The other day, I wrote a blog post ‘to my radiographer’ about what would have improved my experience as a patient. Today, I had the complete opposite experience, and thought I would share the positives!
To my Dietician,
I was really anxious about seeing you. I know that losing weight is only a fraction of the reason I was referred to you, but I’ve also had my fair share of (unhelpful) ‘lectures’ from other healthcare professionals. I was really worried you would be the same, and you would think that I was lying if I explained about the different things I’d tried.
You were the complete opposite. You told me your name and asked who I’d brought with me. You asked about what I wanted to get out of being there. You had my chart, but you talked to me rather than just looking at the numbers.
The first thing you asked me was about what I feel like most of the time. And then you asked me what makes me feel better. You looked at my food diary and said it was great that I was so proactive and that I eat pretty healthily. I told you about trying low GI and not feeling any better and you listened. I was really relieved that you didn’t make me feel like it was my fault for not sticking with it for longer or that I ‘hadn’t done it properly’.
You said I wasn’t a straight forward case and were really apologetic about needing to ring for a consult. I get this a lot, so I wasn’t surprised, but I really appreciated your honesty and the fact that you could have just pushed me out the door and discharged me, but didn’t. You wanted to help me feel better, even if I wasn’t technically ‘your problem’.
You didn’t actually give me anything to work with today but you helped me a lot. You told me that I was doing the right thing with my ‘normal’ diet- you reassured me that I was doing the best I can with a difficult to manage situation. You asked for help from a colleague rather than just dismissing me. You empathised with me when you said how frustrating it must be and acknowledged what I’d tried to achieve. You apologised that you couldn’t do more but told me you’d try. I think the thing that really made a difference was that you saw me as a human being with a story, rather than a patient with an illness. Treating my illness is the science of medicine, treating it along with my story/complexities is what makes it an art form. You didn’t preach to me, you worked with me.
You were really human. You couldn’t help me today with my diet, but you did an awful lot to help me with my confidence in managing my illness.
Photo: Google Image