I know my body. I know my capabilities. I have googled every symptom and read every test result to the point I could probably do your job with my eyes closed. I know there is something wrong. Please don't blow me off. If I say there is something wrong, there is something wrong. I don't want meds. I actually avoid them at all costs. So don't assume I am coming into your office after already seeing 4 other doctors because I want you to give me drugs or I just want to miss work.
I worked 13 hours yesterday to make up the time I was going to miss by going to this appointment. My kids had cereal for dinner. I didn't even have time to eat. What time did you get home from the office?
2) Do not waste my time with extra appointments and more tests. I paid a $50 copay for 5 minutes with a cardiologist today. And I'm sure you will bill me extra for the EKG you ran even though I had one done 2 weeks ago with the same results. Instead of doing the recommended ECG test while I was already in your office and took time out of work, you are making me come back in a week to pay another $50 copay and lose more time at work that I will have to make up.
$100 might not seem like so much to you. But do you know what I can do with $100?
- Buy groceries for a week for my family of 4
- Buy school supplies for my kids
- Buy all 3 of my kids very needed tennis shoes for school
- Get new brake pads on my truck since that I've needed for over a month
What will you do with that $100? Take a few colleagues out for dinner? I'm a single mom. I don't have that luxury. I don't mind paying my part between insurance and copays for necessary tests, but you guys are just shooting in the dark and scheduling appointment after appointment just so you can charge that insurance a little more money to pay off that beemer in the parking lot.
3) Don't assume. I walk into your office and you see a middle-aged women that is overweight. You naturally expect that whatever my symptoms are have been caused by the extra pounds I carry like a scarlet letter stitched upon my clothing. You only give my records a cursory glance and barely listen to my responses.
Yes, I am obese by your standards.
Yes, I know this is not the healthiest I can be.
Yes, I also know that this is the healthiest and fittest I've been my entire life; extra weight and all. I eat 80% clean. How many of your patients can say that? I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I run. I did a half marathon 3 months ago. And I can't walk up a flight of stairs now.
Guess what, Doc? I was just as heavy 3 months ago. Nothing has changed except now I am sick so it must be the weight.
Do NOT assume that a person is unhealthy because they are fat.
Do NOT assume a person is healthy because they are skinny.
You have to look at the whole picture. And a 5 minute consultation is not going to give you that. I spent $50. The least you can do is spend 15 minutes with me to find out a little bit more about me before you make a diagnosis.
4) Heal me. Don't pacify me. Heal my body and help find the root cause. Teach me from your vast knowledge what I can do to heal myself. Don't fill my body with poisons that will just give me more symptoms.
5) I am not just a medical record.
Please - see me as a person.
I am an Engineer.
I am a single mom with 3 beautiful children that depend on her.
I am a runner.
I am a mixed martial artist.
I am a human being.
And I need to know what is wrong with me so I can get back to doing all of the above instead of sleeping most of the night on the couch because I am so exhausted from whatever this is.
Please help me be human again.