Doctors are more useful when you can communicate with them.
That seems self-evident, but is not at all straightforward. Instead, I often become stuck in a loop. First, I go to the doctor. We determine a short-term strategy. I embark upon that course of action, keeping track of how my life is affected. Where appropriate, I perform tests at home, such as taking my blood pressure, etc. If something goes amiss, I bundle up the test results and my notes and mail them to the doctor, along with a request for a possible solution.
That is where things begin to go astray. I wait for the doctor, or some member of their staff, to contact me with a likely solution to my problem. Finally tiring of the wait, I call the doctor’s office, just to be told that they did not receive my correspondence.
I have been sending mail for a very long time. I have never had any of it go astray. Except very recently, and then only with doctors. The conversation goes something like this:
Me: “I’m calling about a letter I sent the doctor three weeks ago.”
Them: “I’m sorry, I don’t see that we received any letter.”
Me: “I sent it on (insert date here) so you should have gotten it a few days later.”
Them: “Did you address it correctly? Our address is (insert the address to which I sent the letter).”
Me: “That’s where I sent it, all right.”
Them: “Well, it never got here. What was in it?”
Me: “Two pages of typed notes with a few questions, and three spreadsheet pages.”
Them: “Oh, that’s too much for me to take down over the phone…”
Me: “Yes, well, that’s why I wrote it all down and mailed it to you.”
Them: “Well, I suppose you could send it again. Do you have our address?”
The only thing that I can see is that the letter arrived and they lost it. Not wanting to admit that, they do their best to make me look like an idiot who is genetically unable to address an envelope. Perhaps they don’t have a system to handle letters. Perhaps they just throw them away because a letter does not allow them to charge for a consultation. I really don’t know.
I do know that my expectations of a doctor seem to exceed what doctors in general are willing to provide. Perhaps the quotient not being achieved is simply that of compassion. In order to do it right, you have to give a shit.