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Dear Dr: The doctor who changed my life

So I have had a lot of bad doctors in my life. Man, I could tell you some stories, my friends. I have also had mediocre doctors and disinterested doctors, who simply were fine for refills of medications but not much else. A good doctor is hard to find. Around here where there is a doctor shortage a good doctor is near impossible to find because people know it and they are patient heavy and not taking patients on.

My current doctor though, she is special. I found her because I had a very disinterested doctor who didn’t seem all that interested in how I was actually doing. Not willing to do any more than necessary even when things got worse. So I looked, and found no one was available to take on patients. But, then I thought about my spouse’s doctor who had been managing his Gastroparesis. Who in fact got him diagnosed with it and sent him to the specialist to get treated for it. The one who sent him for an MRI to check on it, just to see what was going on, and caught his kidney cancer in stage 1. The one who could handle my very quiet spouse who does Not like going to the doctor. Ever. I knew she wasn’t taking patients but I called to ask since it would be under ‘family’ and sometimes doctors who are full of patients will take you on if you are related to another patient. So that is what I did, and I got in with her.

Right off the top, she did a thorough case history and she was the only one that said, hey, those chronic migraines and fibromyalgia are not playing nice together and you need to go to a pain clinic. I had, of course, heard about pain clinics, but I had never been referred to one. And that has made a lot of difference. They have put me on painkillers, which sort of help with FM. They had a pain 101 class with other people with pain that was very enlightening. I will be getting botox there for the chronic migraines, even though I get since I was non-responsive the first go around it may not do a thing this go around. I see their psychologist there. Their psychiatrist is the one that pretty much said I am highly sensitive to anti-depressants and cannot be on them, due to the worsening depression and suicidal ideation and put me on Abilify. They are the ones that flat out told me I could not work full-time and I was exceeding my pain limits too much to even do so. That I needed to come to terms with that and understand I had limitations. Although, now it seems I cannot even function part-time.

The one thing I really like about her is that she is exceptionally thorough. She was the only one that sent me for a bunch of tests to ensure I actually had IBS rather than another digestive disease. She is currently investigating my persistent nausea/vomiting, which could very well be migraine related but it is a concern I am losing weight so she has sent me for tests for that as well.

She asks and cares about my mental health which has been an issue for me for some time. My previous doctor, after my first suicide attempt, said it was an excessive response to pain put me on a short-term leave ‘due to stress’ and then pretty much wanted me back to work. And I felt… very hopeless at that time. It would have been nice had someone had my back and understood that I was really struggling. And still am. So having a doctor who asks about this is important. You don’t ask and I will likely not mention. Just the way I am. I hide my depression and I hide it well.

She understands the impact the pain is having on me. And the depression due to the pain. Mostly because she listens to what I say and how I say it. Communication is very important between patient and doctor. And hard to find.


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