To The Doctors That Listen…

To the wonderful souls of doctors that actually listen to your patients, I would like to express my upmost gratitude for your bedside manner and your willingness to listen before you “help”. This past week I encountered quite a few doctors after a Botox shot for my migraines accidentally hit a nerve. I was in severe pain down the right side of my body from Monday until Saturday and addressed my concerns with quite a few doctors. First I messaged my neurologist through her patient portal and told her that I thought my migraine was getting worse, rather than message me back asking about the type of pain or how bad it was on the 10 point scale her nurse simply sent a message back saying “I have passed along your message and it will be addressed as soon as possible. I have yet to receive a reply. I do not blame Dr. H for this, it is primarily up to her nurses to keep her on track with important patient messages and emergencies; and in person Dr. H is one of the best listeners I have encountered as far as doctors go. I especially like that she understand that I have a background in neuroanatomy the biological aspects of her treatments, thus she speaks to me in words that my parents don’t understand but I fully grasp. In truth I hate when doctor’s speak to me in laymen’s terms after I have expressed my background knowledge; it becomes hard to advocate for myself when I am spoken to like an ignorant child. I called doctors upon doctors and even went to the emergency room only to be told “oh that’s just an atypical migraine for you”, within half an hour of leaving the ER my pain had completely reappeared because the treatment they gave me was for “just an atypical migraine”, as if in the 21 years that I have dealt with these migraines I haven’t learned to tell the difference between a migraine and other types of pain. This is what I dealt with from doctors all week until Saturday. I attempted to self advocate and express my concern that I wasn’t having a migraine and was terrified that it might have been a stroke, but they all gave me treatments as though it was a migraine so the pain simply continued to progress. By Saturday I had received a call from my mother letting me know that she had set me up an appointment with a new doctor at my GP’s office and that I should come to town and we could go together to find out what was going on. Let me tell you, this doctor was incredible, her first words after greeting me were “So I know the nurse already spoke to you about your symptoms, but could you tell me in your own words what is wrong?”. It was a miracle, I found someone who would listen! Over the course of the week my mother and I had been emailing each other different research on possibilities of what was wrong with me and we both concluded that it must have been a bad injection from my last treatment that Monday, and that Dr. H probably hit a nerve; so I was ready to sit and discuss exactly what was wrong, how I felt, and what I thought it might be. Dr. J, the new miracle of a doctor, ran a few tests just as a precaution. Due to the lack of swelling of the lymph nodes and she trusted my opinion that it was not at all a migraine, she concluded that I must be right and actually found the needle mark for which one of the 27 shots probably hit that nerve because she noticed it was a little knotted and bruised. She listened and treated me as an expert on my own body and it was amazing. I know there are more doctors out there who have the same compassion, as most of my specialists are of this understanding disposition. I am forever grateful for doctor’s who listen when you self advocate and who don’t assume that you are clueless about human anatomy. Not only have I gathered a plethora of knowledge on how the human body works, I have also had a lifetime of experience as a patient with chronic illnesses and have had them all well explained by doctors throughout the years. So when a doctor allows their office to be a space where I am the expert on my body and they are the consultant, it seems to make a big difference in how fine tuned your care is to your individual health. So here’s a shout out to all of the doctors out there who listen when we need you, you are literally our lifesavers.


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