It’s been a long week, and it’s only Tuesday. What’s up with that?
See, I have an overactive immune system. Always have. That makes Wolverine my hero and favorite comic book character. It helps that he’s currently most often portrayed by Hugh Jackman. But even before that, in the funny spandex illustrated versions on TV in the 80’s (or was it 90’s) Wolverine was my guy. Because those adamantium claws are not his “given” mutant power, it’s his ability to heal.
That’s a lot of babbling to say that I have allergies, and I get sick a lot. What it also means is that I usually get better quickly too, so I often just push through the minor issues. But this winter I wasn’t able to just keep pushing through. I got sick, nothing hospital worthy or truly life threatening, but I did have multiple illnesses going at the same time – which leads to a generally grumpy person.
Because of this, I’ve seen, and will continue to see for at least a few more weeks, a number of doctors. My follow-up appointment on Monday did not go well, to put it plainly. I’m not sure if I fired her as my doc, or she fired me as her patient, but that relationship is over. However, today’s follow-up with a different doc went well.
There is a big difference between “There’s nothing wrong. Take some ibuprofen” and “I don’t know what to tell you. Why don’t we start with X to see if that helps.” I’m not a fan of taking meds, and I do think we as a culture jump to antibiotics to often. But did you hear the difference in the underlying attitude of those two statements? It makes a huge difference to me. It took me along time to figure out the differences between these two approaches to patient care.
I realize I am not a great patient. I have an attitude, can be sarcastic, and I will question things. So the difference between those previous statements is a big factor in how I feel about a doctor’s bedside manner. But at the same time, I really do understand that the doctors are trained in their field. I would’t ask the baker fix my car. I see a doctor because they are experts at keeping the human machine running. I don’t expect to be cured of my allergies, but I do think the docs can help me manage them. Some better than others.