As Iʻve lived in several countries, and several cultures, and have lived in places where the cultures of patient vs doctor or the doctor patient relationships are massively different, itʻs not a stretch to say that visiting a medical doctor – or any health care professional – can be massively stressful – even if I pretended I had perfect eyes, and that there were no culture or possible language issues – or cultural taboos, or cultural behaviors etc; just think about it – the list of potential “issues” is rather long.
Visiting a doctor in Italy: visiting a family doctor or a commercial doctor: hereʻs the recommendation, hereʻs your prescription. Thank you – and have a good day. The same in a hospital or ASL (national health care system): “shut up” – the doctor will not talk to you or ask you anything. Ever.
Visiting a doctor in Finland: private doctor: efficient, usually. You pay, get seen fast, and get a prescription if needed. Public: you wait for at least four hours. No clue how effective, or how good a doctor you get.
Ireland: private: good I guess. Visiting a hospital: results have varied from trying to get a note for work (ended up being stuck in a hospital for a week for a kidney infection) to “you should not really have come to ER for an issue like this” (ear pain that REALLY hurts and has hurt for weeks – are you kidding? Do my eardrums need to rupture first?)
USA: Either 1) oh hereʻs this 30 pages of a questionnaire: “Have you or any of your relative ever or anyone you have ever possibly known suffered from any health issue ever in their lifetime [including being born or dying]? Please specify” or 2) doctors will not talk WITH you or ask YOU anything about your own health. Like youʻre invisible (oh wait: ha ha. I get it. EYE CONTACT. Oh look – I think the doctor is talking with my husband or someone else, not WITH me or asking ME anything. No shit – am I really THAT SIGHTED? Ha ha) or – 3) find a doctor that LISTENS to you, does NOT interrupt you, does not have an attitude… yea Iʻm working on that.
Today I saw a medical doctor. It was quite an adventure, let me tell you that.
“Can I have your driverʻs license?”… “I donʻt have one”… there we go, a good start. Insurance card and my documents with a picture get scanned thru something. Then hereʻs this paperwork (only two pages of medical history, and like 5-6 pages total to fill). Fill this, wait on right, the nurse will get you. Ok… That wasnʻt bad. The nurse had actually good questions too, filled in stuff for me in the system, and then the doctor (whose name I can spell but NOT pronounce) was pretty comfortable too. Soft-spoken, and didnʻt interrupt me, and understood that there are different cultures and languages that also interfere with how one thinks, expresses themselves linguistically, etc etc etc. Not bad. I like when a doctor does not interrupt or seem to have a rude attitude.
And then there was a lab part. They had told me to fast 12 hours. I thought it meant only water, but it could have also been coffee without sweetener – since I missed my coffee, or course my blood pressure and mood is different. Also as my visit was on the afternoon, I had gone for like a 3-4 mile run (I measure the run by music and albums, not by distance), and had a shower, and had got plenty of sunshine on my skin, and a nice shower before… Dehydrated a bit for not having drunk enough water after the run, but letʻs analyze the situation again: 1) sunshine exposure for quite a bit 2) heat exposure and exercise 3) bright orange vision correction while running (completely blocks out blue) 4) bright yellow usual color correction 5) no prescription correction (with I think 2 or 3 pairs of prescription eyeglasses on my bag in case they wanted to check my vision – they didnʻt) 6) allergies (quite well and recently investigated) 7) “psychiatric issues” – now those contain some really bad shit that happened last year but would probably cause you too some “behavioral issues” – yet again, Iʻm taking my own action on those… 8) all the prescriptions – oh and 9) other personal action: taking a lot of sunshine and exercise, eating healthy food, taking some melatonin in addition to maximizing your natural serotonin production… Ha. Iʻll happily wait for the lab results. 🙂
Because when Iʻll have those results, Iʻll have my own background data that help make sense to any results of any analysis. Oh, and now one of the nightmare parts… if you are a girl, whatʻs the worst part of giving a pee sample? Oh, indeed. Mine was kind of of incorrect color because of “natural reasons” – I can see red color, and it was for a moment “oh poop” – until I remembered that hey, the lab results should be able to analyze the results even if they are of, cough cough, wrong color. As Iʻm a girl, I donʻt smell the blood all the times of the month (actually when itʻs PMS, the blood and iron smells. But when itʻs “that time”, I donʻt smell it). I guess the pee test was the strongest emotional thing about the doctorʻs visit today – because it was so strongly “this is not how a pee test sample is supposed to look like” terrified feeling or emotion. Letʻs see how my general and specialized doctor adventures continue. So far Iʻm not too stressed or terrified. 🙂