You might say I had an extremely difficult medical appointment several weeks ago with a provider that I'm not so sure gets to be on my care team any longer... It caught me off guard. While I wrote recently about a specialist I saw for the first time who was extremely rude, this situation is different. This provider is someone I've worked closely with on a bi-weekly based for a number of months now.
She is someone I sought the help of and trusted as I attempt to work through the health challenges left as stones unturned by other practitioners. I held great faith in her. I liked her. Visit after visit I shared with her like I would a close friend. I opened up to her with the struggles I face in body, mind and spirit.
She is a provider that walks the line between conventional and functional medicine (holistic/integrative). I see her for the holistic. While she has been supportive, warm and kind most of the times I have seen her (except once or twice before... I gave her the benefit of the doubt those times), this last time she was nothing short of gruff.
It left me dumbfounded, with a heart left raw and aching. As I think more about what could have happened, I think she was possibly offended that a supplement I found on my own provided me with much better relief, healing and stronger results than the one she had previously recommended. There are a few other things that could have set her off too...
Like that I found accurate information from another source about an herb she was not as familiar with. This changed the course of action she had recommended. Or maybe that I caught a mistake she had made which caused an unnecessary duplication in ingredients between two supplements I was taking. I did not share any of this with her in an angry or hostile way, just casually as updates for the health conditions we were working on. Who knows what set her off or if any of these things did. The point is she got on her soap box and would not get off.
Letting her know how her words were impacting me -- that it seemed like she was saying, "Cynthia totally sucks" and reminding her I'm highly sensitive and live with several chronic health conditions so have a LOT more stress on my plate did not stop her rant. As she replied, "I am NOT going to change WHAT I say based on YOUR sensitivity." Ouch. She then went on to a spiel about labels I create for myself which she feels are intensified by my blogging... And a bunch more stuff too.
Not only did I now have a wounded heart that I did not walk into the clinic with, but the frozen shoulder I have had for three years and is on it's last stretch of healing, began aching as she overconfidently shared everything SHE knew as truth. What is important to note is that she was sharing information that comes from her knowledge bank vs. what is actual truth and reality for me. And simultaneously completely forgetting or failing to recognize many of the things I already know. I am not a dummy but that was sure how she was presenting things to me, getting frustrated by raising her voice and tone when I could not understand her point of view or what she was trying to say.
There was no room or space for me to interject or share what is true for me. At least she was not open to listening. And while some of the things she was sharing were very wise, her abrupt method of delivery did not allow me to absorb or feel healing from the words she so brazenly preached.
Knowing how closely I keep track of my health, it felt insulting when she made the wild assumption my blood sugars before recent dietary changes must have been constant roller coasters (as she moved her finger up and down to exaggerate steep rises and declines). I was quick to remind her how much effort I put into my health -- my organic whole foods diet, holistic choices and daily self- care allow me not to have blood sugars so off the charts crazy as a regular occurrence.
The passage below is what I originally wrote as I sat down to reflect on this topic. While I thought I would share these initial thoughts as a D-Quote (an initiative created through my personal blog for Diabetes Awareness Month) on my blog's Facebook page, I quickly realized I had a LOT more to say about this topic. Here goes....
Choosing a healthcare provider is a lot like choosing a close friend. It is imperative to carefully select individuals who support, encourage and champion you to vibrant health as you walk along your path with many ups and downs. Listen to your body. Listen to how your heart feels after you are with them. Can you trust them? Can you share your innermost concerns and heartaches without fear they/you will be trampled on? Do they listen and understand the unique person you are without making gross over-generalizations, putting you in a box or assuming you are like what they read in their medical textbooks? Can they handle your confidence and assuredness that after living with diabetes for a number of years, you are extremely comfortable in your own body and know it better than most people?
Take care of yourself in this way. Yes, we are all human. And humans make mistakes... But consider only allowing providers who can set aside their ego, temper and bad day to be gentle and nurturing with you and your tender heart. As someone who lives with one or more chronic health conditions knows, our journey is treacherous enough without leaving a health appointment with raw, aching hearts, frustration, confusion, anger or feeling misunderstood. Choose wisely. You cannot be too picky. There are other fish in the sea. Sometimes it's better to go hungry until the next meal comes along rather than grasping at fish who have washed up on shore*, leaving you feeling empty inside and devoid of the very health you were seeking their care for.
*Fish analogy explanation: "Sometimes it's better to go hungry until the next meal comes along rather than grasping at fish who have washed up on shore...*" What I mean by this is settling for a provider who is in-network through our insurance because it is not as demanding financially vs. finding someone out-of-network or completely out of pocket who provides exceptional care.
ps. Just wanted to share that since writing this article I have had several more instances of less than thoughtful care (to put it lightly...) by a few healthcare providers. It is upsetting to say the least, but I am working through it best I can. While I may choose to share more about this at a future date, it is alarming to me how many providers out there seriously do not make the cut and provide more damage to their patients than benefit. If you are in a similar boat, I hope you will join me in moving on...
Where does your current healthcare team stand in regards to the care they provide? Are you putting up with more than you should or are they taking care of you in a way which you deserve?
In Peace & Wellness,
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