I think that doctor’s should always be willing to listen to their patients. Especially when it comes to things that the patient is experiencing with their body and they are expressing concern about certain things. Yes it’s their job to diagnosis but it is also their job to listen as well. They shouldn’t make their patient’s feel like their opinions, feelings, and thoughts don’t matter. I will be the first person to never return if this ever happens. In fact I did just that a few years ago.
A few years ago I am thinking it was probably 2012 I went to a gynecologist. I am going to admit I didn’t do much research on her. I wanted to go so I just picked one. She happened to be conveniently located next to another business that I frequented. I called the place and set the appointment. She was African American just like me so that’s what immediately drew me to her. The Husband and I went and sat with her in her office before going to the exam. I explained to her how I was experiencing heavy bleeding when I was on my period to the point that I was changing tampons every hour or less. I then explained to her that another family member experienced the same issue and it wound up causing her to have surgery. She looked at me and just said “lets not speak that into existence.” I was baffled because that wasn’t what I expected to hear. I thought family history was a very important part of a patient’s treatment. I mean isn’t that why they ask about it on medical forms. After that it never came up again. That was the last time I ever went to that practice or any gynecologists. That experience really changed my trust in doctors.
I wish I could say that experience was the last one I would share where my trusts in doctors changed. My next experience happened two years ago. I went to get a yearly physical because I hadn’t been to the doctor since the experience I mentioned above. I was trying to get back to making my health important. I headed to a nearby doctor. My husband had been to this practice before and had a good experience (well I thought he had). So I decided I would go to the practice as well. I walked into my appointment and was called back almost immediately. I was sent to a nurse practitioner. She was really nice. I was giving her my history. I thought this was especially important since a few months ago I was in the hospital for a sting to the face. After I was stung in the face, the right side of my face swelled to almost double it’s size the following day. So of course my husband rushed me to the ER the next day. I wound up being admitted for two and a half days. During my stay I found out I was anemic. It took two blood transfusions to get my iron levels to where the doctor was satisfied enough to allow me to go home. I was prescribed iron. I noticed while on the iron I felt great and without it I had low energy and felt like I was dragging through the day. This was especially so when my cycle was getting ready to come on. So I explained all of this to the nurse practitioner. She drew my blood and tested it saying that since my iron levels were fine at the moment that I should stop taking the iron. She didn’t try to figure out why I was feeling the way I was or anything. So of course I left feeling dissatisfied.
So after that experience I have been on the hunt to find not only a good primary care provider but also a good gynecologist. They are so hard to find. Especially during a pandemic. The pandemic has made me realize that I need to make sure I am healthy so I am once again trying to put my health first. I have found what I consider to be an awesome gynecologist. I went to her Wednesday. I told her everything I told the first gynecologist and she listened to me. She actually is interested in helping me to get answers. It felt great to actually be heard. I also like that she actually acknowledge my fear. Cause at this point I am still having the same issue and I need to figure out what is going on. So far I do know I have an enlarged uterus. I am going to get an ultrasound next week to see if we can find out why. I was told that it was good that I didn’t listen to the previous doctor and stop taking my iron pills because she believes it’s what is keeping my iron levels normal. She is just going to test to make sure I am not taking too much. She also commended me for starting to take vitamin C because she said it’s helping as well. So now I am just waiting for answers.
It shouldn’t be hard to find a doctor that is willing to listen to your concerns. I was really comfortable. I felt she thought what I was saying was important. She also validated my fears. Most doctors just want to diagnose you with anything and get you out of the room. At least how I felt in my last two experiences. Now I just need to find me a great primary care provider who is willing to do the same.