Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Patience, grasshopper

I saw a patient today for a checkup. He's been coming to me for a variety of chronic conditions for a few years now. His chart is littered with conversations about weight loss, quitting smoking, and refused shots and colonoscopies. I send my medical student in to see him first.

Her report was that he'd lost 10 pounds in three months, and was requesting a tetanus shot and an appointment for his colonoscopy.

I was tickled. So I asked him "why the change of heart?"

"Because I trust you now."

Which was nice to hear. Then I asked, "Is there anything I could have done differently, to have helped you trust me sooner?"

"Nope. Just be patient."

Guess I'll have to trust him on that.


PE Mommy said...

Yeah that's true. I had a horrible delivery with my first daughter (dr dumped me in the hospital to be dealt with by God knows who and went on vacation (she had told me she would be there), and I almost died from severe preeclampsia and partial hellp syndrome. Then after being in the hospital for 10 days, I was like I am outta here. Baby is ok. I am ok now. Time to leave. They wanted to keep us another 3 days at least. I signed out ama after the resident ped told me the baby would have to stay till she was 7lbs (this totally went against what the other ped had said). Threw him out my room, called the base commander and told him I didn't know who he needed to talk to but I was leaving the hospital with the baby the next day. I agreed to all follow up visits with the military dr (had been in a Belgian civilian hospital and drs). Nurse came storming into my room with an AMA form. I signed it and MY original ob decided to show up because I was po'd.

Anyway, didn't see an obgyn till I got pregnant 5 years later. Skipped all exams and everything for that 5 years. Was terrified of another experience like the last and being transferred. Totally trusted NO ONE. Till after delivery. He kept his word. He ran interference with the nurses, took command of my situation the entire time, his nurses called me at home when I was on bedrest, and didn't use mag (although he said if I had even a trace of protein at delivery I was getting it whether I liked it or not because it was the only drug that could save my life). I was never checked by a L&D nurse, only him and once by his midwife. He was fabulous. It was AFTER the delivery that I started to trust him. It just took me getting past the point where the trust had been broken before. Sometimes docs have to be a little patient with people like me. Oh and forget me trying to blow off an annual exam now. The nurse will call me and say you ARE coming in right??? Umm yeah. be there at 2.

Dr. Smak said...

PE Mommy - thanks for sharing your story. Guess it just takes time....