Oct 18, 2011 – This particular piece received a lot of hits this week so I thought I’d look at it to see why and oh wow I really shouldn’t publish blog pieces while still on pain meds. I’d delete this, but there’s some good stuff in it, even if it does reveal a mild (and short lived) post-op crush on my surgeon – so I’m keeping it. You should have seen it before I scrubbed it — mortified does not even begin to describe how I feel reading this a year later and realizing it has gone viral locally. I wrote this back when I had all of four readers — my family — and then I promptly forgot about it until now. — This is part of a series I’d written during my hysterectomy in 2010. You can tab to the older entries to see the full story if you’d like. or not. Either way – enjoy.
The only thing I hate more than going to the doctor’s office is going to a MALE doctor’s office. I don’t do doctors. I especially don’t do MALE doctors. Hmmm. Nope, not my style. And yet what do I get with my referral on Easter? A Male doctor. Nice.
Color my Easter basket un-thrilled. It’s bad enough I was in so much pain I had to leave Easter Services to go to the hospital, now I find out that I need to see a guy about my female parts? Can I just please fall down a rabbit hole and stay there? I mean, it worked for Alice didn’t it? —
Oh that’s right, she came out of it eventually.
I tried to drown my pitiful sorrows with chocolate marshmallow bunnies, but it didn’t help. I needed to see a specialist and he was available and it turns out, it didn’t kill me.
My surgeon at looks kinda like Robert Downey Jr (or at least he did post anesthesia), is a College Lit major before med school, artist, poet, loves the rock band U2, happily married with children, is a total brainiac, and he cares as much about my emotional well-being as he does my physical health.
Can I keep him if I say he followed me home?
Okay, well no probably not. I’m pretty sure my husband wouldn’t go for the whole followed me home bit. Worked with the cat, but not a doctor.
Still, the whole reason I know he loves U2 is because I told him once that my husband and I have tickets to see U2 in Denver on June 12 and how I think that I “need” to be well by then.
That isn’t going to happen, and Bono is in the hospital as well, so I’ll see them in 2011 instead.
Even though the answer is no climbing the Rockies so soon after my hysterectomy, my surgeon did at least empathize with me. He also found a way for us to connect emotionally – a mutual appreciation for the rock band U2. That connection took me from freaked out scared to “I think I can do this.”
I like that.
I tell him a lot of things actually, and I am pleasantly shocked to discover that he not only listens to me – he repeats facts I’ve shared back to me at various times and uses them work through a plan of action for my recovery. He hears me. Wow.
My MALE surgeon rocks like Bono….
………………. only better. Who knew?
So why is this news?
Because I only use female doctors thank you very much. Always have always will. Except for this time. This time I needed an emergency referral and opted for first available and got R.D. Jr. Edited on June 29 to add — my surgeon is my new GYN. I’m not going back to someone else. He’s an excellent doctor, and I can get over his being male — eventually. (laughs)
Common myths I’ve always believed.
1. A female Doctor will understand me in ways a male doctor cannot.
2. A female doctor will listen and be compassionate.
3. I’ve always thought of Male gynecologists as a creepier than normal Mr Rogers. (I’m serious, grown men in cardigans have scared me since I was a toddler.)
What I’ve learned in the last 40 days –
It’s not the sex of your doctor that matters, it’s the doctor that matters.
My female doctor listened to my complaints about my cycle getting worse and said “Welcome to Peri-Menopause” without looking into it.
RDJ said let’s look for the cause.
My female doctor listened to my complaints about my bladder getting weaker and said “Welcome to middle age, it comes from having babies dear.”
RDJ said, “I might be able to fix that, if you need me to, but I’m not sure you do yet. Let’s find the balance between too much and just enough, okay?”
My female doctor listened to my complaints about random abdominal pain and said “here take these pills, I think you are getting depressed.”
RDJ. said “This is why you are in pain, …… I can fix that.”
My female doctor felt the top of my mass, said my abs had split and told me where I could get a tummy tuck.
I never asked him where I could have gotten one of those. That would have been well… too much for me. But what he did so is spend more time doing the surgery right (albeit the hard way) so that I could recover more quickly. And it was the fibroid pressing on my bladder that was causing my “issues” and not my babies after all.
I can’t tell you if my surgeon is good at making eye contact, because I wasn’t. I still have some issues with the whole male gyn thing, BUT: What I can tell you is at this office, and at Saint Whosits in Tulsa, I felt cared for, cared about, and taken care of. He listened to me and he included me in every step of the process. He went out of his way to make me comfortable and help me understand.
While I’ve worked with men almost my whole life – I prefer to stay in my head. Intellectually I can match any man. What I don’t do well, is vulnerable. And in order for this patient/doctor relationship to really work, I have to be vulnerable. What’s great about this office, and this particular surgeon is they make it easier to do that than I had expected.
I couldn’t ask for more in a doctor, male or female. Can you? So, question for you dear friends, what is your favorite thing about your doctor and what is your least favorite thing?
I realize I am being more well, personal than usual. I mean yeah, I can wear my heart on my sleeve, but today – I want you to see my internal heart.
Added May 31, 2011 – It has been exactly a year since my hysterectomy. (Read update here) I cannot even put into words how much better I feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually. While I wish I could have avoided the surgery, I’m grateful for the staff of doctors and nurses who walked me through it every step of the way.
This post written by Deana O’Hara for Redemption’s Heart. All rights reserved. Please note that no goods or services were provided in exchange for this post.