My Doctor Report

August 18th, 2010 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

I feel a need to share portions of my doctor visit yesterday with you.  It’s a little bit bragging on my part because I felt like I handled the situation better than most of my visits.  If you read something you might be able to put to use in your life, please take it and try it out.  If not, it’s only 863 words.

So I have this new doctor.  I changed doctors this year because of some changes in my insurance plan and because I felt I needed a doctor who could be more aggressive with my management of my disease.

I kind of got what I asked for. 

This, of course, stressed me out.  (Hey, it’s how I roll.)  The first visit I felt like I was arguing with her and I felt like she was judging me and telling me that I was doing a bad job managing my diabetes

Not good.

I brought my husband to the second visit to hopefully defray some of the negative vibes I had at the first visit. 

It worked somewhat, but I was still uncomfortable having a doctor that I didn’t want to see alone.

I considered changing doctors again.

Yet they called to confirm my appointment and I confirmed.  So 9:30am yesterday I approached the desk with a new plan.

I was my typical nervous and chatty self, trying to make friends with the office staff.  I chatted with the guy who took my weight and blood pressure, even asking him how long it took him to commute to the office.  And I was in the clinic room posting on Facebook.  Maybe you saw me? 

Like I said, I was nervous.

So my doctor came in and asked me how I was.  Test time.  I tried a new strategy.  I told her how I was.  I told her that I felt like I should have a lower A1c and was somehow not doing something right because I’m always 7.1-7.4.  I asked for her help.

My new approach was rewarded almost immediately by her response: she looked at my printouts and said, almost meekly, “it looks like you’re doing really a pretty good job.”

We talked through a couple issues, and when she asked me if I had done midday basal testing I tried my other new strategy: I told her the truth bolstered only by a truthful reason, not an excuse.  I told her I haven’t been able to figure out how to fit in a midday basal test: I would do it on a weekend day, but I run 15+ miles on Saturday morning and that kind of negates any basal test results over the next two days. 

She took it in stride.

I felt like it was a good visit.  I was feeling so good I decided to ask her for what I initially sought her out to provide. 

I thought about how I would feel if a doctor came into my law office and told me that she had been dealing with a legal issue for 22.5 years and was only seeing me so that I would sign a form as her attorney.  I thought how that would feel if I had been practicing law for 25 years. 

I thought about how dumb that doctor would sound to me.  I’m trained as a lawyer to know the law and although I don’t share all of my knowledge with each of my clients, they come to me so that they have help with their legal problems and expect me to apply my knowledge to their situation. 

Why should I be any different in my doctor’s office?  She sees patients every day and knows so much more about type one diabetes than I do simply because she sees so many people, while I only truly know portions of my own disease. 

So I asked her for her gut response when she saw my printouts

And she gave it to me. 

And I asked her about portions of what she had said, and we changed my pump settings.  I asked her where she thought I should tweak if the first round of changes didn’t work out very well.  I asked her a number of questions assuming that she trusted me and my knowledge like I trust hers.

See, what I have known for months is that my issues with my doctor were coming from ME and not at all from HER.  She has no skin in this game; I’m the one to lose out if I don’t trust my doctor and benefit from her expertise.    

Yesterday when I tried out this theory, it felt like a successful visit.  I tried to be as honest with her as I could be, and I tried to really use her and her experience.  I tried to trust that she was bringing her experience and her training and knowledge to the visit and that she wasn’t telling me that I wasn’t doing something right or wrong or bad or good.  I tried to share my emotions and worries with her in a more analytical way so that we could get to a better place.

And I think it worked.

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1 comment

  1. KG says:

    this is really a great post– will benefit a LOT of people if they take it to heart!

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