Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The End of an Era - Changing Doctors

I went to my doctor today, for what will be the last time.  After fighting with different insurance companies for the previous couple years, I finally found myself with no insurance options that would cover my specific doctor.  After checking all my options I ultimately resigned myself to striking out to find a new PCP.

While this may seem insignificant to a lot of people, changing doctors for a "spoonie" is a big deal.  It can take a lot of effort and expense to find a doctor who will take fibromyalgia seriously and have the patience to help you manage it on an individual level for the long run.

I find myself reflecting back on the intense stages of life that my doctor has seen me through, and I can only walk away from the past 4 years thanking God for putting her in my life at exactly the right moment to help me cope and gently walk me through some of the roughest days of my life thus far.  

Each time that I previously thought I would have to give up my doctor, I went through an emotional roller coaster of fear and anxiety, feeling hopeless.  This time, I simply accepted it.  It was time.  As I saw her this afternoon to get a medication refilled and to check in, I was able to thank her for the truly compassionate care I've received from her and the staff.  I broke the news that I would no longer be able to keep coming to their clinic.  In response to my news, she broke her own revelation--that she would be moving on as well to a different clinic.  I thanked her for her help and wished her all the best.

All I can say is--thank you, God, for keeping her there as long as I needed her, and giving me grace for the changes to come.  It's no exaggeration to admit that leaving her office today felt more emotional than leaving my college campus after graduation.  Normal people probably aren't typically that close with their doctors, but when so much of your life is impacted by what happens at the doctor's office, and you find the first person in a white coat who offers a listening ear and believes you when you share your symptoms and struggles--that relationship is not lightly replaced, and I am confident it won't be.  But I have hope that I am now better equipped to be my own advocate in the medical world, and I am ready to face building a new relationship with a new doctor.

Those of you who spend enough time with your doctor to reach first-name basis know the significance of this transition.  For those of you who don't, I genuinely hope you never find out.

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