The Wrong Doctor, The Right Process
The plan was in place. My mother and I thanked him with utmost sincerity for his time, genuine advice, and conservative approach. “Feel better, Sabrina. Good luck.” He gave both my mother and I warm hugs as we stepped out of his office. Off to his next patient he went.
As usual, my mother and I discussed the course of the appointment on our walk back to the car. “Mom, he was so nice! He actually believed me! What an amazing doctor, I think he might help me! Finally!” I looked up at her, my eyes sparkling with renewed hope, my cheeks raised with a bright smile.
This doctor bought my trust by guiding me through his approach and telling me what symptoms to look for so we could establish a diagnosis. I will emphasize that NOT ONCE did he pin a diagnosis on me, and NOT ONCE did he dismiss my symptoms. By assuring that he was not enthusiastic about operating on me, it was apparent that he would give me an honest opinion in my best interest and remain as conservative as possible.
After a month of dietary changes and medical exams, my symptoms were still present. A few good days, a few bad days– I was still clueless as to what was helping and what wasn’t. Nevertheless, I was eager to discuss my test results with him and discover if his theory was, indeed, correct.
That Tuesday afternoon, the doctor welcomed us in the waiting room. “Hi, Sabrina, it’s so nice to see you! How have you been feeling?” I gave my earnest answer, “I’m ok I guess, nothing changed,” and shrugged my shoulders. “Hopefully today I can give you some answers, I look forward to discussing your results,” he said, proceeding to greet my parents and explaining the game plan for today’s visit.
“Before our appointment, I want to show you the images from radiology and explain them to you. Afterward, we can discuss the significance of it and the treatments I can provide.” He invited us back to his personal office, where we congregated around his computer. My test results were already pulled up, as if he was reviewing them again just before my visit. The supposed irritated areas were circled in red, identical to the illustration he had drawn on his white board during our first appointment. “According to radiology, your results were normal, but I gave the images a closer look and found them to depict a borderline condition. Let’s go back to the room so I can show you what this means.”
We listened to him attentively, and him to me, as I shared my symptoms over the past month. “I tried what you suggested, but everything I eat gives me a stomach ache. There is no clear pattern, so I can’t really tell which foods make me react and what is ok.” For this reason, his theory– that I had somewhat of a structural issue– made sense in my mind.