Patient, Heal Thyself
February 7, 2014
So, I went to the Doc yesterday.
Hadn't been feeling really great, and was wondering why.
He had prescribed a treatment for me several months ago, and I'd been following it religiously.
Well, pretty much.
I'd fallen off the wagon a couple of times.
But I'd been reasonably good at keeping up with the instructions he'd given me.
As I explained the symptoms that I was still experiencing, he listened intently.
And after careful deliberation, he said, "I think you just need to stay on the prescribed treatment a while longer. My study and research tells me that it will have the proper effect if you will just stick to the plan."
I nodded my head in agreement, but I couldn't wipe the look of wonder off my face.
I'd been on the treatment for over 60 days, and I'd seen very little response.
If anything, I was feeling worse.
But he's the Doctor, right?
Surely he knows what's best.
I asked him what was it that made him so sure?
And it was his answer that caught me off guard.
He said that the percentages told him that I should respond as he expected.
I was a digit in a scientific study? I was a number on a scale?
I thought I'd been receiving personalized treatment.
I was under the impression that this was something that he outlined just for me.
But he continued to explain that he had treated someone with my same symptoms a few years ago.
And that he'd learned just what was best by studying how they responded.
Even though he had received some new medicine since that time, he had not chosen to use it.
This new medicine was fresh, effective, innovative and possibly helpful.
But it wasn't something he was familiar with.
It had a different name, it was packaged in an unusual color, and came from someone he rarely did business with.
In short, it might be just what the doctor ordered for me....but I'd never get the chance to discover it.
Because he wasn't going to prescribe it.
Instead, he was going to stick with the tried and true.
Stay with what he knew.
And not risk alienating me with something fresh.
I didn't argue with him during the visit.
I smiled in agreement as he explained his rationale.
He pointed to his degrees on the wall, and explained all his certifications.
His nurse told me just how fabulous the office was, and that they were perfect for me.
Someone I didn't even know stuck their head in the door and gave a glowing referral.
The receptionist said, "we have the very best treatment options in town."
I nodded my head when she handed me the appointment card to come back and see him for a checkup.
But I silently made myself a solemn promise.
I was going to walk out of that door and try a different doctor.
And see if they had anything different to prescribe.
I wanted a second opinion.
I was tired of being treated like a number on someone's research report.
Surely there's a physician somewhere who's using the best tools available to him.
And not just the ones that he's used before.
There are lots of doctors out there.
I'm going to look until I find the one that's right for me.
And if I don't, in this advanced technological age, all is not lost.
I can do my own research.
I may just medicate myself.