All of Me

Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #73: Whole

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leaf branch

 

I am a whole person, I should have said to her. Look at me. Hear me.

The doctor in her white coat stood in front of the ever present laptop typing furiously as I spoke…trying to convince her to prescribe several weeks of antibiotics as a preventative measure for Lyme Disease.

I’m not just the tick bite victim, I also should have said. Or a statistic to fit neatly into your column on “how to treat.” 

Of course, I didn’t think of these profound statements until later. When I was driving home and my controlled calm turned to anger.

I had my own statistics and studies to quote – to back up my request – but she would have none of it. She had her numbers and studies and her…reputation as the head of the medical practice. Avoiding antibiotics, even as a short term preventative was her mantra.

The tick that bit me 2 weeks ago tested positive for 2 types of Lyme. I paid $50 to have it tested. She brushed the report aside, explaining…I just assume all ticks around here have Lyme. It wasn’t on you long enough and you got the single dose of doxy right after.

But can you guarantee I won’t get it? But what if I am the exception…as I usually am?…I countered.

Back to her laptop. More typing. The power dynamic firmly in place. She stood as I sat. She paced. Clearly exasperated with my unwillingness to just agree to wait and see if I get the disease. The often chronic, disabling disease.

She knows I already have several chronic conditions…but her focus is just on this one piece of me. This one sliver of data.

There is a cure you know…she offers.

I don’t want to risk getting sick in the first place. I did say that.

After 45 minutes of debate…she extended a “compromise”…10 days of antibiotics.

I hope and pray that’s enough.

Time will tell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

33 thoughts on “All of Me

  1. OMG, I am frustrated for you. I had an internal medicine doctor tell me there was a cure for lyme if I could produce the bloodwork that proved I had it. He said all my symptoms were consistent with it. I brought in the bloodwork that another doctor had done confirming Lyme’s and he just shrugged. I think it is a touchy subject for Canadian doctors. I have heard that some have lost their licences for treating Lyme. Hope this works for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, V.J.. That’s awful. Yes, I have heard the same thing for American doctors – in some states laws were passed to protect doctors who did treat Lyme. I asked my doctor about bloodwork and she insisted that the results were often a false positive. It’s a no-win situation for people who are suffering with the obvious symptoms. The treatment is clear cut. It shouldn’t be like this.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my, I am So Angry on your behalf, dear heart. This rates up at the top of horrible physician stories I’ve heard lately. I’ve been there…female doctors power-tripping on their MD tag, as though patients (particularly female) are dumb as sticks and don’t come in with plenty of good research prepared for a mutual/equal discussion re best treatment plan for THIS patient right here in front of their eyes….I’m steaming. But I’ll be grateful for her compromise antibiotics…and I’ll keep praying fervently, you can count on that! Rest well…much love sent to you, Avia ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your message of support! My experience with doctors has not been as gender based as yours (thank goodness!). Up until this incident, she had usually been fairly open to my input. The power-tripping happened much more often in the past with male doctors…who I would bet would not have compromised in this instance. It is hard to know of course. Doctors – both female and male – often forget that they work for US. And that we are whole people, not just symptoms or statistics. When egos get involved, empathy goes right out the window.

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      1. You’re right of course…people are people, male and female doctors have their heroes and villains, both. I had a Dr (male) for 40 years–he was maddeningly Passive! So I had to be both patient and dr…mostly he dismissed my issues. I’m glad he retired–my new doctor is much better–but maybe I’m a better patient too 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think many women would agree that, whatever the situation, feeling “Powerless” rates high on our “Worsts” list. And that it can become so deeply ingrained…at least for me, it began to feel like I must be “inviting” people to treat me as a nonperson. It’s another reason my faith is so important–God puts a high value on me; and why blogging meets a need–here, people treat me like I’m somebody 🙂 Much love to you as we do Thanksgiving week ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad she gave you the antibiotics. My questions to doctors like that go along these lines, “If it was your body, your child, your loved one, would you bypass the treatment?” Or “I have this piece of paper here, and I’m wondering if you would sign it taking full responsibility if I do get _____.” That usually does the trick. Like others have suggested – it is your right to get a second opinion. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you that the antibiotics work!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Why can’t some doctors be more human? Why not listen and then respond honestly – whether or not he/she agrees with you? You know, an adult conversation about your health vs. a power struggle. Sounds like you did a good job of advocating for yourself, regardless.

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    1. I wish I knew the answer to that question! I totally agree with you. An open and honest and empathetic conversation would have been far more helpful. One adult to another.
      Thanks – if I wasn’t my own advocate, I don’t know where I’d be.

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  5. Dealing with leukemia for almost 20 years and many other doctors for other conditions, I no longer stay with a doctor I’m not happy with. I don’t know your situation vis a vis available doctors, but may I very gently suggest using the 10 weeks to do more homework and see if more weeks are safer … and also consider a 2nd opinion. If more weeks would make you feel better, that’s the most important criterion, period! You can always add the weeks on with a new doctor.
    I love the photo so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions. I agree, it is time to look elsewhere for medical care. Getting a second opinion has always been my motto; but sometimes docs all “stick together” on certain diagnoses – like this one. But I’m not giving up. (there’s also the insurance issue to deal with, but that’s a whole other story!). I hope your leukemia is in remission and that you have a doctor who respects what you want!
      I am glad you like the photo too 🙂

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      1. Interesting … when I go for second opinions, I always go to a doctor in a different facility. I’m far less likely to get the “stick together” thing. Many doctors will also agree to a consultation fee substantially less than their usual fee.

        If you tell your present doc, the one you’re not happy with, that you want additional shots because you have concerns based on _____ (what you heard or read) she should have absolutely no reason to refuse you. But it is up to us, if we aren’t happy with what a doctor says, to pursue it until we feel satisfied. I’m doing that today with some heart test results I received …

        Thanks for you good wishes re the CLL … it’s been in remission for almost 18 years now. Lucky me.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Going to a different facility is definitely the right way to pursue a 2nd opinion – more challenging where I live though, where small hospitals and doctor groups are all being bought out by a major hospital. Not impossible, just harder. Thanks again for your thoughts.
        Remission for 18 years! That’s fantastic!

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  6. I’m so sad for you that this is still going on. 😦 Hope the meds do their job. It’s hard putting one’s future health at the mercy of a doctor that may not be up-to-date on the necessity of a longer treatment period. Best wishes to you on your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

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