Oct 08, 2011 - 8:58 am
Thursday I finally got up the courage to go through with the nerve conduction testing I knew I needed to get the stamp of yet another diagnosis regarding my late effects from treatments. I knew I had nerve damage from my chemo drugs, no one had to tell me that, but you know how it goes - the doc has to say so too. lol. Of course the end result was him saying 'well no surprise you have nerve damage from chemo drugs'. Duh.
However, that all isn't the reason I decided to write a post about the experience. The reason is the doctor himself - the neurologist who ran the test. He was very kind and understanding throughout the whole test and even though I was a total wuss throughout and no doubt a major pain in the keester to him while he was trying to figure out my complicated medical issues together with these conduction results, he still never gave me one moment of grief or invalidated my comments in anyway. He made an uncomfortable situation much easier for me just by being gentle about it all and showing some degree of understanding of what I had been through and where I was now with it all.
After the test was over I laid there on the examination table for a few seconds longer, getting over the shocks for a bit. This doctor came over to the side of the table and looked down on me lying there and said 'you sure have been through so so much haven't you?' Well I could have started crying no trouble at all - it was close. Just that tiny bit of sensitivity and going outside the immediate testing situation by showing that validation and understanding was just overwhelming to me. So many times doctors had one hand on the doorknob from the moment they came into the examining room - no doubt not being able to pick my face out of a lineup because they only saw me as 'another patient', never even looking at me as a person or taking into consideration what I had been through. It doesn't take much.
I left the office of that doctor feeling understood and validated and I think I will send him a letter thanking him for how he handled the situation, it's just so rare these days it seems when lineups are long and time is short. He was training an intern who was involved with my testing too that day and you could tell that the intern was picking up on this neurologist's kind and caring manner - so nice to see.
I usually leave doctor's offices used to feeling invalidated and treated in a not so soft and kind manner which made this visit to see the neurologist a very pleasant and welcome experience. I wish that kind of specialist for all of you everytime you step into a physician's office. It doesn't take much to make a patient feel better but it seems so few take the time.