Advocating For My New Care Needs With My Provider
I had been preparing for an appointment when I realized the needs that I had before were different than they had been in the past. I think patients need a diverse approach, just like an investment portfolio. We may need to reevaluate our portfolios to get a better sense of what we need and when, but perhaps it is something that is always evolving.
Advocating for my care needs
I was now an empowered patient, I had my “data”, I now had to advocate for myself. Yet, I still had this smidge of doubt if my preparation for this particular appointment was prepared to go in the right direction. I soon realized that this is because my patient care needs have changed from a year ago. My asthma control was in a different spot and I was back to figuring out breakthrough symptoms that I have not had in some time. After a rocky Fall visit with my specialist, I had been giving more and more thought to leaving their practice. I understand that they are busy and it had taken us such a long time to be “partners in my care,” but we just did not seem to be connecting and I felt like our goals were no longer aligning.
In some ways, I had always been scared to leave their care considering we had been through so much to get me to a place of good asthma control. I had gone through a few doctors after being told that there were limited options or that a physician was at a loss on what else to try. It was nerve-wracking to think about going back to that place. What I needed to remember is that I was feeling empowered and ready to leave the nest if need be. I will admit, that a lot of this newfound power came from a particularly good stretch of controlled asthma and knowing that I have a good handle of things.
Voicing my concerns
When I approached these concerns with my specialist, they were somewhat disregarded. This had me questioning if my partnership/doctor-patient relationship was still a good fit. I did not find that I was being heard. I was encouraged to look on the bright side, that I have enjoyed a good stretch of health and to celebrate that. While this was true and we did not have a shared opinion on this, I, for the first time in quite some time, did not care as much about their opinion. Maybe this was a good reality check, perhaps I was more hyper-vigilant about changes in my asthma control. This realization gave me the strength to identify that I have different care needs at this stage of my asthma journey. I now know that as important as figuring out my complex case was finding a care-relationship in which I feel respected and like a true partner.
Where did I go from here?
Moving forward with my care
I actually had a heart to heart with the Fellow at my last appointment about my concerns about my previous interaction and they were able to express those concerns in a different way. I ended up having a meaningful conversation with my physician and finding a bit of common ground. It is important to understand that physicians also have bad days as well. However, it is important to stick with what you need out of a care-relationship. If it isn’t working don’t be afraid to make a change.
Have you had an experience where you needed to end a care-relationship? I would love to hear about your experience. Please consider sharing your story or writing a comment below!
Do you get muscle cramps caused by your asthma medicine?