“I am a migraine, that occasionally gets to be a human-being.” 😦
In preparation to meet with my new neurologist next month, I forwarded a copy of my current migraine report to myself so I can print it and bring it with me. In one month, which was recent, I counted thirty migraine days. That’s not just “chronic”; that’s unfair. No one should have to live like that.
When people see me pushing through my migraines by continuing to write, by going places (which isn’t often), by running errands, etc., they assume I’m okay. I’m NOT okay, but I have learned, in the nearly twenty years I’ve suffered from migraines, when I can push myself and when I cannot. I pay dearly for it, but I also think sometimes it’s unhealthy to be in your room 24/7, never leaving the house, never breathing fresh air, because while you’re suffering, life is also passing you by. I’ve lost an enormous chunk of my life being sick, and not just with migraines. It’s hard not to feel robbed at times.
At a doctor’s appointment at the end of last month, I stupidly felt incredibly trusting of the new physician, and in the last six or seven minutes, he revealed he’d be leaving in six weeks. :0 I’ve never seen a doctor wince when he looked at me, but whatever my eyes or face did in that moment, and I’m not sure what either of them did because I tried to play it off with humor, he knew he was in deep trouble. I’ve had cheating boyfriends not look at me with that kind of pain on their face, so I automatically knew this was a good guy. Of course, I knew that the second our eyes met when I was being handed paperwork.
When I left his office that day, I sat outside for over forty-five minutes, contemplating the effort it took for me to get there in the first place. Physically, mentally, and emotionally; it was a LOT. The strength it took to open up and be comfortable with someone new was monumental. If I didn’t truly need to be there, I wouldn’t be. As I sat outside, I went through every emotional range you could think of. I nearly went back upstairs and told him off, except I actually like him, which is SO rare, I’d follow him to China. I understand that a lot of doctors have contracts and can’t take patients with them, but I have no intention of staying with this practice if I’m not going to be understood by the person who replaces him. If I’m not going to be treated with the same courtesy and respect, I’m out. I’ve dealt with this enough times to know that I don’t have to stick around if I’m not getting what I need out of the situation.
I can wait to see what he does, Google the new location and see if he accepts my insurance and make the switch if he does, but ultimately, I am going into my next appointment pretty fucking angry with him. It’s SO unprofessional to be seeing new patients 6-8 weeks before you leave. I know that wasn’t his call, but I still have the right to deem it unprofessional and to be pissed.
When I spoke with him on Monday to let him know that the medication he’d prescribed had affected me pretty badly, it just plain made me sad because we have this great rapport. I’ve searched FOREVER for a doctor that “gets it” and ultimately, gets me. I nearly cried when he said he was leaving, but I was wearing expensive mascara, so I forced myself to stop. I haven’t felt right since that day. Not mentally, not emotionally, and physically I’ve felt weakened and messy in the sense that I am slowed down from a physical perspective. 😦 It was like taking an emotionally draining beating, except the only physical interaction was a handshake. When was the last time a doctor met me and said it was a pleasure meeting me? A long time.
I’m both too young, and too old, not to mention far too smart, to place faith in people and be left hanging again and again. It was like being on an amazing date, but immediately learning something wasn’t right; you click, but you’re both going in opposite directions. That’s the best analogy I’ve got right now.
The relationship between doctor and patient is based on trust. If you cannot trust someone, then they cannot be your doctor. There are certain types of medicine where this is even more crucial because you have to communicate with your doctor. Consistency with the person you’re seeing is important, at least it is for me. I don’t want to build trust with someone and have to start over again. I’ve done it so many times already and I don’t want to do it again. This, in my mind, was the last time I planned on making an effort. I went into this new situation kicking and screaming. I tried talking myself out of the appointment the morning of, so clearly, I already sensed all was not right in Whoville. I don’t know if there’s still pieces of me left at ground zero, but I DO know I walked away a different person.
When he asked me to describe myself, I noticed that he disagreed with my assessment. He doesn’t think I’m a broken mess. He actually said “I can’t put you in a box because you don’t fit in any of the tiny boxes. I could, but it would be wrong, and that’s not fair to you.” I can’t tell you how long I’ve waited to hear a doctor say that to me, but it’s been the majority of my life. Someone more jaded would just check off the little boxes and send me on my way; passing me off to someone else to get me out of their office, instead of taking the time to truly help me. He not only wants to help me, he’s making an effort. But in doing so, he’s upsetting me because he won’t be there much longer, and ultimately, where the hell does that leave me?
