[Sober Living] Fire Inadequate Doctors

“The doctor was giving me hassle for asking for a note for a sit-stand desk. He was telling me that it wasn’t like I’d break my finger if I didn’t have it, and it’s like, dude, just sign the note.[1]” Doctors should work with you. If they don’t, don’t be afraid to fire them. Having worked in healthcare for four years, some doctors will treat you like a human being and others that will not.

How receptive are they to your inane questions?

If you tell them about your stress, anxiety, and headaches, and they listen and provide advice, then they’re more likely to be keepers than the ones that give broad-stroke assumptions. This doctor, for example, only knew about headaches in relation to migraines. If I wasn’t experiencing light-related symptoms, then it was outside his skillset, which is fine.

We can’t know everything.

I wouldn’t expect a doctor to be able to have knowledge about everything. For a generalist, however, he should have had general knowledge about common things. Headaches aren’t a rare occurrence. Especially now that we’re livin’ in the future and have access to computers with near-unlimited knowledge, he should have been able to plug my symptoms into the database the doctors have to search for things to help.

Instead, he prescribed a surface-level over-the-counter medication, which hasn’t helped.

The thing, too, is either sitting in the patient room or as you’re leaving, your gut will tell you if you’re not happy with a situation or not. Oftentimes, we’ll ignore that because we want to be polite, but when it comes to your patient care, you don’t need to be polite. If you’re experiencing issues, you should get them fixed. If that means you have to track metrics in your day, like frequency of headaches and severity, then that can help them figure out what’s going on.

I do that naturally, just as a byproduct of how I operate.

When I was talking about health with one friend, he said that this would be a high-ceremony style of documentation. I’ve always told people over the years when I’ve troubleshot their computers to similarly gather information. Computers capture logs about any major or minor activity or change, so having details like “it crashed at 12:50pm” or “my headache started at 12:50am” can help in the diagnosis process.

If the doctor cares, of course.

If not, and if your doctor is closer to a House M.D. in terms of manners rather than actual intellectual prowess, fire them! Doctors get enough business. They don’t need your time or money. You can find someone that will take your care more seriously. Even if you complain about the most mundane thing, if it’s important enough for you to talk about it with a doctor, then they should act toward resolving the issue. This doctor did refer me to a specialist, but that won’t be for another few months out.

Until then, my fantastic headaches will continue in frequency and severity without relief.

Quotes: [1] Me telling a coworker about the doctor and the sit-stand workstation process.
Sources: My personal and professional experiences.
Inspirations: These things can’t really appear out of the ether, now, can they? I had the title, Fire Your Doctor, but it turns out that’s already a book, so I swapped out “Your” with a stronger word.
Related: Other Sober Living essays.
Picture: Drawn in 14 minutes, from 10:19pm to 10:33pm on October 3rd, spelling out Ph. D in flames in front of a forest, maybe? It doesn’t mean much more than just the literal interpretation of the title.
Written On: October 1st [15 minutes, from 12:19am [The doctor…] to […with near-unlimited] 12:26am, from 12:44pm [knowledge, he should…] to [outro] 12:52pm]
Last Edited: October 3rd [Adjustment of one part from present to past tense, so, second draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.