I haven’t had a permanent physician since our family doctor left for another practice in 2006. Since then I’ve basically been floating from Urgent Care to Emergency Room to whichever doctor’s office is closest whenever I have a problem or need a refill of my medication. It sucks because the family doctor we had was fantastic, and for the past six years I’ve felt kind of lost when it comes to requiring and obtaining medical help.
Kind of lost? Yes, and no. It’s more than that. Not just lost, but also unwanted and not respected as a patient.
One of the things that brings on huge amounts of anxiety for me is not having a regular doctor. I actually don’t currently have ANY kind of doctor. Trying to find a regular doctor is tough for anyone, I imagine. Only one of the last four doctors I’ve seen over the past few years has NOT made me feel like I’m the biggest idiot. I don’t know where to go or who to see when I’m sick because nearly all of my experiences in the ‘wilderness of medical care’ (my description of life after losing the best doctor ever) have left me feeling worse than ever about myself. How do you find the courage to get back out there and try another doctor on for size when the last handful of them have been such a disappointment? How can a doctor, any person with a medical degree, treat someone with my kind of problems the way I’ve been treated and expect me to ever come back for a follow-up?
It’s getting to the point where I’m afraid of doctors almost as much as I’m terrified of dentists. I have anxiety. I’m not an idiot. Don’t sigh at me like every word that comes out of my mouth is the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard. Have patience with me. Don’t interrupt me when I’m explaining something that YOU asked me to explain. Don’t roll your eyes at me. You’re supposed to be someone I come to for help, not someone I see when I need to be made to feel like dirt. Trust me, I can get that anywhere else. I don’t need to pay you to make me feel ashamed of myself.
It’s discouraging, to say the least. It can’t be that all doctors are jerks. I don’t want to believe that, and yet 95% of my experiences after 2006 are evidence that they are. It can’t be that I had the one nice family doctor in all of New England for 16 years. How long will it be before I find a competent, friendly, understanding person to tend to me when I need help or when I am sick? Why does finding a doctor have to be so damn hard?