So I don’t wish the physical pain and lack of sleep I have had for over two weeks on anybody… well not anybody probably reading this. Jk…sorta.
Anyway, cuz HIPAA says I don’t have to tell you my medical business, I won’t, but just know that a lack of sleep is not humane and physical pain for someone with a ridiculously high pain tolerance is not a good thing when trying to communicate how much pain and discomfort you are suffering to doctors. Nurses get it. Every single nurse I have had the past few weeks, during scheduled doctor’s visits or ER visits has tried to make me comfortable and only poke me once with the IV needle. Yet many doctors have questioned me like I might be lying or stupid or both, or just focused on shit that at this moment really does not matter. Partially because I was not screaming in pain or walking in yelling “Where the doctor is!” Oh but next time I have as much as a hang nail…
However, as I have talked to people in or formerly in my position, and just based on general knowledge, this isn’t uncommon… especially with women, more so with minority women, particularly so with Black women… these doctors don’t fucking listen! I’ve seen in mostly with white male doctors, but I won’t assume that is the only demographic that is guilty. Not only do they have a listening problem, some of them, despite their expertise, also just don’t know how to treat some of us… treat medically or professionally. Weirdos.
So first, my biggest message is advocate for yourself! I mean treat this shit like it’s a career change, and you won’t settle for another piss poor job, boss, or paycheck. Bitch run me my money vibes… on run me my healthcare reality. Talk to them like you are already sure of what you need… because if you listen to your body… you are, you just need to be listened to. If you are in pain, tell them… pain should and can be managed properly. If something isn’t right… tell them to go look at it… some scan or another. If something feels wrong, looks wrong, is acting wrong… show them and assure them that ain’t your norm. And if the doctor won’t listen, ask to see the nurse… they treat people, doctors treat conditions. Then ask the nurse who to go see who will listen. Period.
So do that first. Then do this…
If you run into a doctor that’s just a bit weird or as my nurse friend pointed out “socially awkward” but he/she can get the job done, cool that can be overlooked as a personality flaw. But any doctor who is not being upfront and honest with you and doesn’t care about how certain things manifest and affect YOUR body, which can only be gleaned by his expertise in concert with listening to you… that doctor ain’t for you! I believe those physicians who have zero bedside manner are particularly so because they are uncomfortable with the patient… all the medical knowledge in the world cannot make up for being invested in the individual health of the person in your immediate care. Your Aetna, Blue Care Network, checkbook, ACA coverage, and humanity dictate that you deserve health and proper health care, but also doctors and practitioners who CARE. It’s proper selfcare to ensure you put yourself into those people’s hands only!
Women should not have to rely on women physicians and Black people should not have to rely only upon Black physicians to take the time to care about who we are as a group and as individuals. One of my favorite doctors ever, who was neither Black nor female, after seeing me as a teenager and not knowing exactly what was wrong, said in his thick accent, that he was going to go find out and come back and let me know… to whatever question I had asked him. I was never so impressed. But that should be the norm when you are treating people… no condition will affect everyone the same, especially when we have certain ethnic, hereditary, and environmental factors that factor into how our bodies work. But if you work in healthcare, you should make it your business to promote the health of every patient u see snd show you care by communicating with them openly and honestly, and if necessary, doing a little more research into how that promotion might look based on who they are in totality.
So, I just wanted to share this little reminder… that self-advocacy is your assurance that you will get the support to meet your needs! I wish you abundant health and wealth and all that good stuff! Now go off and get some sleep so you won’t be irritable like me.