Doctors and Stockholm Syndrome

Dear Reader,

Events of this year have not made me love doctors in general. I am sure there are some great ones out there. I loved our old pediatrician but we moved too far away to keep seeing her.  Mostly we have just had medical issues that drag on and on with no resolution. I am so frustrated with the bureaucracy of it all. How you have to make multiple calls to ever get to talk to your doctor. How you can’t (at least with our insurance) get medicine or appointments with specialists without getting this person’s permission. How I have to follow-up on every detail, like calling for test results that they said they would call me with.

Maybe it’s too much to wish for a doctor that would actually be concerned enough to follow-up on my son’s situation, to call and see how he is doing. But what about giving me results in a timely manner? What about being concerned enough to order tests instead of me searching the internet for possibilities?

And yet the flip side is that I keep pinning my hopes on these people and their suggestions ans the drugs they recommend, thinking maybe this one will be the magic solution that solves our problems.

Which brings me to the title of this post. You know the Stockholm Syndrome in which captives become attached to their captors because they depend upon them for food and human contact? Lately I think that is how I feel about doctors. I am dependent upon them for prescriptions and referrals and maybe even once in a while a new treatment idea. I look forward to each appointment (albeit many months apart because nothing can be scheduled promptly) as these big landmarks in our life, hoping each one will be the answer we seek.

I remember reading a while back in Consumer Reports that those with chronic illnesses rate their doctors’ effectiveness a lot lower than the average person does. We tend to put all pur faith in medical solutions. But the truth is that there is still a lot that is unknown, debated, or unfixable. So we are left in this love/hate relationship. looking for answers to ones who cannot really give them. My experience with doctors is that they try and seem concerned when I am in their office. But out of sight seems to be out of mind. I would love to have a doctor who calls me to see how things are going. Or who just admits upfront, “We don’t know what to do for this. We can try X, Y, and Z, but the bottom line is we are guessing.”



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