Sometimes doctors say some weird shit to their patients. I think they do it because they want you to be realistic and to consider the worst case scenario, but it is also probably because they want to cover their asses in case the worst thing that could happen DOES happen to you. But I really feel that the doctors that give you a sense of hope are really the ones you want to stick by. They’re the ones that I will trust to help me and that I will feel loyal to. It’s kinda like starting a relationship with someone – do we “mesh” well? Are we on the same page? Do we speak the same language?
I remember going to see a doctor about my blood work and complaining that I wasn’t feeling so good. Because I was on an immunosuppressant, my immune system was really compromised. The doctor said to me that I should stay home and not leave the house, because I might catch something from someone and I could DIE! I am not joking! How crazy is that? What a way to make someone feel totally paranoid! And totally isolated from the world when already I was feeling like I was already “abnormal” for having Crohn’s!
Another doctor told me that I would be in pain for the rest of my life and that I would just have to deal with it because there was nothing else that could be done. Gee, thanks… that was incredibly helpful! NOT!
I also had a surgeon who, after clearing an abscess for me and cutting out a chunk of flesh the size of a 50 cent piece near my anus, told me that the wound would never heal and close up, and that I would just have to deal with it. Oh and yeah, he also very cockily said he’d be seeing me in 6 months time to repeat the procedure because that’s the nature of my condition. Well, I told him to fuck off…but not really in those words. My actual response to him was “I’m going to heal, the wound will clear up and I will not be having surgery in 6 months time. And if I need surgery again, I will definitely not be coming to you!”. And I stormed out of his office. It was awesome. One of those moments where I actually told him off in person, rather than come up with my retaliation AFTER the consultation (in my head). And by the way, he was TOTALLY wrong because it did heal and close up (thanks to the beautiful Dr. Marilyn Golden, who I will tell you more about in a later post) AND I didn’t need surgery again for another 3 years. In your face, dickhead!
So it’s important to know that sometimes, you will meet doctors that just say horrible shit to you. But if you don’t like it, don’t take it! If you start to hate them for what they’re saying to you or making you feel, then that’s a good sign to move on! And I’m not talking about not liking what they say about your condition (remember, I lived in DENIAL land for ages, so I didn’t like lots of things my doctors told me about me being sick!), I’m talking about the WAY they say it to you. There’s a reason why the saying “if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all” came about… it’s totally from doctors who say horrible things to you that make you feel like you can’t help yourself.
And if a doctor says something to you and it doesn’t feel right, but you can’t say anything to their face about it, that’s cool. But at least go and seek another opinion. Finding the right doctor for you is about finding that person who you feel cares about you and gives you hope that you can get and feel better. I mean, if I am already in the doctor’s office, then clearly something is wrong with me… you don’t have to make me feel worse! You can say harsh realities gently, and you can also give hope that you will get better or feel better. Seriously, a bedside manner goes a LONG long way! It’s not that the doctor is incompetent or doesn’t know what they are talking about, it’s just that you don’t feel as comfortable with them. Are you really going to stick around with the doctor who is basically saying “sucked in, you’re sick for life so deal with it”? I certainly don’t want to. But you will know who is right for you. You can vibe off people straight away, and if something doesn’t feel right, then go get help elsewhere. Don’t feel stuck with one doctor just because they’re the first one to deliver the diagnosis to you. I’ve moved around a lot with doctors, even gone back to some, and now, I have an awesome medical team who I know can support me when things start to go wrong.
And with some positive words comes a positive mindset. And when you feel positive and you feel hope that things will get better, you WILL get better. As much as it can be hard to keep yourself positive at times, it’s important that the people around you (doctors, family and friends) can stay positive for you, to help you deal with what life has dealt you, and to remind you that you will heal in time.