To set the scene – I come from a family of doctors, and have seen their brilliance, care, sacrifices and ongoing commitment to keeping their skills & knowledge up-to-date. I think we are hugely fortunate (in a lot of countries) to have access to emergency care and life-saving treatments and medications. This story doesn’t negate this.
You have booked an appointment with a highly-sought after medical expert. Top-end fees, which I was happy to pay (and luckily could afford).
You’re excited to have found the said expert.
You’re confident you’re in safe hands.
You’re very hopeful that you’ll finally get answers to your persisting issues.
You know the expert has loads of experience with women just like you.
You’re so ready to feel well and do whatever it takes to get there.
The appointment is cut short as you’re the last patient for the day, and the doctor is running late.
The doctor is clearly rushing and tells you about arrangements to meet their spouse in 20 mins and that they mustn’t be late. They ask a few short questions, examine you very briefly, badmouth their colleagues you’ve seen previously and tell you that you need to be very careful whom you trust (fear-inducing). You don’t really get much feedback either way. It’s definitely not a conversation.
The doctor has a reputation for being intimidating, the assistant tells you afterwards, so this appointment is normal. A top expert, after all.
Nothing happens for a few weeks until you receive a copy of a letter addressed to your GP. The doctor tells the GP your blood test looks Ok (whatever that means), and since you were not in a chirpy mood during the appointment, you must be depressed.
Until then, I used to think that ‘the experts’ knew everything, and I knew almost nothing. I didn’t have a medical degree, after all. I also grew up thinking doctors (and everyone trained) were almost with a God-like status.
Yet I knew what was going on with me at that point (for the most part); I just needed someone to confirm it and guide me in the right direction to feel better.
I could have brushed the whole experience under the carpet, had it not been for the ridiculous conclusion that I had depression, which could not have been further from the truth. And it was a plain dangerous diagnosis amongst other things – you can guess what the GP would have suggested had I not done anything.
The ‘after’ After
So what did I do? I wrote a succinct, yet detailed enough letter pointing out why I completely disagree with everything in the doctor’s letter. I sent the letter to both the doctor and the GP. I also mentioned that throwing quick diagnosis in the interest of time, as opposed to looking into things further if they don’t make much sense at first glance, was a dangerous thing to do. And quite irresponsible, but I didn’t mention that last bit.
A week later, I got an urgent call from the said doctor. The doctor was very willing to spend as much time as needed to talk to me, listen to what I wanted to do and give me whatever referral I thought I needed. He admitted he was puzzled with my case – totally fine and not the first time I had heard this. All of a sudden, I was the expert and was treated with total respect.
The point of sharing all this?
Trust you CAN and you WILL get help, and you will feel better, no matter where you’re at right now
Listen to your intuition – yes, we all have it – – deep down, you know what is right for you
You’re wise, powerful and you know your body better than anyone else. No one else lives there with you! You may need some help & guidance (we all do), but your wisdom is with you every step of the way
Do not take anyone’s opinion as the (only) truth if said opinion doesn’t resonate with you
Standing up for what is true for you, regardless of who you’re dealing with and how much you may upset them, is always worth it