I have made several attempts to write a follow-up to my previous post about frustration at my doctor’s appointment (PFWP, Patient Frustration With Physicians). Three days later and I still am frustrated, but for different reasons. I am really quite mad at myself for not getting clarification before I left. I am still confused about what was discussed, especially about diagnosis. I am also disappointed with how the conversation spiraled out of control.
So here are my thoughts ….
Hubby and I both believe there was a turning point in the appointment. Individually, we both felt it changed at the point I said “patient involvement”. It happened at the beginning of the appointment. He was pulling up my chart on the computer and I asked if he knew what February 2 was. He didn’t.
I responded with Rheumatoid Awareness Day. He thought arthritis awareness was in May. I told him that was another foundation; Rheumatoid Awareness Day is sponsored by the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. He responded “patient foundation?”. I asked if he had heard of Kelly Young. After a pause he said RAWarrior? I told him a little about RPF and ‘patient involvement’ was the only phrase he repeated.
After those two words the tone of the appointment changed. It was not about the Foundation, but there was something about patient involvement. He reviewed information on the computer. Next was a quick assessment of my joints and then he returned to the computer. That’s when I asked the question and the out of control spiral began.
Since that appointment I have wondered if there was something I said that put it on the wrong path. Am I certain it was those two words – No. However, it was definitely a coincidence. It’s like driving into a storm, you think you’re doing OK, but as you continue you realize it is not as you expected.
I am very analytical and have reviewed the conversation over and over in my mind, along with recapping it in writing and discussing it with my hubby. The one point that continues to surface is it seemed he was intent NOT to give a clear, concise answer.
I really only had one question. However, the initial and subsequent responses were similar to going through a maze in the corn field at Halloween.
I have been directly involved with the healthcare and caregiving for my father, mother, cousin, best friend and husband, in addition to my own healthcare and also the veterinary care of our dogs. I am responsible. I can listen. I can read. I can learn. I can be involved, as every patient or caregiver should be.
I am a strong advocate for patient involvement and this experience strengthens that resolve even more!
Again – I will clarify that I do respect and depend on the medical community. This was one experience and it was a huge learning experience.