After two doctors and one round of tests we knew nothing more than when we started. Miss Cathy still couldn’t see much more than large objects like people but could not read and she was getting more confused and anxious with each day that passed.
Dr A, the neurologist was on speakerphone with us and had just told us that the MRI she’d undergone for (possible) answers held none.
He listened to mom’s questions and pacified her as best he could.
Putting aside the vision loss for the moment, I tried to press him for something that could explain her confusion and more specifically what could be done to help her right now.
He said that his focus was on her eyes (which I thought was odd because I remember him referring us back to the ophthalmologist the last time we met for that issue).
Don’t get me wrong, any help was appreciated but she had more than one problem to solve, and since her was her ‘brain doctor’ I thought he should be addressing her cognitive issues, too.
I was beginning to wonder if this guy could walk and chew over a diagnosis at the same time.
“I’m the doctor”, he said emphatically.
“I have to prioritize what my patient needs. Are you a doctor?” he asked.
Oh no he diin’t!
I was taken aback by his sudden change of tone, but not so surprised that I backed down from his rhetorical challenge.
“I know my role”, I said, measuring my words carefully, wanting to tell him that in this moment he wasn’t a doctor so much as a douche bag but he was Miss Cathy’s ‘doctor douchebag’ so I was working overtime to be cognizant of my place.
“…And I know that I’m her son and you are her doctor. I’m just asking questions. I don’t know why you’re getting so defensive.”
I do have to ‘check’ myself from time to time (my approach, my motivation, how I’m being perceived) and after a quick gut check I was confident that I hadn’t over stepped, over-reached and I certainly had not been over-indulged in any way (not by this guy anyway).