Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Signs you have an awesome doctor

When I first started seeing Dr. Body there were 2 things that made strong impressions on me.  One, he wore a cross ring that made it pretty clear he was a Christian.  Second, he accepted at face value my statements that I had not been and would not be sexually active until some later point based on religious values.  He even showed respect for that, where most doctors and therapists I'd seen to that point (not all, but most) had more shown disbelief, considered this another symptom of PTSD, or even a lie about the nefarious activities of a bipolar pt. who was not controlled on meds.  Instead of insisting on treating me as if I were sexually active because it can be a problem area for people with bipolar despite my stating I was not, he respected my decisions.  After a few visits he would get to that part of the exam sheet and just say "not sexually active, right?" and move on.  The only time he faltered he had to, but it was inexperience and how this made him handle it that made me laugh at him extensively (he was a brand new doctor when I knew him first). It was when I had lithium toxicity and was vomiting constantly and barely able to tolerate any foods (and before we knew that loss of appetite means I'm depressed or very manic or both) and we had no idea why.  Several tests had come back without answers and I'd been quite sick for several weeks.  He finally came in, sat down, blushed and told me "I have to ask this and I know the choices you've made, but are you positive you can't be pregnant?"  I told him no way. This is where he made his  funny mistake.......he followed up with a little education "because it only takes once you know".  I'm fairly sure I laughed immediately and he just turned more red as it hit him (I think) that he knew I had a degree in biology along with medical training and probably was aware of the way babies are made.  It was hysterical, even as horribly sick as I was, mostly because he was so very embarrassed.

But anyway, in the last year we've had numerous occasions to talk and shared faith has come up a bit more often.  I operate in a world where medical faith is a big deal to me and yet often is kept very separate (there's my master's thesis and sole journal publication), and in many ways I think that is right.  I only talk about faith with pt's if they bring it up, and even then have found some lecturing me on why I don't go to church, etc.  But I also go to a counseling agency that proudly proclaims that it is Christian, see a psychologist who is also an ordained pastor (a fact known to Dr. Body before he knew that Dr.  Mind is my psychologist), and have spoken of faith, prayers, etc. before.  We've casually discussed such things, but today I got home to a response to an email he sent in response to my telling him last week that essentially I'm finally aware that until my gynecological issues are resolved I'm probably not going to feel very good and am going to stop expecting my asthma to really improve until that's over and it's finally one battle at a time. I also told him how much I appreciated some feedback he'd given that helped me see why I wasn't communicating very well with my pulmonologist, particularly that I need to talk in terms of numbers and facts and not just feelings (because I lie about that) and I'm used to my doctors adapting to my communication skills because they are used to them.  I tend to be very concrete about health issues because they are hard for me to talk about.  And thus I left Dr. Lungs feeling that he hadn't listened when in reality I hadn't represented myself very well.  So I have a new plan for how to communicate with him, although I tried to bribe Dr. Body into coming with me.  But the thing that I finally realized was that the communication issue WAS me, as we did fine the first time.  Which is when Dr. Body had given them my history and issues in explicit detail and so a lot of what I was doing was answering factual questions.

His response was as supportive as ever, which I needed because being brave about this is not the easiest thing I've ever done.

But the ending was was I needed.....a human connection to one of these many people treating me now after so many years of allowing only Dr. Brain and Dr. Body into the roles of people I trust with my health.  Ready?
You're right, you I can't always be there, I'll try, but you are very intelligent and self-aware, and in these moments, when not overwhelmed, you communicate well. Just keep focusing on the attitude and perspective of above! :-)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, AWESOME!! I'm so proud of you and so happy that you have your excellent medical team. What a breakthrough about Dr. Lungs, too.

Better days are ahead..I just know it! Here are some words about "the path."

Ephesians 2:10
Amplified Bible

For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].

Proverbs 3:5-6
Amplified Bible

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.

In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.

Love, Michal