Last week, as you know, I talked to Dr. Body (my family doctor) about my abusive past and some of my issues identifying pain. I felt much better after we talked and sent him an email thanking him and saying that he is the opposite of all my bad experiences.
This was his response:
You are more than welcome! It is disheartening to know that other physicians don't treat people with respect, but I try very hard. While we do have "problem" patients, you are certainly not one of them!
I'm glad that you feel comfortable, and while I might not always have an answer, I will at least listen and try.
Have a great evening!
And he does. I used to really like one of the earlier places I saw him because the walls weren't very sturdy and if a patient was hard of hearing I could hear at least part of what was going on. Because I've worked with the elderly for so long and know how confusing and demanding they can find some doctors I found his approach interesting, and well in tune with what can be complicated for an outsider: Appalachian culture. Because of poverty, tradition, etc. people here (especially those without much income) tend to eat what the land provides: they get fresh stuff only in the summer, but while it is fresh they eat a ton of it; they get the things they can or freeze the rest of the year, and meat is either what you raise and butcher or what you hunt. It's one of the things that makes me so grateful to have a decent income; I can buy fresh produce year round and we buy some portion of an organically free fed beef and share it every few years. I still wish I had a way to get fresh fish, but that's dreaming; fish here is usually frozen, shipped, and thawed then presented as "fresh". And they only get "fresh" 2-3 times per week. Anyway, I remember listening to him try to convince a diabetic patient to change his diet just a little "just have the slice of bread OR the potato, not both every day". much more practical since those of us of the Applachian culture can be resistent to change, especially change from someone who is not local at all. He told me another time that he had to learn that nearly everyone in this area would have elevated potassium in the summer because we eat tomatoes while the eating is good. As a kid tomatoes every meal when in season was the norm.
But he has also tried to understand what it means to be me and what the parts of my childhood he has been told about mean. Which takes more imagination as my childhood is so complex and the results are so mixed up in my illness that it is hard to sort that out.
My dentist. I went in because I broke a tooth. Ultimately it will need a crown but for now we're just going to let it do it's thing and break because apparently when a camper smacked me in the face years ago the dentist who repaired it just cosmetically repaired it rather than dealing with the extensive fracturing. Granted he probably assumed my father did it, but still.......This is not the first or 14th time that I have had a poor repair done on a tooth. Anyway, he fixed it (no charge! which seems to be one of the things he does for severe tooth grinders who break teeth; I've had lots of no charge evening things out). But he asked about my ankle and I told him it was anothe situation where I refused to listen to pain. He just rolled his eyes. Later, when I told Dr Mind about this Dr. Mind said "so he knows?" and I had to admit "he doesn't just know. He has declared me an unreliable source and has told me that from here on out HE determines what hurts in my mouth and what doesn't, after I let an infection get way out of hand, and after I demonstrated repeatedly that I a unable to isolate pain anyway. Dr. Mind has now declared that our goals may need to be getting me to react when things are not drastic. No kidding.
Dr. Mind. I talked to him a bit about my fears of him leaving, as he has said this is possible in 4 years after his son graduates. As proof that he's not going anywhere today he told me about being recruited somewhere else, then laughed and told me "actually you'd like that one; it's only 90 minutes from where you work and you'd just find a way to work that out." Which is true, I would. I have carefully considering the situation and I couldn't care less about being "over-dependent" on Dr. Brain/Dr. Mind or Dr. Body either. Or really Dr. Teeth for what that is worth.
Dr. Brain is trying to schedule the one weekend/month she sees pts. around when my insurance is going to lapse in November as I change jobs. Think about that. How many doctors?????