Are you an emotional female droning on to your doctor year after year about "little things" like fibromyalgia, thyroid issues, insomnia, menopause, or hypoglycemia? And have you encountered any of the following Dr. Talk? * All the tests came back negative. (Translation: I don't know what else to do for you so you'll just have to live with it.) * Maybe you should take a few days off work. (Translation: I don't think there's anything wrong with you, but you might feel better if you go shopping and buy a new hat.) * Are you worried or stressed about something...how's your family life? (Translation: Since the tests are all negative, you must be upset about something in your life. Depressed people complain of stuff.) * Are you sure you're not depressed? (Translation: You're a hypochondriac or it's all in your head.) Well, I have...for over 30 years! Since I was a teenager, I've been going to the doctor complaining of various things for which the blood tests have all come back negative. It started off with feeling shaky when I don't eat every few hours and feeling awful when I exercise. In my 20's I added feeling cold all the time and in my later 30's it grew to include menopausal symptoms as well as insomnia and a feeling of exhaustion. I'm now 48, many copays poorer, and don't have insurance anymore. Each time I was pregnant, I was tested for diabetes and was told it was negative. Though nurses were shocked to find my blood pressure so low even at full term that they had to take my pressure in TWICE in each arm to validate why I could still stand up, they dismissed any issues I had saying low blood pressure was good! When I was 37 I began a series of doctor visits asking about peri-menopause, but the doctor refused to even test me for it as 37 was far too young to be starting menopause. Well, they say it takes about 10yrs and my grandmother was DONE at 47, but why bother with little things like family history, symptoms and intuition! When I was 46 and falling asleep all day long, a new doctor finally diagnosed me with fibromyalgia, insomnia, mild hypoglycemia and peri-menopause. Thankful I finally found someone who agreed there was something wrong, I quickly found that modern medicine was ill-equipped to do anything about it. He didn't recommend the medicines he could authorize as they had too many side effects so he simply left me alone to deal with it on my own. Along the way, out of sheer desperation, I turned to researching the internet and found several things that have helped. I found a cream that took all but one symptom of peri-menopause away. I found a good vitamin that was formulated just for those with thyroid issues and I found out how to discuss my issues more effectively with my doctor! So today, I'd like to share a bit of what I learned about one of my communication pet peeves: Dr. Talk. First, I realized that I first had to find a doctor who believed in healing in a more natural way and who believed that God created the body to heal itself. Secondly, I found that there were some things I had to do (and some I shouldn't do) in order to effectively communicate with my doctor. 1. No matter how frustrated you are or how many doctors it took to get to this one, give this doctor the benefit of the doubt and use graceful speech when addressing the doctor. Getting upset right out of the gate (or in this case, examining table), is likely to cause any human being's feathers to ruffle. 2. Be respectful of his/her years of training and experience. Speak respectfully to the doctor, even if you disagree. The more respectful you are to him/her, the more he/she will be to you and the more credence he will give to your ideas. 3. Be courteous, but don't take "I dunno" for an answer. If you don't get the answer you want from your doctor, you can calmly and respectfully suggest the research you found and remedies you'd like to try. Or tests you'd like to have done. Doctors are busy folk. They may not know of the latest research, but if you throw it in their face, they may feel like you are calling them incompetent. If you don't press to find the right treatment, you may live with the same silly maladies for 30yrs! 4. Bring a list of symptoms and questions with you so you don't forget what to tell or ask the doctor. Now take care here, because doctors can get intimidated by "The List." I usually say that I have a list because I'm so tired I can never keep everything straight. That helps to put the doctor at ease that I'm not there to grill him. lol I actually wrote about how to talk to your doctor in one of my studies for adults called Say What You Mean Every Day. I am planning to write a complete book about my experience with doctors and how to talk to them more effectively sometime in the not too distant future. The working title is, So THIS is What it Feels like to be Normal! What's your story? What have you experienced? How have you discussed your treatment with your doctor? How have you handled any disagreements? Share!