A few weeks ago I was at a friend’s house when I decided to give my doctor’s office a call. The conversation went like this:
Assistant: “Hey Shawntel”
Me: “Hi *blank*! When you get a chance can you have Dr. *Blank* prescribe something for nausea. Anything other than Zofran will be fine.”
(We went over a few names and options)
Assistant: “Okay! Between tonight and tomorrow good?”
Me: “Yup! Thank you!”
What’s wrong with this conversation? To most of us living with chronic conditions, nothing. This is the norm. At least it is in my life. My doctor sent over the RX and I was able to pick it up within a matter of hours. I didn’t think twice about it. – Or at least not until my friend pointed something out.
When I finished on the line, my friend looked over and asked me if it was normal for me to just ask my doctor to send something over. I didn’t understand her question. Why wouldn’t it be normal? I need a medication… He’s a doctor… What more did we need?
She asked was it typical for my doctor to just prescribe medications at my request. I never thought of it like that. To most of us living with chronic conditions, it’s pretty normal for us to have these candid conversations with our healthcare providers. Not necessarily that they’re always enjoyable, but overtime we build relationships and ultimately learn that a closed mouth doesn’t get fed. When we need something we have to ask and of course because we are living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and other conditions, we’re going to need things a little more often than your average bear.
In hindsight I am grateful to have such an amazing provider who makes himself available at my call and actually addresses my concerns. I realize everyone is not as lucky as I am when it comes to their own healthcare, but to be honest, before my current GI, I wasn’t always this lucky either. Advocating for myself, calling in prescriptions, addressing uncomfortable topics and conversations was something I had to learn over time. I typically shy away from those kinds of things, but one thing I’ve learned from living with a chronic condition and especially from living with Ulcerative Colitis: sometimes your comfort zone will not align with your needs.
So yes, maybe having a more laid-back relationship with my doctor is a “perk” of living with my disease. I don’t know what I would do if I was forced to schedule a new appointment every time I needed something. I would be in my doctor’s office everyday! (LOL)