Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What kind of patient am I?

I often wonder what my doctors think of me. I have been told I am a good patient in that I take my medications as prescribed and do as I am requested but what do they really think?

Am I a hypochondriac in their eyes? I mean I am at the damn doctor's office too damn often if you ask me. I had one appt in January and 2 appts and a scan in February. March has 5 dr appointments already scheduled. I can't remember any more at this point. Does this make me a hypochondriac? Most of them are follow ups or routine visits. I have only been to see my doctor once at my request in the past few months. I try to ignore symptoms for a week or two. If I have pain or something it needs to last long enough for me to be able to document it and give my doctor an idea of when it happens. But every time I am at a doctor, they look at my records and make some remark about how often I am there and seeing another doctor.

But then there are hateful patients. I really hope I am not one of these. I just learned about them in an article - these are the ones for whom nothing is good enough. The doctor is incompetent, inconvenient, blah, blah, blah. I really hope I am not one of these but I am not so perfect that I can't say I have never exhibited any of these traits. I am sure that under stress we all can show some traits of these demanders, clingers, help-rejecters, and deniers.

The hateful patients were diagnosed first in the 1970s:

"Hateful patients" are not those with whom the physician has an occasional personality clash. As defined here they are those whom most Physicians dread. The insatiable dependency of "hateful patients" leads to behaviors that group them into four stereotypes: dependent clingers, entitled demanders, manipulative help-rejecters and self-destructive deniers. The physician's negative reactions constitute important clinical data that should facilitate better understanding and more appropriate psychological management for each. Clingers evoke aversion; their care requires limits on expectations for an intense doctor-patient relationship. Demanders evoke a wish to counterattack; such patients need to have their feelings of total entitlement rechanneled into a partnership that acknowledges their entitlement — not to unrealistic demands but to good medical care. Help-rejecters evoke depression; "sharing" their pessimism diminishes their notion that losing the symptom implies losing the doctor. Self-destructive deniers evoke feelings of malice; their management requires the physician to lower Faustian expectations of delivering perfect care."

If you every see me being a hateful patient, feel free to smack me inthe head and say 'wake up, be nice'.   That 's one diagnosis, I do not want.

1 comment:

Margaret Hamilton said...

Carolyn, Just read an abstract of recent research confirming the presence of long term cognitive effect from chemotherapy. Chemo Brain is real and long lasting.


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