Bye, Bye, Bye. You Are fired: Why I Decided to See a New Doctor
Sometimes during our medical journey, we are put into a situation where we have to fire a doctor or specialist. Unfortunately, it is kind of normal to have to go through this.
This can come about due to various reasons, and it's not always easy to do. Although I have never had to literally say those words to a doctor/specialist, I have had to fire 2 general practitioner (GP) doctors. (I know, sounds weird, right?)
The doctor may not always know best
I was first introduced to the concept of firing a doctor because of my mother and her battle with Crohn's, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). She had to fire a specialist because he was rude and did not want to help her much. I am grateful that I have this previous knowledge because it has given me power in an area where I feel very powerless.
The general assumption is that you're supposed to do every single thing that doctor says, but, in reality, doctors may not always know what is best. (May not be educated on the disease) Or sometimes, they just don't want to do what is best. (They find your case too hard and decide not to help you.)
My doctor thought it was all in my head
The first time I had to fire a GP was because he thought my case is too complicated, so he gave up and said it was all in my head. He did not say those words to me, thankfully, but he did say that to the ear, nose, and throat doctor (ENT) he was referring me to because I have stones in my salivary glands.
The ENT is the one who told me that my GP believes it is all in my head. If he believed the stones were in my head, that meant he also believed that about my restless legs syndrome (RLS) and IBS. If the GP truly did believe that, why was he not sending me to a psychiatrist to get help? I got lucky that he needed help with his caseload and hired more doctors, so I was able to easily transition to a new GP.
Being told to just exercise more
This GP lasted for a couple of years. It seemed like it was going to be a really good match, but I knew it was time to find a new GP when the doctor told me all I need to do for my tachycardia, RLS, and joint hypermobility is exercise more. When I spoke to the sleep expert about my RLS, he said that it was basically ingrained into me because I have been suffering since I was 9.
I know there aren't tons of options for people who live with RLS, but just telling me to exercise is an exercise cop-out (see my article The Exercise Cop-Out for explanation). Again, I was able to just transition easily to another GP who is part of the same team.
A relationship built on trust
I believe it is important to have a good relationship with even just your basic doctor, let alone specialists. That doesn't mean you have to be friends with your doctor, but you should feel like you can be open and honest with your doctor.
You should feel like you can trust your doctor and that they have your best interest at heart. It may be hard to find a new doctor, but taking care of your health is not a bad thing in the long run. Even if all you suffer with is RLS.
Have you had to fire a doctor before? Was it difficult to come to this decision, or was it an easy one?
At what age were you diagnosed with RLS?