Monday, September 7, 2009

The Interviews Have Begun, II

When we left me in the neurologists office, here, the doctor was questioning me about my emotional health and had just shooed my protesting significant other, and advocate, out of the room. Let's see what happened next:

The door closed and he paused for a moment. He said I need to get out more. Make my world bigger. Overcoming my triggers? Mind over matter. He went on about it for about five minutes. It was all proactive steps and going outside. Then he recommended I pick up some self-help books and talk to a shrink. I stared at him. I cleared my throat and asked if he had a recommendations of someone I should talk to, "Might as well get a referral, if you know of someone..?" "No. Just call the (generic number of the database of shrinks)." He did not write down the number, and I have no idea what he was talking about. His manner at this point had become very dismissive and a little condescending. I ignored it, determined to reap something positive from the appointment. I asked about the self-help books. Was there one in particular? He said no, just to go browsing and see if something speaks to me. He offhandedly mentioned the book, "Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired", which I will probably take a look at. He told me that if I have fulfilled these prerequisites, I should call to make another appointment with him, but without the shrink and book, I shouldn't bother. I didn't find this off-putting at all at this point, however snarky it may come off in my writing, but appreciated his candor. I smiled and shook his hand, said, "I completely understand, no one wants to waste their time." His faced changed a little when I said that, and he knew exactly what I meant. I won't be.

I do plan on seeing a psychologist, but it's not my very first priority. My pain definitely causes me psychological distress, and I want to address that. But it's the order of things that I think is important and the order is: (1.) Pain causes (2.) psychological distress. If we reduce my pain, I'll be happier and more active. This neurologist and I disagreed plainly on this point.

I am not adverse to the self-help section, and plan on leafing through a few, including the one he recommended, next time I'm in the neighborhood. However, I honestly don't think I'm going to find much better information on how to reclaim my life from pain and/or cope with migraines there than I can find on one of my frequented migraine blogs or websites that he so quickly dismissed.

I feel like he sized me up, and he sized me up wrong.

It's frustrating, but I'm trying to look at it like a learning experience. We've learned that we need to go into the doctor's office with the goal in mind. We are a united front. My man is going to work on his communication style and I am going to never allow him to be dismissed from a room again. He is my advocate and even if I do not agree with his choice of words or posture, I have to agree wholeheartedly that he has my best interests at heart.

We have more appointments lined up in the near future with other doctors; a few neurologists and two general practitioners. Hopefully one of them will be a good fit.

This doctor may not have been the right one for me, but he did validate some of my recent life choices and gave me a few things to think about. He encouraged me to keep gardening and to take up other positive activities and to continue self-medicating like I've been, as he seemed impressed by my solo efforts since being doctorless. (But he disapproved of my methods of self-educating, the internet, which directly led to my good* judgment in treatment options. (*Good being subjective, of course.) So, whatev, doc.)



WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

Saw a psychologist and got biofeedback training from her over a year ago. She said the same thing - nothing was wrong with my life except extreme pain and that she was amazed I was not depressed.

Quote " (1.) Pain causes (2.) psychological distress" Great point!

Sue said...

Ok, with all due respect to neurologists everywhere, this interview was shocking, to say the least. They PAY this @ss to tell you to go away and don't bother coming back???? You've got to be kidding me.

What a jerk. I can't believe how nice you were to him. You are, most assuredly, a better woman than I.

For what it's worth, I had to fight VERY hard to get my family doc to understand that while my depression is worse when I am in pain, the depression itself did NOT cause the head pain. He had to receive a lot of other reports (from my psychologist and psychiatrist) and actually stop and listen to me before he understood. Now he "gets it" and we get along fairly well.

Keep looking. The right neuro is out there. Unfortunately, she/he is swimming in a sea of idiots.

Sue said...

Do you mind if I ask how long your cortisone injections were effective?

A year ago I had a series of injections that left me pretty much pain free for almost 5 months.

A month ago I had the same series and was pain free for exactly 10 days. Bleh.

Just wondering...