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a conversation with my doctor.

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mitch777:
this is not easy for me to talk about for me, but here it goes...

"short version".???

my ID doc (who I love and have been with for 17-18 years) called me tonight at 7:30 PM! (i was almost in shock)

he called to follow up on my request to get a list of options to change my HIV meds to something other than Atripla. (memory issues are getting pretty bad)

i broke down in tears on the phone with him 5 minutes into the conversation.

i seem to be feeling odd in many ways lately.
more focused in some ways but so tense and emotional as well.

anyway, this was the first time that i have ever poured myself out to a doctor.
(at least to the point of tears)

he could not have been kinder and more compassionate.
i DO think that it was helpful for me to express to him my feelings of frustration with the lack of urgency given my current health issues.
(too long of a list for me to think about tonight)

to put it in "drama" terms, the experience felt like giving birth. :)

i tend to trivialize my own concerns and symptoms when talking to a doctor, even though rational thought dictates otherwise. (other than tonight)
it has always been difficult impossible for me to express myself to a doctor as if i am a human being and am not trying to play the role of "the good patient".

hopefully the conversation had am impact on my doc as well.
i think that i need to change my behavior to expect different results. :P

wish me luck.

aztecan:
Hey Mitch,

In my line of work, I often have to advocate for my clients, who often are too nervous, forgetful or shy to mention problems they are experiencing.

But when it comes to myself, I have always tended to downplay things, much like you said you have done in the past.

What you have done is found the chutzpah to use your voice for yourself.

I can tell by what you wrote this was an emotional thing to go through, and I am pretty sure it wasn't easy, since you said it was like giving birth!

I did a similar thing last year when I finally took the bull by the horns and insisted on getting my hump removed. That was a scary prospect for me and I wasn't all too sure about what I was doing. But I am very glad I finally did it.

What you have done is the right thing to do for yourself and your health and well being.

Kudos to you. Well done.

HUGS,

Mark


Ann:
I suspect you were able to "pour [yourself] out" to your doctor because it was over the phone instead of face-to-face. It can be a lot more difficult to express emotions and needs when the other person is physically in the same room.

With that in mind, you may find it helpful to write down what's bothering you and take what you've written with you when you have an appointment. Remember - you actually have to take it out and read it to the doctor, or at least hand it to him so he can read it himself. Make sure he reads it then and there, don't let him shove it in your file for later.

I'm glad you were able to have a frank discussion with your doctor and that he was receptive. Must be a load off your mind and I hope good things come of it.

wolfter:
Sorry I missed this thread Mitch.  This is a hugely important topic that I constantly harp on.  I too was always the "perfect patient" with my old doctor and it almost killed me.  I quickly learned to be my best advocate.

I communicate with my current doctor like he's an old friend.  I talk with him about my sexual encounters, partying behaviors and such.  I even told him about smoking pot during my last major illness as it was the only thing that helped with nausea and allowed me to gain some weight back.

I hope this communicated to your doctor the depths of the issues you're dealing with.  Take care buddy and keep us updated.

Wolfie

LongTimeSurvivor:
I'm just a blabber mouth with my doctor. Same with my therapist. I've always figured if you want to get better you've got to talk. Sometimes it's been a little embarrassing. But as my doctor said, he's seen everything...I'm not going to surprise him. He just wants to know what is going on with me health wise...and that includes telling him if I've been drinking or drugging or whatever. He's not going to judge me, he may try to discourage me if he thinks it's particularly harmful, but mainly he wants to know so that he can understand what might be going on with my health.

However I can understand the "good patient" attitude. Maybe now that you've opened up to your doctor, next time you go in, talk about that conversation and tell him about wanting to break from being the "good patient." It might alert him to press you more on what you're really feeling when he sees you.

Anyway, best of luck.

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