So we’re trying to build this website. Well, actually it’s already built; we’re just writing the text for it.
And I hit a stumbling block … a big one. Like, identity crisis-grade. Again. And here I was sitting, pondering my existence/place in healthcare and the role I’m supposed to play.
I went down the hall to pry my husband away from his petty report-writing (ha!) to seek his expert opinion and direction (at least 2 more ha’s). I read him my masterpiece from several weeks ago that had been shelved since its inception.
He said… “it reads a little hostile.”
Really? I thought it had been my imagination. I mean, my headspace was less than 100% uplifting when I wrote it, but I didn’t think it would be that obvious.
I was wrong. I think “pissed off at the world” was also among his descriptive phrases.
This is very wrong. I’m supposed to be a happy, encouraging, uplifting, “I have a better way!” beacon in peoples’ lives. I mean, I’m supposed to be the poster child for all things enthusiastic, focused, and joyful. After all, unlike those cranky vegans, I eat FAT, which is what the brain is made of, right? Right?? I can’t portray myself as “pissed off at the world”. No. That just does not compute.
As I read it a few more times, though, I realized that not only did I repeat myself a few times, but that he was actually right about the slight hint of permeating negativity.
Oh. My. Goodness.
The solicitation of assistance from my husband actually evolved into almost a therapeutic counseling session. I cast him dang near into shrink status as I poured out some Deep Thoughts. I also came to a few important realizations.
Apparently, I harbor some resentment and some regret, and maybe a teeny bit of hostility.
I resent that I end up caught between a rock and a hard place. Insurance companies don’t cover everything anymore (nor have they for a loooong time), yet people still expect everything to be covered. Insurance companies have made it pretty much impossible for doctors to get paid; at the same time, people are expecting someone else to pay for something that should be their own financial responsibility. Two separate entities (other than me) have it all wrong and yet I’m the one who gets made to look like the bad guy. Humbug. So yeah, when the first words out of the telephone-caller’s mouth are, “do you take insurance?”, I roll my eyes a little.
Other things wear on me a little, too…
* Like the people who think they have all the answers and attempt to tell me (the doctor with the schooling, degrees, and license) what to do just because they’ve done a little online research and they think they know what I know.
* Or like those who take dozens of medications, all of which artificially–and harshly–manipulate their systems and when they develop serious problems as a consequence, they end up in my office for me to fix them. Which I can only do if they stop taking their meds.
* Or those who come to see me and start making improvements, but then end up at their “regular doctor” who then meddles with my treatment protocols, screwing the patient up. The variation on that theme that I really can’t stand, though, is when they feel (or say) that they have to run my recommendations by “their doctor” for some kind of approval.
* What takes the cake, though, is the Medicare set (and, to some extent, Medicaid, although those calls are a lot less common). The battlecry that frosts my ass is the whole “fixed income” mantra. I feel like saying, “you’re on a fixed income? Great! Considering that your age group is consistently the most financially well-off and you’re one of the few lucky ones who actually know where your next paycheck is coming from and when, life is good!” Not-so-gentle note to the 65+: playing “poor me” when you are consistently the richest age bracket across the country does not score any sympathy points, nor will it get you a discount or special treatment. Crying “fixed income!”, especially in a bleak and volatile economy, is the quickest way to annoy those around you.
I can’t fathom why these are still issues for me, but they are. I mean, I will continue to face them, but the sooner I learn to work through them and be able to deal with them without emotion, the better. I dislike feeling like I play second fiddle to some MD who overlooked the patient’s problem for years or who is doing nothing about it, especially when I’m a doctor, too. I have all the battle scars to prove it.
I dislike being non-verbally put in the middle of the insurance situation. I didn’t create the problem, I didn’t agree to it, I’m trying to cut the bureaucrats out of the game so that my patient and their wishes/desires/goals/health can be dealt back in.
So with that catharsis out of the way (for now), I’m trying to write a website that Accentuates the Positive and tells people what we do do versus what we don’t. I’m trying not to erect any between-the-lines barriers. On the one hand, I like the idea of almost discouraging people from coming in because then I get only the serious ones. But I’m not sure I have that luxury yet.
Of course, the plain and simple answer to all this is to be selective and choosy when it comes to who I’ll accept into the program and who I may not take on. I have to be ready and willing to let go of those whose priorities are a mess, those who think they know everything already, those who aren’t willing to do what it takes and who aren’t willing to value my time and knowledge enough to pay for it themselves, when their health insurance company is too pig-headed and short-sighted to see the light themselves.
I feel better (for) now; time to write a website.