Thursday, September 07, 2006

But, You Don't Look Sick

Do you know how many times I have heard this and wanted to throttle the person saying it to me? Too many, but I have apparently done the same thing.

I had my neurology appointment today. It was an office I had gone to before, but a new doctor. The old doctor was my primary's wife and I liked her, but when I was last in for an appointment, she had mentioned she had limited her hours, her kids (ages 6 and 9) were active and it was too much. Anyway, a new doctor took over the practice and I just assumed she wanted to be a SAHM for a bit.

Anyway, I mention to the new doctor how much I liked the old doctor, blah-blah and she mentions that Dr. D retired from medicine completely. I must have had a weird look on my face and she went on to explain that she wanted to be home for her kids and had medical reasons-end of conversation. Now it's bugging me like crazy cause she added nothing more. I get my EMG, leave and head to the bagel shop in the town the office was in. I am waiting in line and I feel an arm go across my shoulders. Now, I really don't know anyone in this town and I freeze up and slowly turn around and who is behind me, my primary! We talk and I mention the new neurologist and I tell him she told me his wife had retired (she is only about 45 years old) for medical reason and I ask him point blank "What is wrong?". Now, I have countless times sat in his office and sobbed about how hard chronic illness is on a marriage, on the family, etc and he tells me "I know" and I figure "how, from being a physician?-You have a thriving practice, have two healthy kids, your wife is a part time physician, you travel, you teach, life is busy and good-how would you really know?". Well, in the bagel shop he tells me his wife has MS and is in bad shape. My mouth drops open and I start to cry, like an idiot. Here I was, thinking how lucky he was (his wife is about 5' tall and weighs about 90 lbs soaking wet, cute, perky, funny-HEALTHY LOOKING) and he DID know what it was like and suddenly I realized how wrong I had been to judge him and judge his family and basically assume no one did realize. His calls to my house on weekends, calling the hospitals, offering to come out to the house when I was too sick-dammit, he wasn't just being a good doctor, he knew what the hell we all were going through. So I cried, didn't say anything, but cry. Part of me was angry he hadn't mentioned it because, well he knows my whole history and why can't I know his?? Another part was so sad and so stunned because she didn't look sick and I assumed. I should call him in a few days and apologize, but he's known me for 9 years and knows how my mind works and I am sure he has it figured out by now or maybe he thinks it's PMS, I don't know. I might even receive a script in the mail for some anti-depressants-I was that freaked out. Mike has an appointment for BP check next week and he'll talk to him and tell him how upset I was and why I was upset or he'll tell him PMS, I don't know. My self pity party is over peeps-I am done-lots of people have stuff way worse and even perfect lives aren't so perfect. Okay, I'm gonna cry again, so I am ending this post.

7 comments:

Jessica said...

A rather unfortunate way to be reminded that for the most part, we only see people's public faces, even if we think we know them.

Kathy said...

I understand where you're coming from, Deneen, but maybe he didn't want you to feel like he was comparing you and your symptoms to his wife, but rather keep a fresh outlook so as not to miss something.

I hope you're feeling better soon, more relaxed.

kimberly said...

you know I get the same things with my kids. All of them are special needs, but because they don't "look the part" every one (and me included sometimes) expects different behaviors from them. Hang in there and sending you a hug. By the way, could you pass the tissues please?

Kari said...

can't say anything to help ... *hugs*

i do understand.

Sara said...

((hugs))

Ladyrunner said...

((more hugs))

Anonymous said...

(((big hugs)))

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