I found myself staring at his picture. After I hung up the phone with the hospital’s front desk receptionist (or whatever the politically correct term is these days) I stared at his picture, at his eyes, at his smile, at his kind face on that folded print out. It was a print out handed to me by the first neurologist that saw me about two years ago. He was the first person, doctor to ever mention dystonia to me, something he admitted he knew little about. After months of lab work and test and wires on my head, like a lab rat, proving (according to all test results) that I was perfectly healthy human being, but clearly I was not, he referred me to this movement disorder specialist. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a movement disorder specialist.
He told me to look into the doctor in the picture as he handed me the print out with his name and credentials and some more papers explaining what dystonia is. He sent over my medical records to this specialist doctor, but two years ago the health insurance I had didn’t cover this movement disorder specialist. I will call this doctor Dr Hope.
I ended up with another movement disorder doctor and he was terrible. I will call him Dr. Ass. He is the one I love to quote as saying to me “I have 40 years of experience” to prove to me that he was right about my psychogenic diagnosis (after just one visit with him) and then told me I needed to accept the diagnosis in order to get better.
Fortunately, as of today my new student health insurance begins and this insurance does allow me to see Dr. Hope, the specialist I was originally referred to.
Now, I have renewed hope that this doctor, that this man, that this human being will look at my medical records I had sent over to his office from my PCPs office, after I signed a medical release form. Now, I have hope that he will look at my medical records and accept me as a new patient. I have renewed hope that he will accept me as a new patient and he will give me that second opinion that will cure me of all the twisting, jerking and locking my possessed body tortures me with when I become too exhausted, or I’m on my period or whenever the hell dystonia decides to show back up.
I stare at his picture and I beg, I plead, I pray as if he’s a new God, my new hope and my stomach turns and churns. This doctor, this man has the power to decide if he will see me or not as a new patient. I cannot as a patient choose him. This is how limited my options are for doctors with movement disorder specialties. My stomach turns, as I chant “Please! Please! Accept me as your new patient. Please!”
If moths are more upsetting to the stomach than butterflies, then I have moths in my stomach and so many of them. What if he doesn’t accept me?What do I do then? It isn’t as if there are a bunch of doctors with a specialty in movent disorders available.”Let me help you help me figure out what I have! Please…” I say the doctor’s real name repeatedly in my head and out loud as if I was face to face to him now. Does he see me? Does he see my struggles, my humanity, my worth, my pain, my kindess, my family…
He has a nice face. A kind face. This is what I tell myself to convince myself that he is a good doctor, that he cares about people as if a face in a black and white picture can provide all that information. This is what I tell myself because I need to believe that someday I won’t be frightened of exherting myself into a storm. I need to believe that someday I will feel strong again and confident of myself. If I have a good day I won’t be afraid to enjoy it physically without feeling like a fish on a boat gasping for life as my body finally relaxes and allows me to breath. I need to believe that I won’t be attacked by pain in my back, in my neck, in my limbs during these episodes, but most of all I just don’t want my loved ones to see me this way anymore. The pain on their faces when they see me in pain. That helpless look they have when they know all they can do is let the storm pass and offer me rest and water after.
Please Dr. accept me as your new patient. Please! I will wait in the 3 month line with the rest of my fellow twisters and shakers, because you have my cure or at least more answers and more options than the other doctor and I deserve an answer from a doctor who cares.