View Full Version : Seeing a new doctor.
Am I the only one who feels extremely anxious when seeing a new doctor?
I have a referral from my GP to see another consultant who's special interest is ocular surface disease. I was pointed in his direction because he is the most likely to be up to date on the Serum drops. I can wait a couple of months and see him on the NHS or I can pay £150 to see him in a couple of weeks - not sure what to do at the moment.
What I wanted to ask is, when you all see a doctor for the first time - do you worry about having your hopes dashed? and what do you say to convey how bad your eyes feel. That may sound stupid but I always tend to clam up when seeing consultants as I feel inferior!
Also - in your experiences, who has been most helpful to you, eye doctors (consultants) or otometrists who specialise in dry eye.
I have often wondered if my eye doctor really understands how much pain I am in. I scored fairly high on the OSDI and other dry eye questionaires. I can only hope that I conveyed what an impact this disorder is having on my life. After a lot of soul searching, I have come to this conclusion. As pain is such a personal and subjective thing, I don't feel it is possible for anyone to fully comprehend the pain that another person is feeling. Two people can have the same disorder and experience it in very different ways.
As a nurse, I have cared for my share of patients in severe pain. While I empathize with their situation, I cannot begin to fully comprehend the pain that they feel. I think the best we can do as patients is answer questions truthfully, not clam up or try to minimize things.
As for trying new things and seeing new doctors, I have learned to enter into such endeavors without any hopes at all. If I expect a doctor to say there is nothing he/she can do, then I won't be disappointed when that is what I am told. In short, I have no hopes to be dashed. By trying new things and seeing new doctors, at least I can be at peace with myself knowing that I tried everything in my power to manage my DES. I guess I don't believe much in the power of positive thought.
Susie i deffiently think you should ask to speak to him first on the phone, tell him the trouble you are having, and say you know people who have benefited from serum eye drops, and if he might be able to perscribe you them. At least you will be getting an idea if he is 'nice' and understands before you waste £150 to see them when there was no way they would have persrcibed it anyway. This is what i should have done. If they don't sound personable, try someone else untill someone is, theres gotta be a nice doctor out there somewhere :). You don't need a referal to see someone private, so you can ring around. This is just as well because after the 2nd eye doctor at bupa hospital, there was noway my GP was going to refere me to anyone else, he thought i must have got a conclusive opinion after two and i was being obsessive, but the 2nd eye doctor didnt know what he was talking about coz he said i dont have dry eye at all. When the others have said i do but not that bad, but we all know that symptoms dont correlate with signs in terms of severenity.
Let me know if you manage to get hold of serum eye drops, ive been interested in trying them.
You are certainly not the only one to be anxious going to the doctor. It is more the rule than the exception. I definitely think you should go and not call -- they are less likely to understand your situation enough on the phone for you to be able to judge their bedside manner.
Unfortunately there is no way around having to go -- face to face and be anxious about it. But I do think it is important when you get there to make the most use of your time and accurately portray what is going on. To this end I think it makes sense to write out what you want to say before going figuriing the visit is always shorter than you expect and you don't want to risk forgetting key points.
Writing it out also helps you to prioritize the most important stuff. I think it is criticial to explain your symptoms -- how severe are they on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being perfectly fine and 10 being the worst imaginable)? How often are they like this ? How does it interfere with your ability to conduct your life ? The course over time -- when did it start, is it bad every day, parts of the day etc ? And finally, what makes it worse and what makes it better. I think the severity of your impairment is the most important thing to communicate. That lets the doctor know how desperate you are. The rest of the questions should be up to them -- if you don't bring them up first.
remember, if you don't go to the doctor your likelihood of getting better is worse then if you go. Being optimistic (but realistic) is helpful in the long run.
clearly this is a tough problem to beat but you have to keep at it to have any success.
That's my two cents worth. good luck.
Sorry i have to disagree with that, because we live in the UK, we have to fund every appointment our selves (£150 each time). I have been to 3 doctors, my aim was to get restasis, if i had called one before hand i would have known that he didn't know what it restasis was and he wasn't prepared to even consider it, or let me give him any details about it. I expressed how severe my symptoms were to him, and cried about them in front of him, but he just didnt care. You could get through 10 eye doctors in the UK before you get a nice one, and being a student, theres no way we can afford £150 each time. It is pot luck i guess you might get one thats open to tring things, it is a risk with your money, which you can't really afford with this condition. To be honest i don't even though how willing they will be to speak to you on the phone, i just think its a service they should give you when youre paying £150 to see them. My acupuncturist spoke to me on the phone and i only pay him £30!
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