Apology from a Doctor to her Fibromyalgia Patients

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Written by Amanda Shelley, She have an apology to make. She said I’d like to apologize to all the patients I saw in my years working in urgent care who had chronic pain due to fibromyalgia or autoimmune disease. I’d like to apologize for not knowing, understanding, and in some cases not even believing what you were going through.

You see, in physician assistant school, much like medical school, they don’t teach us about how these diseases impact our patients’ lives. They don’t tell us that it’s been incredibly exhausting for our patient to get to the office or that they will likely have to rest and recuperate for days after. They don’t tell us that sitting in the chair in the waiting room hurt every part of your body that made contact with the chair, or your clothes, or your shoes. They don’t teach us about how your family is impacted by your inability to participate in things, give care and attention to spouses or kids, or even make dinner.

But now I know. And I’m sorry. I know because I’ve been battling with fibromyalgia and some other yet-to-be identified autoimmune issue for a few years now. I know because I’ve had to teach my young son how to hug gently. I know because I’ve heard his friends comment on how much time I spend in bed.

I know because I can no longer physically keep up with seeing patients in an office (thankfully, I’ve been able to work from home in the emerging field of tele medicine). And I know because that good old “fibro fog” often makes it sound like my phone is cutting out as I struggle to remember the words I wanted to say to the patient I’m trying to help.

In the beginning, I wanted to hide my diagnosis from my colleagues. There were still so many providers out there who didn’t even believe fibro was a real disorder (I used to be one of them). But over the last two years of non-stop referrals to specialists, tests with quirky but no clear answers, trials of one medication after the other, I’ve learned that even though the medical community is opening to the reality that this is real, “they” still don’t get it.

This hit me again two days ago as I sat in an appointment with a rheumatologist who said, “I don’t see anything of concern” four times during our visit. Really? You don’t think that having to do my job from my bed some days is concerning? You don’t think the isolation caused by not being able to go and do and see things with my family is concerning?

It’s past time for providers to stop looking at lab results and start looking at the entire picture. Even if providers don’t have a cure, just a simple acknowledgement of what patients are actually going through would be a huge step towards bridging the divide between your reality and mine. -Amanda Shelley

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5 Steps to Repair Your Relationship with doctor

Mutual respect and collaboration should be the goal between any doctor-patient relationships, they should work together to achieve their best interests. But sometimes the relationship may get awkward and it requires mending the relation.

What caused the patient doctor relation deteriorate??

Some it is the fault of doctor. From the very first moment he is arrogant and doesn’t behave well with you, doesn’t listen to you, if that is the case there is nothing that can be corrected, it is just because of doctor’s personality. However sometimes there is problem caused by the patient himself, she may have a good relationship with her doctor for some time, but then she demand for extra care, if that is the case she should repair her relationship with her doctor.

You need to analyze whether the problem is caused by you or your doctor. If you caused it then below mentioned tips can help you to rebuild it, if you think that’s your doctor fault then you have to see whether the relationship is worth amending or not, you need to access the point where your relationship stand right now.

Further you need to ask yourself whether you want to keep getting treatment from the doctor who is not treating you with attention you are worth for. If the relationship is deteriorated you may not get the best treatment now.

Forbes Magazine reported that doctors that face high number of difficult encounters also reported more severe results while another research shows that patients who do not have healthy relation with their primary physician are less likely to receive care consistent with established guidelines, both of them are not good news.

5 Steps to repair your patient doctor relationship

If you have figured it out that your relation with your doctor have become worsen now, and you are looking for better terms, then consider the following guidelines:

1. Figure out what caused the problem

Go and checkout the list of doctors biggest complaints about patients, if you find out something that cannot b fixed, then forget it and move on, you and your doctor will never see eye to eye, and you won’t get the care and attention you are worth for.

2. If possible fix the problem

If it’s related to your bill, then pay it. Adjust your attitude if its temperament based and you have nothing to fix if you are empowered patient, if you have communication gap with your doctor then try a different method to convey your findings about your condition. You need to find another doctor if your doctor is dissatisfied that you are engaged in your care.

3. If you have been able to fix the problem

Then the time has come, make an appointment and apologize, explain what is wrong with and what made you think that your doctor is the only person who can help you to sort out your problems. Assure her that you will do your best so that the difficulty does not crop up again. This may or may not get you back in your doctor’s good book. Your doctor’s reaction will tell you that whether this relation is going to get better or not, whether you are going to get enough care or not.

4. Is it time to move on

It’s possible that you may not succeed in building healthy relationship with your doctor, and you sense that your relationship is not going to get better to the point it was before, and repair process seem to have produced lip service only from the doctor. If that is the case then it is time to move on, you should better spend your efforts in finding another doctor.

Doctors are professional but they are people too, while most of the people will b able to move on, as it’s a relation not a marriage, while others find it difficult. Spend your energy in building a new positive relationship with your doctor.

5. In all cases be sure to get copies of your medical records

Including the record she created herself or when she referred you to another doctor. Correct your medical records if you find any information that should not b there, you will need to comb them for possible notations that could be detrimental to your health care. Note that in this list we are not suggesting you to be nice or passive, not matter what makes your relation to deteriorate being empowered means you are diplomatic and double faced, but definite and concise. Continue to b engaged in your but in a respectful way.

This approach may not work in real. You will have to find another doctor if you think the relation is not going to work anymore. Keep in mind it’s a seller market, people are desperately looking for doctors who can help them, as the doctors supply is too short. Wise patients choose a respectful communicator to start and respectfully communicate in return. -Dr. M Rana, MD FUMDC


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Related: 10 Causes of Fibromyalgia your doctor does not know

Written by:  Amanda Shelley, The Mighty Contributor. This Story taken from “The Mighty”, Ref

Related: Why won’t my doctor diagnose me with fibromyalgia 

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