I love meeting interesting people in medicine in the most random places.
I went to a local bar in Westwood to watch the Packers/Bears game last night (*sniff* *sniff* the Bears lost),
and the person I randomly sat next to happened to work in HIV research.
Needless to say, I had a lot of fun stuff I wanted to talk about 🙂
I follow HIV research pretty closely, even though I don’t have the virus, because HIV research is the most out there on t-cell deficiencies and just articles in general covering how doctors approach treating patients with immune deficiencies. HIV research is really the closest stuff in medicine I can find that relates to my case.
So Mr. Bradley and I got chatting…here the poor guy thought he was going to enjoy a few beers in peace after a long day at work, and now this woman was mercilessly talking his ear off 🙂
After a little warming him up, the conversation weaved into the difficulties I’ve had with doctors in general, how they don’t understand what I’m going through and my (misplaced?) anger with them for not being able to fix me–
Then that lead into telling him what happened the day I was diagnosed with bacteremia–how the doctor who had seen me that day flipped out after the cultures came back positive, because just a few hours earlier after he told me I only needed a nap and some fluids.
Much to my dismay, Bradley instantly jumped to the doctor’s defense.
“Of course he freaked out. You f***ed with his world view! Doctors have been trained to believe a, b, and c about the human body, and you just took out b out of the equation. He didn’t know what to make of it. You freaked the shit out of him.”
Now I had made up my mind I’m buying this guy’s beers. He’s right.
He further elaborated,
“you have to understand where they’re coming from. They go to school to study medicine, and they’re taught certain truths about medicine, and unless the doctor is involved in research medicine or has a strong background in biochemistry, it can be very difficult for them to process a case that doesn’t fit within the type they’ve been trained to help.”
Feeling the frustration of the doctors,
“plus dealing with the insurance companies can’t be easy. How do they help you? How can they help?”
He leans on closer to me, as if he’s almost inspecting me,
“what can doctors do? I guess just listen to you, right?”
Then my story about my gallbladder just sealed the deal.
“Exactly. They could only help you though listening. Now that’s f***ing scary.”
Now he was off to the bathroom. I snuck over to the bartender to pick up his tab. I didn’t know who I was feeling worse for–the doctors who’ve done all this training and now frustratingly don’t know how to help me, or for myself for having to live with it.
After he came back, I tried to focus on the game a little more. My daily love affair with Flagyl prevents me from doing much drinking, but I made a concerted effort to switch gears and try to go back to acting just like a football fan.
I don’t think I succeeded. But Mr. Bradley Wagner from Vancouver, Canada is definitely counts as one of my new friends. What a great guy. And smart too.