Acceptance and Awareness, Dignity & Respect, Equality, Healthy Lifestyle, Holistic Health

The Family Physician

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting my fourth family physician. It would be the second one in the course of seven months. Before that I had a doctor since graduating from a pediatrician, of which I had two – one from birth and changing to my last one at the age of 10. However, after this last visit, although it was by phone, I was never so calm.

Now I don’t have white coat syndrome and needles don’t bother me a bit. I don’t struggle a bit with the pricking and prodding. It’s just this doctors demeanor was just difference and he had an awesome bedside manner.

Now I can think that many autistics once reaching adulthood do not truly rely on their family doctor due to our complex specialty needs that are farmed out. Oftentimes you’re just a case number on the computer, a knock on the door, a few breaths, a order to the pharmacy or lab, and after lengthy waiting, you’re on with your day. 

This was the feeling with the previous practice. I was with them for 10 years before having pneumonia.Otherwise I saw them once a year. When I began to develop symptoms, I visited the doctor on a Friday was given pills and told to call Monday morning should symptoms became worse.

They did.

I returned, was given a breathing treatment and ordered to go to the hospital. My first hospital stay other than psychiatric in my life. It was their hospital and I did like the care I received, however I was farmed out to a specialist, ordered a CPAP and oxygen. I didn’t get them. I did the follow up so I could return to work. 

Then things started changing.

After 10 years of seeing an actual doctor, I was farmed out to the nurse practitioner. She ordered labs for the first time ever with any family doctor. Then she discovered I had a elevated thyroid and ordered a medication.

She hooked me in. I would need to return six months later.

Over the course of that time I would experience the decline of my grandfather’s well being after my grandmother passed. He knew from the beginning the practice wasn’t good, they had a poor demeanor and the bedside manner wasn’t all that great, essentially when he wanted clearance to be operated for cancer when the beloved doctor said essentially we don’t want you to die on the operating table. He visited the nurse practitioner in his last months with us and was given pills ordered tests and sent on his way.

Should have searched for a new doctor, but I kept there.

The next few years went okay, meds and forms filled out as necessary, but was appalled when the giant healthcare system ordered I pay $10 for them to complete my driver permit form because was electronic.

Should have been searching, but was just in denial.

Then almost year ago. I got a phone call after getting blood work.

I was three hours from home at a conference, I was asked questions about by bathroom habits. I answered them honestly. They called back and stated I needed a colonoscopy! Keep in mind I was about to be 34. I asked how this was determined. They said answers I gave the phone call prior but they were in no way true. I told them this and they became very argumentative and I became a little frustrated. Nonetheless I apologized and refused the colonoscopy.

When I returned home from the trip. I did spreadsheet workup of my labs going six years back. From six years to that point the were if not the same or possibly better than years ago. They ordered me another pill and I began the search.

The year before I moved out on my own. I was two blocks away from my community hospital. Many have negative impacts about it, but they’ve been around for 130 years. They have a autism school (it’s ABA.driven, but it has its pros and coms), mental health services and  a.gym that I began using after a 14 year hiatus after going to th mega gym.Being a member of the community, I felt it was important to be community minded.

My parents have been attended by a doctor that is a family friend the past ten years. Through them I got on the waiting list and was seen by her Physicians Assistant, who was super nice and had an awesome bedside manner. I was ordered labs and pills and an appointment was scheduled for a few weeks ago.

Then COVID hit, and the practice was.shook up.

My parents doctor and her staff of 15 years all resigned and left the local hospitals practice and went to a neighboring healthcare system. As such for the time being she would be practicing for s some time an hour away. My parents chose to go, they asked me if I wanted to go. I decided to stay here in my small town and have the faith in the community hospital. As a result, my.appointment was.moved to this week.

Earlier this week, I discovered in the email appointment reminder who would be attending my case

The doctor is is local and male.

Now I had my doubts about this. I didn’t know if I had to go in person. Furthermore, I had fears the it would be like the practice I would have left to come here.

Then the appointment came, over the phone.

After consent to be treated over the phone. He came on.

The conversation began by him stating he spent time the day prior reading my case and was unclear about my diagnoses. There was both Autism and Aspergers, he was unsure what was the official diagnosis. After discovering when I was received my diagnoses, he determined that I indeed inherited Aspergers and my new GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder.)

He questioned my anemia and ordered blood work for it and said he would call me back with the results. He asked about my family history and social history. We spent a great 22 minutes on the call yesterday.The longest time ever with a doctor on a phone. 

I was pleased he wasn’t pushy or arrogant like I expected, just goes to show you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. By the way the only other male family doctor I had was my first pediatrician from birth to age 9. Maybe this will be a nice change for me.. It may be something I need without being ignorant about my physical health.

Here is to better health.

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