Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Doctor shopping

Choosing a doctor isn't like shopping for shoes on sale. Nor is it a case where you just have to accept who you are assigned. Its more like dating. Yes really. Its the chemistry that counts. See 'Speed Dating Doctors'. No lie!

When my husband was dealing with his malignant polyp last fall, we were driving to the hospital to meet the surgeon for the first time and we were talking about the meeting. I reminded him that he didn't have to go with this surgeon if he didn't like him. On the way home, he said he liked the guy, his personality, and his style. This was very important to him.

My doctors are important to me. I need to be able to communicate with them. My primary care, who I have been with for about ten years, has been very verbal in telling me how to communicate with doctors. She says things to me like 'don't tell me you have a pain, tell me the story of your pain - what you are doing when it hurts, what you ate, how bad it was'. Her advice has served me well with my other doctors. My computers are littered with little notes for doctor appointments. Sometimes I just start writing my notes and then see patterns I didn't see before.

I think we have progressed beyond the doctor is a god thinking. Think of a doctor as a professional who you hire their services. If you don't like them, find another. If you take your car to the garage and feel like they don't give you a straight answer and talk down to you, would you go back? No. Same with your doctor. Find a new one. What is the point of paying for medical services and not getting the care you are paying for?

This is not a science and there is a little room here. One of my surgeons came highly recommended and I thought he was a bit of a stuffed shirt but okay. I figured that I was having him for one operation, not seeing him monthly for the rest of my life so I could deal with the attitude issue. In the end, I decided he was actually a nice guy. So maybe he wouldn't have passed the speed dating test but it worked out in the end. Sort of like the guy you go out on one date because he had awesome concert tickets and decide there will never be another one but you still got to go to the concert.

In the meantime, two days until my next big needle in my back routine. Can't wait! NOT! Actually if it has the same level of success as the last one, it should make a big difference. I still haven't called my ankle surgeon but think I will as I am sick of dealing with my stupid ankle pain. Stupid is because I did it to myself in a nanosecond of idiocy where I tried to look over my shoulder while walking... Otherwise, I am doing okay but need to motivate to go to work soon.

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