Sunday, June 15, 2014

A DOCTOR TELLS . . . A tip on getting more out of a medical visit

Back at the podiatrist's for the second appointment, I had unanswered questions that had been piling up for years.  And what definitely looked to me like arthritis, with toes going off in new directions.  And a few other problems.  I reminded him that he'd told me my legs can cause foot discomfort. 

He told the assistant to see if they had any metatarsal pads.  He asked me if I had an arthritis doctor.  I said no (didn't admit that I never heard of such a specialty.)  

 I asked if toe stands would make my metatarsal arch worse - I need an exercise because I can't pass the balance test.  He sent me over to the counter to do a toe stand, and I barely lasted a second.  

After seeing that he sent me back to Carol (the NP, who's been in this area for many years) and told me to ask her for a rheumatologist. Then he very gently said: 

Let them do their whole spiel before you ask all your questions.  Hear what they think.  Don't distract them.  

I laughed at myself, and acknowleged him for being so tactful about that.  I know I spew out questions/problems at doctors sometimes.  Between the spine fusion and the DCIS diagnosis and treatment, other medical problems have been pushed aside, and are really nagging at me.

Got in to see the NP two days later.  She gave me some rheumatologists's cards, but I kept asking if she knew anyone.  She went across the hall to a different computer, and simply looked up some names in our area.  Coming back to me, she exclaimed:  I'm excited!  Two good people she thought had moved away are back in the area.  So I have names to call Monday.  If they take me, I plan to be a good and patient listener.

I wish you great patient/doctor communications.

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