Thursday, September 06, 2012
"What do you need from me?" he asked.
"Maintenance. I really don't want treatment until I absolutely MUST have it -- I want to maintain just the way I have been for the last two years."
"Talk to me," he replied.
I tried. He listened. He asked a couple of questions. He offered information about two of the meds I wanted renewed. One I didn't take properly. One really needed to be augmented. "But we'll do it slowly. We won't let you be sick. We will work and work until you are just where you need to be."
"Tell me about not sleeping through the night," he requested. I tried. He asked questions about why I thought I didn't sleep through a night. I answered with standard responses -- need to pee, arthritis pain, Hubby's TV. He asked more questions. "It's better since I retired and don't have to get up at 5 a.m. anymore; the naps have lessened considerably and I'm able to go to bed when I get tired instead of when I have to so I can bet up early every day." He muttered and made notes.
"Do you need any conditions looked at that are bothering you?" he asked several times. I hadn't even bothered to bring a list. "Nope, really, I'm fine."
"When was the last full exam?" he asked. "Last July, 2011 -- I do it yearly but put it off because of the retirement." "We'll take care of that now" -- and 15 minutes later he was finished.
"I want to see you in a month. I want to know that the new med is fine. I want to know if you have any problems we should deal with."
He handed over all the required scripts. He added one but only with a the lowest of dosages. He agreed to three month refills. He requested three blood tests -- all reasonable and since the last blood draws were in March, I was fine with that.
He shook my hand, then held it. "I want you to talk with me about your problems. I'm glad you are my patient," he told me as he looked me in the eyes.
I hadn't been embarrassed. I hadn't been made to feel old, fat, ungainly, unkempt, or a whiner. He had touched me both physically and emotionally. His hands, his eyes, and his demeanor had been gentle the entire time. Now that's the sign of a really great doctor in training.