Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The good doctor

Yesterday's ride was a good idea. My brain is basking in bliss-making chemicals.

Time for the follow-up visit at Valley Medical. The first visit was epic, spawning a few posts:
It is way WAY easier to talk about the things that don't go well. There are so many of them. They make easy targets. Like bona fide professionals who bully and lie for insurance companies. Like your chances of getting reasonably accommodated. Like the labyrinth if you want treatment.

This morning fifteen minutes in line gets you to a gatekeeper. They make you say your name, address, date of birth, insurance, phone, everything. Every patient, every time. Traffic jam.

The doctor I saw the first time isn't here any more. He was on rotation from Stanford Med School. Could she check on who I AM supposed to see? She assumes I've got my patient ID memorized, or at least close at hand. Hey I'm just not that into you folks. Then she interrupts in the middle of my date of birth. There's a protest 'I'm just trying to help you' (spelled 'show who's boss'). Then a sigh with eye roll.

The front office folks don't really get trained on dealing with patients who say things like "Oh, not the passive-aggressive tricks. I don't really need THAT this morning".

Or "My appointment was 10 minutes ago. Do you think we could get on with it?"

Maybe that's why it works, breaking the spell so she can go off script. Relate to me as a human being.

The nurse who comes to get me says "we have your vest, you left it last time". Thank you! Was pretty sure they had donated it to Goodwill by now.

Dr. G. shows up. The head of Neurosciences, he's the doctor who came recommended. The first time I tried to see him but was switched to 2 other doctors instead. Dr. T. needed someone to practice on.

He asks me what I want to accomplish today. Then listens very, very carefully. He's concerned that I fell off the steps Saturday. Gives me another neurological test. I flunk the balance and memory portions and after a slow start, ace the math.

He takes the test results and listens to what happened with Valley Medical speech therapy. Tells me to go elsewhere. Just get to a speech therapist.

His main message is, get good sleep. Every night. At all costs. OK.

Sends a written to-do list back with the nurse. It says:
  1. Sleep hygiene
    • Take Advil for pain
    • Use melatonin
  2. Avoid alcohol
  3. Referral to Speech Therapy for cognitive services
  4. See you in clinic
  5. Follow through with your Neurosurgery appointment for neck pain
Notice anything?

It's all about me. Making things better for moi. Not, look at me I'm Doctor Fancy Pants doing my job.

Oh yeah, he's the real deal.

1 comment :

  1. This is fabulous news - I am so happy for you. Someone who gets it and wants to HELP! So glad. Maybe breaking through to the human part of the receptionist/boss means further visits will go well with her, too?