I had my recheck appointment for the awful sinus infection I’ve been fighting that went untreated for months. It was another disastrous doctor’s appointment. The staff forgot why I was there. I’m here because I was asked to come in for a follow-up. “Oh.” The doctor comes in asking about my diagnosis. This is not an unusual occurrence with a new doctor. What happened next was.
After I explained how mama got Listeria and the CDC has no idea why to this day: the doctor asked, “Do you ever throw it up to mom that if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have CP?” I was stunned. Y’all my mama was in the exam room, with me; because I asked her to be. After a minute, with tears stinging my eyes, I replied: No, sir. I never have and never will. I don’t blame her. It’s a miracle we’re both here. I love her, dearly. She’s the best mama I could have had. She’s my champion and my friend.
After his incredibly rude and insensitive question: he finished examining me. My sinus infection is still lingering…no surprise. I knew before he examined me. When he left the room to decide what medicine to give me because I’m allergic to penicillin: I looked at mama who was as angry as I’ve EVER seen her. I softly said, It’s not your fault. I have never blamed you. I never will. Mama, I love you so much! “I know, Stace, I love you, too.”
When he came back he said, “I want you to go see an ENT. He handed me a card. He told me they had talked and had decided I need a sinus CT as well. I was handed the orders for that, too. In addition, he wanted to see me himself in three weeks. He told me he called me in ten more days of antibiotics. Mama and I both thanked him. We left the office with the paperwork. After we were in the van: mama fumed.
She said, “We are NEVER going back to that office. You are not going to have that CT or see the ENT, either.” I grinned through my angry tears. “You have been to this office four times since September for the same infection. It’s not gone because they refused to listen to you. First, they said it was a strep like virus. Then it was mono, anxiety, anemia, or you possibly had cervical cancer. They said cancer without testing for it before mentioning that particular scary, life-altering diagnosis. Two weeks ago: they looked at your physical again. No anemia, no cancer, no anxiety. It was a terrible sinus infection based on your labs and looking at the inside of your nose. You’ve been through enough, my brave, strong, girl. How dare he ask that about our relationship?”
After she was done, rightfully, fuming: I said, Mama, I love you so much and I meant every word I said to you and him in there. Here’s what else I need you to know. God’s got big plans and a bigger purpose for my life. I know it. Mama you know well I’m supposed to be dead based on my involvement. Some of the best doctors in the country told you and dad as much when I was a young child. You and me: we’re a team; and I’ll spend the rest of my life advocating for myself and others because it’s part of my purpose. I’m going to be just fine. We’ll make sure of it. I’m too much like my mama, granny, and granddaddy Kirk to not be better than fine. My chosen family will help, too. Together can get through and do anything. We prove it, everyday. Mama grinned a little.
In a few days: the search for a doctor resumes. I’m hopeful my old doctor, at the office he is now, takes my insurance. If not: I’ll search until I find myself a great, patient, willing to listen, general practitioner. I will NOT allow any doctor to be as rude to mama and me as he was yesterday…EVER, and still get to call himself my doctor. If a doctor is rude or gives any of you a diagnosis you know, in your bones, is incorrect: see another doctor. Never refuse to be your own medical advocate. Know your body and listen to it. We all deserve to have: full, rich, as healthy as possible, lives. We don’t deserve to just live. We deserve to thrive.