Over the weekend, I started to become more and more anxious about seeing my neurologist. I began to wonder if he got my phone message from his nurse about my decision about the pump’s ultimate removal.
I began to wonder what he would think about this decision. Would he behave as reluctantly as the pump doctor has? Would he challenge my decision or judge it as “crazy”? For a while, I convinced myself I was crazy to do this during this mental hamster wheel activity.
Furthermore, how would I get from the parking garage to the office building? Should I bring the manual chair? Can I push the manual wheelchair up the incline between the garage and office? Maybe I should let my friend take me as we planned.
Besides that mess of obsessive thoughts inside my head, I also noticed that I kept repeating to everyone I talked to over the weekend that “This is my choice. It is my body.”
As I was riding home with my friend from the appointment, I was sharing with her how the visit went.
The more I heard myself tell her about it, the more I heard just how much I went in there as a person in charge of my own health and well-being.
Then I said, “Gosh, it sounds like I went in there and told him what’s what, doesn’t it?” Indeed I did just that.
I realized later that I didn’t care what his perception of my decision was.
Please don’t misread me here. I certainly value his opinion and body of knowledge about matters related to my condition and symptom management, but what he thought about this decision, or me for that matter, was irrelevant.
I have not felt empowered with many doctors over the last few years since the pump drama began. This was a level of empowerment that my primary care doctor (PCP) facilitated when he brought out into the open the fact that it is my decision to continue this treatment option.
I let that carry me through the next day’s appointments. I was also able to tell the pump doctor what the neurologist had to say, and felt empowered while doing so. I rarely have felt any level of it there because I have rarely gotten what knew I needed from him.
Prior to all the pump problems and being told, “you shouldn’t be having pain,” and various other invalidating phrases over and over again, I was just getting the hang of being the empowered patient. I only had the doctors to rely on for my health during my rapid decline in the early years and felt totally powerless back then.
Well, not anymore.
When I saw my PCP yesterday, I said, “Do you know what you did last time I was here?” I thanked him for facilitating all of that.
More on the specifics of those appointments to come…
In the meantime, do you consider yourself an empowered patient?
- Big Girl Panties Back Story (thetawny.wordpress.com)
- What is Empowerment? (stuartpownall.wordpress.com)
- Developing Personal Empowerment (butterfly-maiden.com)