Thursday, July 3, 2008

My anger with the medical community

Today, I had to make an appointment for the kid with my doc and it was one of the most frustrating experiences. The nurse didn't listen to a word I said, I had to repeat myself over and over and I swear she just didn't get it.

When I was with W2W, I use to go with my clients to doctors appointments as a advocate, their voice. We've (society) convinced folks that they should be intimidated by the medical community and just take whatever they say as the TRUTH. Recently, when my back went out, the doc I saw at the urgent care center was awful. He was no more than a drug pusher and when I called him on it, he wasn't too happy with me. (giggle) I know my body and I listen to what is being said from the medical provider. I don't just say, "Ok". They can be some assholes. They will make assumptions about your lifestyle, education, economic status, etc and then will make their diagnosis based on their bias instead of what is wrong.

Its so sad. I use to go and get HIV testing done at different clinics just to see how I would be treated before referring my clients. I didn't want them to be mistreated. We have to be better at advocating for our health. I've had doctors assume I was uneducated because I showed up in sweats and no make up. When I would open my mouth and correct them, they would be full of apologies. Whatever!

I remember one night ,when my mom was getting sicker, she called 911 because she was feeling dizzy and she was scared. She told the driver of the ambulance she needed to go to Community North but they took her to Community East. Mom panicked. She was a patient at the cancer center at Community North and was more comfortable with being at that hospital for her emergency care. She told them they took her to the wrong hospital and attending nurses began to mock her. They made comments like, "Oh I guess we can't help you here, huh? We're don't treat sick people." And started laughing at her. My called me immediately. If she wasn't sick, they would have gotten their asses whopped by Charlotte Bayless but she couldn't even get out of her wheelchair. I walked in Community East ready to break some stuff. Mom and a volunteer were waiting for me outside. The volunteer was an older woman who was so empathic and sweet. Mom stopped me from going in and raising hell. She just wanted to go home.

I was pissed for DAYS.

In the same way I would question someone else providing me a service, I don't see why the medical community should be even different. Unfortunately, if you have no insurance or are underinsured, you feel you are limited in your choice of providers and this is true, you are. You can still be an advocate for your health at the clinic down the street, at Wishard or where ever. Its your body.

So, I'll be with the Kid at her doctors appointment today, hopefully not raising hell. :)

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