Up to this point in my life I visited a doctor maybe once a year (for the annual gyno appointment) and that was about it. But this year I had to have some surgery and have been having a few other issues (I think perimenopausal in nature), but annoying and disruptive none the less. So, I’ve been tossed into the world of doctor appointments, diagnosis (or lack there of), insensitivity, condescension and mad, mad frustration.
I’ve never been one to jump on a symptom by calling my doctor, in fact, quite the opposite. So, when I reach out to my healthcare provider, it’s because I feel convinced something’s awry. I was surprised by several things. How long it takes to get an appointment with a doctor (especially a specialist), and how limited a time you have with your doctor when you finally get in to see him/her. Let’s just say the days of Dr. Welby are looong gone.
Once you do get in to see a doctor, you’re lucky to have a good 15 minutes of their time. Worse, once I discuss my symptoms and concerns, I’m met with a quizzical look (which I guess were attempts to convey empathy), that felt like I just shared I’m seeing pink elephants.
When you leave your doctor’s office and feel your questions weren’t really answered, you think…how did that happen? We’ve all heard about how the quality of good medical care is suffering, but unless you’re dealing with an illness, or symptoms of some sort and trying to find answers, it’s hard to appreciate how difficult and emotionally taxing it can be. Talk about having to take charge of your own health!
At least I can confirm there is an upcoming opportunity for women to get all their questions answered about Type 2 Diabetes and Prediabetes. LIVING WELL: A Women’s Program For Mastering Type 2 and Prediabetes Through Lifestyle Changeis a very special week designed by diabetes experts who are frustrated from the lack of time, personal attention and education provided patients after diagnosis. They understand the desire to learn what lifestyle changes really work and how to do it. How to do it? Whoa, what a concept!!
Here are some excellent suggestions for being a good case manager (scroll down) of your own health, provided by Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.
LIVING WELL is running February 12th – 18th. For more information you can call 1.800.448.8106.