Elizabeth Rajchart

@elizabeth-rajchart | contributor
Elizabeth Rajchart has been advocating for patients for more than 15 years. She loves photography, cooking, and spending time with her partner, Dustin, and two cats, Rocky and Watson.  

Poem for My New Doctor, From an 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 Children Career 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 Dancing Singing Laughing 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.