Today, I want to try and find a way to pull something positive out of my dealings with Doctors recently. It is quite a challenge, I think that the answer lies in first acknowledging exactly what the difficulties are.
It seems that the recurring issues I encounter, right across the classically trained western (NHS) medical spectrum, from Nurses to GPs to Consultants & Surgeons are often that they:
- Patronise me, assume I am ignorant of all medical terms or go the other way and speak in Latin
- Don’t listen to me or take my concerns seriously
- Make me feel like a time waster and try to rush me out the door
- Eye contact, reassurance and simple KINDNESS are nearly always absent.
- Close their minds to the suggestion that other methods, treatments, Doctors might work better than them. If you are brave enough to openly discuss one with a Doctor a likely response I have discovered is basically a threat ‘well…do so at your own risk…’etc
The fact that these are such simple things to rectify makes my heart ache! I do appreciate that being a Doctor must be a tough job and some, like my Neurologist and Paramedics I’ve encountered are real-life heroes, but the reality is that most are not. I can see that showing the same level of compassion to someone with a runny nose and a child with terminal cancer is a challenge. But as Doctors, I believe they should be trained to do this. It should be a priority. A Doctor’s first and foremost responsibility is to DO NO HARM. By doing these things, the Doctors are failing to meet their first aim. By doing these things to me they cause great harm and ultimately make recovery slower.
My thoughts on this have arisen from many encounters but most recently an incident with a GP I went to see today. I went, concerned about the side affects of long-term NSAIDs use, to ask for advice on how to slowly stop taking them and to ask if a GP might know of any local Homeopaths or perhaps any GPs also practicing Homeopathy. I left about 5 minutes after I entered the room, my questions went un-answered, my mention of a homeopath was met with a smirk and ‘everyone I know is very skeptical about the point of those type of things‘ and an even more toxic-looking prescription thrust into my hands, (unexplained and un asked for) accompanied by another sick-note signing me off for 3 more months without any explanation whatsoever….
I am a well educated, intelligent (if I do say so myself!!) young woman, who is immensely lucky to have a stable, close and loving family supporting her. However, I am ill, I need more help and information than they alone can provide. I feel desperately for those in similar situation to me but without family like mine. Where can I/others turn if not to their Doctors?
With that in mind, I suppose that yet again my experiences are showing me that, as ever, the silver lining, the positivity, the hope is to been seen in the way being in this situation, encountering these medical road-blocks is highlighting my blessings. One of which is that through their behaviour Doctors are forcing me to educate myself further, to open medical text books for myself, to take control of my own life and my own health. Today I discovered The British Homeopathic Association and saw that you can even get NHS referrals to them!
By far my greatest blessing, highlighted to me today though, is my family, my husband and my friends. They are omnipresent in all my challenges, I can feel them with me in the Doctors waiting rooms and in those stuffy offices. Even if they can’t physically always be with me, I know they are there. Whatever happens, knowing they are here is empowering and freeing. As long as we stand together and keep choosing love then I believe any obstacle is removable. One Love.