Changing doctors …
Have you been at this crossroads …
I’m considering changing doctors. I find the “considering” a little embarrassing. I know it shouldn’t be – people change doctors all the time – but it is for me, and I think I know why. I come from a family of Everything’s Fine! Couldn’t Be Better! I inherited that belief and would go around saying, “Everything’s fine!” and “Couldn’t be better!” even when things weren’t fine and in fact couldn’t be much worse.
I’ve been the same way when it has come to telling people about my doctors (“Oh, Doctor So ‘n’ so? He’s fantastic! Best doctor ever. I’m so lucky I found him.”) That’s what I’ve been saying about one of my neurology doctors, for weeks telling people he’s great while at the same time aware that my doubts were getting closer to the point of This Can’t Go On.
I won’t name names; the doctor with whom I’ve fallen out of love is a good man. And a good doctor. I’ve discovered something others of you have probably found as you “audition” doctors to help you with your PN: The best doctors can sometimes appear to lose interest in helping us when they concede our PN is incurable. I say “appear” to lose interest because, I believe, in many cases (as in the case of the doctor I’m considering leaving), the empty look in their eyes that we see and their apparent lack of enthusiasm we feel are only manifestations of the same deep frustration they feel when they can’t help us – the same deep frustration we feel when we’re unable to think of something we can do to help ourselves.
I began this by saying I’m “considering” making a change. I’ve made my decision: I am making that change. Will I have better luck with my next doctor? Who knows? At the moment, just having made my decision is empowering. That’s important, too. Maybe it’s the most important.