“Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, “What else could this mean?”
~ Shannon L. Alder
I met with a new doctor yesterday. It was a trial of sorts. I wanted to see if they would become my Lyme Recovery Plan A, or whether I would need to keep moving through my list.
I’ve seen this doctor before. In fact, they gave me my initial diagnosis. Then they told me that Lyme was very controversial, and that they would not be treating me for Lyme. They would treat all my other issues first.
This doctor is expensive, and arrogant, and I wanted a faster result. To give me a diagnosis and then tell me you wouldn’t treat me for it? I chose another course, and a doctor who would treat me for Lyme straight up.
Now, four years later, I am back at this doctor’s door. And I have to tell you, the meeting didn’t go well.
They asked me what I’d been doing. They reviewed my results. They accused me of doctor shopping, because I had left this doctor’s care and gone elsewhere. They paced the room, questioning the decisions of my other doctors, including making statements about the doctors making rookie mistakes and bad calls that a first year medical student might make. These were mostly doctors who have progressed my health, and truly supported and helped me on my journey back to wellness.
It was hard to take.
When I told the doctor what I had been doing with my diet and other methods I was using for myself they said to me sarcastically, ‘Are you a doctor?’ before dismissing me mid-sentence and moving on.
I came out with a bruised ego, a battered sense of self, a handful of scripts and a list of new tests a mile long.
I didn’t like that doctor very much.
There wasn’t exactly any rapport or bedside manner.
As I waited for my husband to come pick me up I began to think that I needed to keep looking. That maybe this wasn’t my answer after all.
Even though so many circumstances had aligned to get me through their door.
I poured my heart out to Ben as he drove me towards the place where I might get my first tests done. If I followed through.
‘I don’t know,’ I said to Ben. ‘I’m beginning to think I should choose another doctor.’
‘Why?’ said my ever-logical husband. ‘This doctor diagnosed you when no-one else knew what was going on. You’re still on some of the treatments they initially gave you, that none of your other doctors were willing to change because your other doctors have been intimidated by this person, and because it seems that this doctor was right in all the calls they made. So this doctor has a big ego, and you don’t think you’re going to be friends? Does that remind you of anyone?’
‘No,’ I said grumpily. In my head I had already dismissed this doctor, and I was now working on my Plan B.
‘What about House?’ Ben said. (For those of you who don’t know, House was a TV show, and the lead character was Dr Gregory House, a genius investigative doctor whose behaviours made him less than endearing to the patients whose lives he saved.)
Ben put his hand on my leg reassuringly as we drove along. ‘Isn’t House a doctor who is arrogant and a pain-in-the-arse and rude and also brilliant? Wouldn’t you prefer to be treated by House and put up with all his shit if it got you better? Who cares if you don’t much like this doctor or if they hurt your feelings? They seem to know what they are doing.’
In that brief moment my perspective shifted.
Ben was right.
I decided to stick with it and make this House-like doctor my Plan A.
Hooray for that.
Suddenly the ego and the attitude have become secondary, background issues, instead of my prime concern.
It’s all a matter of perspective.
After all, I didn’t like him to start off with, but in the end, House became one of my favourite characters of all time…