The Doctor

I went to the doctor today. It shouldn’t be such a huge announcement except I have such an elongated history with both doctors and the medical system in general.

I had the most amazing doctor in the universe for 20 years when I lived in Winnipeg. She practiced in a Women’s Health Clinic. Over the time I was her patient? She helped me come out of the closet, talked to me about safe sex and answered the questions I could never begin to ask a parent or pastor.

Together we tried ever drug under the moon to deal with my mental health. I have side effect issues with all drugs. When drugs were not an option she made sure I had free counseling and every other support necessary.

She was my referral for my surgeries and stood by me through complications. She was my doctor through becoming disabled. She was my health hero!

When I left Winnipeg and her care? I was lost.

I tried to get medical care but in Alberta they were so mean. I was trying to get my ID in order so I could get medical coverage. But at every turn I was turned away. Ironically? The surgeon I was referred to from Winnipeg for my previous surgeries? He’s in Alberta.

I was trapped in Alberta because of legal issues. They were more important than doctor care.  So I stayed and dealt with them without medical care.

It was so much easier to get coverage where I live now. The biggest challenge here is finding someone who is taking patients that isn’t over an hour drive each way. But I found one and today I went to a doctor. After nearly three years of being disabled and without treatment.

His medical practitioner spent over an hour starting my medical profile before he came in.

He told me he was concerned about the drinking. Yes. I am honest with doctors. If they try to prescribe me something that ‘if taken with alcohol’ will kill me, I should know that! He commended my honesty. He offered support systems that aren’t AA (AA will not happen for me). And he gave me my anxiety prescription. Exactly as I asked for it. I was surprised because most doctors don’t like to prescribe it.

But I was told, in addition to helping my anxiety,  it is a medication prescribed to people coming off alcohol to help detox.

Who knew? Maybe it’s why I drank less when medicated.

I am heading back in to so many tests. No one has been able to figure out my issues, only how to treat the symptoms. This doctor and his personal assistant took over an hour today (between them) to learn my issues.  So much family history. So much surgical history.

Together we made an action plan for my health. It includes a physical, tests and meeting with the mental health nurse so she can help direct me. I told them I have a hard time getting to appointments because I don’t drive and the bus only runs once a week. They offered two sources of free rides to clinics for appointments.

He asked me what benefits he would have by requesting a previous medical file. Would it include things I haven’t disclosed? I told him I have disclosed everything but my past file was two files thick with surgical and mental health history. Psychiatric  profiles from three psychiatrists. His eyes lit up, he smiled big and told his assistant to make sure to request it.

His reaction, along with the amount of time taken to take my profile information, tell me he is committed to understanding patient history. That is so important to me in a doctor.

He seemed to genuinely care about my whole health. So many doctors breeze through so quickly and you don’t get a chance to get out all the details before they are trying to shove a prescription at you.He listened so patiently and asked further probing questions instead of trying to move on quickly. He reminded me of my doctor in Winnipeg.

His medical practitioner told me she was proud of me for coming in to a doctor and trying to move forward after three years without medical treatment. I felt good about ME!

In the end? He gave me a B12 shot. So I have a lot of energy today! I have two more scheduled appointments. One is for the regular girly health check with their girly nurse practitioner. The other is with the mental health nurse to find out what resources and supports are available in my area. I have lab work to get done before the next time I go in.  Overall a very productive appointment!

I am so happy to finally have a new doctor.

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