor at My Practice, From an Undiagnosed Patient

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

I know you’re still getting to know patients. I totally get it — you would like a little more time with each. Like you, I find it frustrating appointment slots are 15 minutes. Yes, I know you’ve seen several patients already today, and then I walk in.

I am that patient doctors may dread, but it is not my fault that so far, there is no diagnosis.

I want you to commit to working with me.

I want you to advocate for me.

I need you to be the doctor who finally sends a referral.

I need you to not be like other doctors, and say I need to see a specialist, and then do nothing about it.

Even though there may not be much you can do for me, I need your care, I need your compassion, I need to not see your frustration, because I am sitting here, and you can’t do much for me.

If it turns out I can describe what I experience in medical terms, don’t put me down, don’t think of me as drug-seeking, don’t shut off because I am trying my best to communicate in a way you can understand.

Don’t turn your head away from me.

If I remind you about that prescription, don’t get angry at me. 

To you, it’s just a piece of paper.

To me, it’s something that may help me cope… tomorrow…next week…next month…

Until an answer is finally found.

The Mighty is asking its readers the following: If you could write a letter to the disability or disease you (or a loved one) face, what would you say to it? Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Originally published: June 12, 2016
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home