Why We Hate Our Doctors
I have had psoriatic arthritis for over thirty-five years. It took me twenty-five years to get the proper diagnosis. Most patients with a chronic ailment go through a lot of pain and discomfort and are in regular need of a doctor’s attention.
I went to a doctor often and was told that my pain was not real. For every successful consultation, there must be both communication and listening skills in play. I never had this.
Managing doctors with psoriatic arthritis
The thing that hurts me the most is that I had pain, fatigue, swelling, and signs of psoriatic arthritis. How could this be in my head? I have had challenging interactions with doctors because of discrepancies in their perceptions of what psoriatic arthritis should be.
Those frustrating doctors tend to be very inattentive, close-minded, impatient, aggressive, and aloof. These types of traits are not only not helpful but can potentially cause more harm than good. It seems these difficult doctors undermine the medical team’s effectiveness, cause poor patient satisfaction, medical errors, and cause preventable outcomes.
Try to understand
Most people act in a difficult manner when something has upset them. It is important to put yourself in the doctor’s shoes because they might have legitimate reasons for feeling the way they do. They honestly do not get it.
Be attentive to their body language
Nonverbal behavior can be a good indicator of how one is feeling. By studying someone’s posture, facial expressions you can be able to tell the emotional state they are in and handle them accordingly. So many doctors have got upset with me over the years. I can hardly walk, but you tell me to take an aspirin.
Engage them in dialogue
By talking to the doctor and repeating to them what they just said, they might realize how they sounded to others. By talking to them they might help you find a solution to their problem. Well, it only took 25 years, but I finally got a doctor who told me I was right.
By asking other doctors whom they consider as equal to talk to them. This might work because they might find it easier to open up to their colleagues. It was my dermatologist who kept insisting that I needed to see a rheumatologist and recommended me to someone over twenty years later.
The difficulty of communication
There are a lot of factors that can make a doctor become difficult to communicate with. There could be cultural barriers, belief system,s or even the doctor’s work style. Studies show that the more experienced doctors are less likely to be difficult. The doctor is still out on that one.
I remember years ago a doctor telling me that I was a very demanding patient and confused. This was not so, I just wanted answers. How can someone tell you that your pain is in your head when you are in great pain every day. I was very patient for years and held my tongue. I knew I had to find a doctor who understood.
Being a strong advocate
As I educated myself more on my disease, I would share my findings with my doctors in a polite way. I would let them know my concerns and why my diagnosis was not correct. Most did not listen, but 25 years later one did and all I needed was that one. I finally started getting the treatments that I deserved.
One of the reasons I try to be a strong advocate is I know that when you aren’t feeling well that it’s hard to fight for yourself. At the end of the day it’s up to you to find the best treatment for you. If you have a doctor that is behind in times and not keeping up with research, find out about new treatments, maybe it’s time to look for a new one.
Do you have a sleep disorder (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your PsA?