Noah and I left Dr. Artal’s office with a list of things for me to do to investigate my cough — 3 different tests — and during the appointment I felt Dr. Artal was concerned about both my significantly reduced lung capacity and the extent of my cough, and now he’s chewing on it.
Exam orders in hand, Noah and I were walking down the hall towards the elevators,
and Noah kept shifting and shrugging and hoffing.
“What is it Noah?”
He lets out a loud groan, “that appointment was sooooo disappointing!! He barely spent any time with us and we didn’t even discuss all of the various causes of your cough or the different things it could be.
Then Noah really frowns,
“And I reeeeeally think you need jump straight to the bronscopy, given your history of negative imaging studies when you have a problem — you need to just go straight to the broncocospy.”
I busted out laughing as I pressed the elevator button,
“Noah, first of all, that was a great doctor’s appointment.”
“But it was so short!!”
“The doctor heard all of my concerns, processed it, and came up with a plan of action — then wants to see me again when we have the results of these exams before deciding the next step.”
Noah was not having it, “But I reeeeeally think you need the bronscopy!!”
I shook my head “Noah –> a bronscopy is pretty serious business, it’s general anastethia, and they poke a camera down your lungs. It’s not the first step in the process”.
“But it’s the step you need.”
We get into the (thankfully empty) elevator,
“Noah, doctors have a process…Uncle Bobby used to remind me when I used to get frustrated too….doctors have a process, a way they like to do things, it’s the way they’ve been trained, it’s what makes sense to them. So even if you’re totally sure what you need — and even if you’re completely confident that’s the conclusion they’re going to come to — you need to follow their process because it helps them process your case and it helps them think about you in a way that makes sense to them.”
[Once a clinical pattern has been established in a patient then of course we can skip a lot of these steps, but when a patient is new to the doctor or the symptoms are entirely new, you have to respect and go through their process.]
Noah nods…considers all of this for moment…
Then let’s out a big sigh,
“I guess I was just hoping we could discuss your cough more in depth…I wanted to learn more about the lungs to try and better understand what’s going on…”
I laughed again,
“Noah!! You have been so spoiled by Dr. Sherman and Dr. Pitchon, who take a lot of time explaining things to you! Most doctors appointment are like this, or frankly even worse — this appointment may have been short, but it was very efficient and we got through everything we needed to get through –”
He really looked defeated — so I tried to make him feel better,
“The thinking part of the cough diagnosis will probably happen at the next appointment, when the test results are in…but think of this way, I definitely feel Dr Artal is considering the severity of my cough, and now he just wants these tests done to help him process what’s going on…”
Noah still looked sad…but but but…neeeed mooore information…
(You just need to go to medical school my love 😍.)
And with that, we brought up a couple of smoothies to Dr. Sherman’s office for him and his secretaries🥰❤️
Thank you 🙂