Doctors Don’t Listen Much Anymore

They read from a book, stereotyped for our age group . . .

I sat down in the Doctor’s office chair, without even a ‘Hello’ she smiled and said,  “I’ve enrolled you in a weekly class on Controlling Chronic Pain.”  And  went on to tell me where they were held, who was in charge  and what to expect from them.

I thought she had me mixed up with some other patient and shaking my head and told her that ‘No, that’s not for me.  I don’t have chronic pain.’  She went on as if I hadn’t even spoken.

But as she called me by my name I knew she had the right folder, and, as if reading from a book, went on with what was to be expected for one in my age group and I sat there as if I were an inanimate object, hearing her but wondering when she’d get around to asking exactly why I had called for an appointment.

She never did, and I knew then that she had studied at some medical School where their major primers were books on what to expect at various age groups.  She very nicely went down the list of ‘taking blood samples’; asking what medication I was taking, vitamins and such, and soon my designated 15 minutes were over and that was that.  Oh, yes, there were queries as to whether I ate and slept well, and then that was that.

The first thing I did upon getting home was to call and cancel the Chronic Pain Clinic classes, and making a note to not let anyone assign me to that medic for my next appointment.  They (whoever ‘they’ are) have what’s wrong with us all figured out and I, somehow, just don’t fit in with their book for my age. 

When you reach your Fifties there must be a well-read book on what illnesses and problems that age group will have.  Then there is a book for the Sixties (your age, not the date) and they’ve studied well the problems that age group will have.  Oh, and here is where Living Wills are insisted upon.  They’ve got it all down pat and a copy of such books are in every medic’s desk.

It continues right along in the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties, only by then the books tell about Care Centers, and ask how to contact your children to tell them what you need. They take it for granted that you are no longer capable of  hearing, answering or planning.  You don’t think so? Wait and see.

What’s funny, and I don’t mean ha–ha funny, is that all kinds of businesses read the same books.  At Fifty my mail changed and I began to get letters and pamphlets from well known clinics sent by high-powered medical universities, insurance companies, and investment firms, all eager to tell me about my own body and how marvelously they can handle my financial business.

When you reach each next decade ‘someone’ re-sets the switch and a new set of instructions and sale’s pitches come to  your mail box. This time they’re from the same schools or companies, but, the content changes into more dire diseases and horrors.  Now they begin hinting at care centers (Oh, so much fun), cemeteries, trusts and wills, and all such ilk and when you reach your Seventies, Eighties, and Egad, your Nineties???  ‘They’ become more blatant and you know that, with ‘them’, you are a naught but a statistic.  Out of the game. So why bother.  Period.

There are no (at least I’ve never found one) books on the people in those growing decades, and the numbers are growing by leaps and bounds, who are healthy, sane, capable and all the rest of the stuff we’ve been doing during the early part of our lives.

Someone, and of all groups, you’d think it would be the medical world, would be the first to realize that our parents, at 45 and 50 were medically where we are at 80.  We’re healthy and not to be medically treated by some book that without even a question, just knows  that you should be enrolled in a Chronic Pain Clinic. They are using statistics from half a century ago and glued them upon us.  And unless things change, that means you, and you, and you, too.

3 thoughts on “Doctors Don’t Listen Much Anymore

  1. Ethel, you hit on the head – I want for my annual physical yesterday. Luckily. the doctor did not have a book in front of him (a computer, yes,) but he did come to the conclusion that I do not fit into the late 70’s bracket. “Keep doing what you are doing and I wish more of my patients were like you”. Enjoyed the blog – you are an amazing neighbor and friendl.

    • I like your mind, Marie, probably, when you respond, you are echoing my thoughts. I didn’t know how lucky I was to come into this naborhood. those long years ago, but I’m glad I did, for I found great friends. E.B.

  2. So true. Last year when I injured my big toe, it was swollen and sore so I went to the doctor. Well right after they asked me my age (61) they auto-diagnosed me with gout and ordered a blood test. Like a fool, I played along, what can you say, they might be right I thought. Well I tested negative for gout and then the doctor told me I just had an injury! Dam_ them.

    The moral seems to be, stand up for your rights, make them listen, and if you don’t like what you are being told, walk out.

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