Doctors…

A few doctor’s appointments ago, I started to over think the exercise. Over thinking, is apparently, a favourite pastime of mine.

It will not shock the hiccups out of you when I declare that I loathe my doctor’s appointments. In preparation of them, I dwell and I worry. The aftermath, usually is not that bad, and I wonder why I wasted the mental effort beforehand. The reason I do become awash with anxiety, before I hit the 4th floor, is simple, those Medically Trained People can, and have been, the barer of bad news. It’s that simple. They hold all the power of me. Well, my body may play a small part in this game, but, they are the ones who tell me about it.

In the reality of my daily life, this transplants to a period of heightened emotion every three/four weeks, which is usually followed by a pleasurable nap.

I never took my apointments for granted until the day I did, and that day was the Bad News Day. Now, as much as I try, I dread that 20 minutes in that tiny room, even more than I dread the hour prior, when I wait patiently with the other patients, keeping my fingers crossed for a certain doctor. These days, I feel like I need to prepare for the worst news. Maybe not the worst news, but never good news, that would just cause mass disappointment and I need to be pragmatic. Let’s face it, for anybody, a trip to the doctor is never equal to a trip to the cured meat counter. Normally I can predict when my appointment will be nothing, an affair where I indulge in my second favourite pastime and talk about me, but there is always that possibility that they will tell me something about me that I do not know. Bad news. They hold that power, and I cannot really predict when it will come.

It’s never going to be easy, but I realised recently why I find it so difficult. I cannot read those Super Trained Medically Trained People. I pride myself on my ability to read people. I readily admit that I get this wrong most of the time, but with them, in the very limited time I get to see them, there is no scope for me to understand them as people. Nor even imagine what they are like as people. I have more than five doctors, and I have never seen one for more than two hours in total and never for more than half an hour at a time, at a push. In my appointments, all we talk about in that time is me, apart from the one time I had a discussion with my least favourite doctor* about the benefits of a particular phone contract. These Medically Trained People give me no opportunity to know what they are about and this makes me uncomfortable. I know why this is the case, I watch American TV dramas, but it does not make my treatment any easier. They all wear a standard Haematologist uniform too, so I cannot extract anything from their outfits, apart from the fact that as a group, bar one, they avoid the general doctor uniform of brogues, chinos and a crisp white shirt without a tie. Why is this? Why do my doctors favour grey?

My Doctors are enigmas. They are strangers to me. I see them, they talk to me about me and I have no input in the discussions or thinking. Well my body does, but my body doesn’t make me Me. I cannot win them over with self deprecating humour, nor can I make them hate with with back stabbing bitchiness. I don’t let them, no, they don’t let me show either part of my personality. It is all about my blood. My contaminated blood. I have no control over that. The loss of control is disconcerting. They know about me, and to me, they are a collective group with no discernible personality.

I am sure they do things behind my back to my benefit, in fact, I am sure of it, but with the exception of two of My Myeloma doctors, three at a push, I cannot see behind their fake office on the 4th floor and poker face. I do not think my feelings are a reflection against any of the individuals, I am confident I am receiving the best care possible, but my problem, is with the role of the ‘doctor’ I guess. I want to feel pampered.

I struggle to discuss anything with anyone if I know nothing about them. My contact with these Medically Trained People is so slight, I can hardly imagine something about them, and this makes the control all theirs. They hold the power in my appointments. They can dash hopes and make them, and I have no say, no interpretation of it. Every appointment I know this, and I know it before every appointment, and that is why I struggle with it.

So, with that in mind. I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. I am
SO excited about it.

EJB x

* I feel somewhat guilty now for describing the secret smoking doctor as my least favourite doctor… I am convinced he senses it, for every time I see him now wandering the floors of the Macmillan Cancer Centre he is nothing but super duper nice to me. Every time, the guilt mounts. He smiles and I sweat. I take it all back. Maybe in the autumn he was just troubled. At least with him, I do not eagerly stare at my phone to avoid eye contact if our paths happen to cross on the street. Hypothetically, this may have happened with a senior of senior Medically Trained Person. Twice.