Square one is not a fun place to be. I was back at square one when I showed up in his office. I kept my appointment, I filled out the insane paperwork, I sat with him for nearly an hour, and I haven’t been okay since.
When I see him next week, he’s going to get an earful. I’m putting it all down on paper so that I get it out of my system before he even says a word. It needs to be said, and I need the catharsis. He needs to know that by seeing me late in the game, it was a gross error in judgment. If I needed someone to care about me temporarily…well, I’ve got family for that. Quite frankly, I’m at the point where I prefer for my insurance to pay for people to care about me, as opposed to dealing with people who should care simply because it’s what you do.
The one diagnosis I did come away with was shocking. I knew I was experiencing PTSD, but C-PTSD, or Complex PTSD, is more common in military personnel returning from active combat. It is also prevalent in veterans. The discussion we had about trauma brought up a lot of things I thought I’d moved past. It also brought up a lot of things I thought I’d dealt with. This is precisely why I’ve felt worse since meeting with him. He picked at all of my old scars and opened them up. I’m slowly bleeding to death and it’s messing with my ability to function.
Reading, writing, watching TV, hell, watching sports; I’ve been unable to do a whole lot since that day. There have been days where I’ve barely been able to articulate how upset I am, except I’m incredibly contained most of the time because I’m very in my own head, so if you get me talking, I don’t always stop. On the plus side, no one disagrees with my thought process in terms of how I feel on this subject. I actually said that I’d be about 75% less forthcoming with a new doctor because I already feel like my trust is shattered. It’s an awful feeling. And yes, I pretty much have it in my mind that once he leaves, I will, too. I don’t foresee myself committing to someone new, not unless they make a damned good case in twenty minutes or less.
Ultimately, there aren’t a lot of medication options left for me, and unless you’re on medication, I don’t feel you actively need to be seeing specific types of doctors. I wouldn’t go to see a surgeon unless another doctor believed I might need to have surgery, was planning to have surgery, or was recovering from surgery. It’s all very common-sense based in my eyes. Either you need to be seeing someone, or you don’t. I certainly don’t want to waste my time if a doctor isn’t there for me. That’s not how the relationship works.
I keep saying “I don’t have time for this.”, because I don’t. Life is so fucking short. Your support systems, from personal to professional to medical, all need to be in sync with who you are as a person and what you need. If they’re not, you have to be honest with them. If you still don’t get what you need through that honesty, then yes, you must walk away. And sadly, you have to be okay in doing so. No matter how painful it is.
He may not agree with me, but I know what a broken mess looks and feels like. I may have walked into his office like I was going out on a date (That wasn’t my intent.), but that’s usually how I go to doctor’s appointments; slightly dressed up with makeup on. Someone told me last night that my face masks the pain I am in. I asked if that made me fake, and they said no, it’s just a point of pride for me. I feel like crap, but I don’t have to look like crap, too. So yes, I put forth effort into looking like a human-being, but by no means is it a “mask”. It’s not false.
A good doctor usually talks to me like a peer or colleague almost immediately, which he did. Technically, he and I ARE peers. I enjoy people who treat me like a person, with no judgment. They’re rare, but they exist.
A huge part of me doesn’t want to go back, but I said I would. He said he’d “do his homework” when we talked because he “really wants to help me”. He even said “Hey, read this book. You write, so I know you read.”, and thus far the book is fabulous. When was the last time I took a book recommendation from a guy? Roughly fifteen years ago. I did actually take a recommendation from someone else last year, but I will have to get the name of the book from him again because I didn’t get around to reading it after it sat for nearly two months. It was the subject matter though, not the guy. I adore him, but there is a time for specific subject matter and when you’re in the middle of writing something positive and happy, that’s probably NOT a good time to read something sad. The book was about the Holocaust, but I still can’t remember the name of it.
So, if I’m dark and crazy this month, you all know why now. Hell hath no fury like me pissed off at a doctor when I didn’t need to be. I actually think he’s a little afraid of me, so I hope he takes my outburst well because I don’t think I’ll be able to contain myself twice.
Wish me luck!
Have a great weekend, everyone! I’ll be back soon.
copyright 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.