Awhile back, I wished for more female friends in my life. My life was lacking in female companionship. Well, the Universe must have been listening because I now feel surrounded and supported by wonderful women in my life. It’s not even that I made any new friends, it’s that I have been lucky enough to reconnect with the wonderful women that were already in my life. Part of it was that I was being a lazy friend. You get what you give.
My Husband/My Medical Advocate
Not to go on and on about my heath and interactions with the medical community on this blog, but I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with doctors. I am in a doctor’s office more often than not lately. I am considered a “high risk” pregnancy, so I am at the perinatologist regularly and I see an eye doctor because of recurring eye issues.
Lately, I’ve been going to the eye doctor A LOT. I have iritis in my left eye. It has been going on for over a year. I’ve had it with my doctor! Her bedside manner is equivalent to being in a boxing ring with Mike Tyson and having your ear bit off. The treatment that she has me on is NOT working for me. She puts me on steroid drops to get rid of the iritis. The iritis goes away, but my eye pressure is dangerously elevated by the steroid drops and then I have to worry about glaucoma and optical nerve damage. We’ve done this type of treatment more times than I can count just to have the same results. The iritis always returns about one month after I go off the steroid drops.
Please know that I am not a wimp. I know how to speak up. I am not meek. I have voiced my concerns over and over only to be put on the same friggin’ treatment. Iritis is an autoimmune disease. I’ve asked if I need to have other tests taken to see if there is an underlying cause. She told me it was not necessary because treatment would remain the same regardless of the test results.
This morning I called and asked to be seen as soon as possible because I am in pain and can tell things in my left eye are about to get really bad. I also asked my husband to come with me. I requested that at some point during the visit he ask the doctor about sending me to a specialist (I’ve asked before, but she didn’t seem to think it was necessary).
We went to the visit, the doctor proceeded to prescribe the same treatment as usual. I reminded her that the result would be me having dangerously high eye pressure and that the iritis would just return in a matter of weeks. She bobbed her head up and down and said it was still the best course of action.
This is when my husband/medical advocate asked to see a specialist. Dude! You should have seen my doctor’s back stiffen. She looked at him, then looked at me and said, “You want to see a specialist?” In my head I was responding with, “NO, DUH!?”, but in reality I tilted my head toward my husband and he said, “Yes, we want her to see a specialist.”
After that, she sends in a request to have a specialist call me and she orders a whole bunch of blood tests for me. Blood tests she could have ordered for me a year ago! I will go see the specialist and I am done with this doctor. Done. She should not make it so hard for me to get what I want or need. It all strikes me as an ego thing.
Why am I telling you this? Because I know I am not the only person that has issues standing up to the medical professionals in her life. Quite frankly, most of my doctors (I have a few) are very receptive, listen to my concerns, and help guide me to the appropriate treatment. This last year what with the “high risk” pregnancy and iritis, I have had to go to new doctors whose bedside manner is lacking. They just can’t seem to read my reactions correctly or listen to what I’m saying and they too quickly dismiss my concerns or requests.
I’m tired and stressed. I don’t want to go to the doctor prepared for a fight. I am emotionally vulnerable when someone tells me that I may lose my child or my eyesight. So from now on if I feel the need, I am bringing someone along to be on my side, to be my advocate. I felt silly asking my husband to come help me, but it worked and it took so much pressure off of me. If my husband is not available I’m bringing a friend and arming them with my questions and requests. I don’t need to do this with all of my doctors, but it’s so nice to have back up when needed.
And now your Friday Fortune Cookie (don’t forget to add “in bed” at the end, if you are so inclined):