When a New Doctor Doesn’t Know Who You Really Are

When you get a new doctor, it can be draining to establish who you are and how you cope with your disease. Lisa explains.

“Then a new king to who Joseph meant nothing came into power.” (Exodus 1:8)

About three years ago I started going to a new rheumatologist. I had been with my previous doctor abut a dozen years and it was time for a change. I liked the new doctor from my first visit, and yet, it still took about eighteen months before I felt like he knew who I was.

When we have a relationship with someone who has power in our life, like a doctor, an employers, or a professor, it can take time to get to know them and allow them to know who we really are.

For example, with a new doctor I felt like I wanted him to know I was a fighter, but I was tired of fighting the same battle –and that was why I was looking for a new doctor. I wanted him to understand how I used medication, but responsibly and under doctor’s intention.

He needed to know I was a mom and that although I knew how to pace myself I would occasionally make unwise decisions for my body because I refused to miss out on something. I wanted to give him a glimpse into my personality, that I didn’t complain a lot and had a high tolerance for pain, so when I did bring it up, it was because I was in serious pain that needed to be addressed.

All of this takes time, commitment, and mental energy. As my son has recently began attending a new school, my husband and I are back in this situation again. We are trying to let the staff know we are involved, but not hovering. And we are trying to make sure the school gets to know our son– in person, rather than the him on paper.

God knows us–intimately. And how refreshing it is that we can come to Him anytime–even when we haven’t talked to Him for awhile–and He instantly knows our heart. We don’t have to monitor what parts of our heart we show him or try to convince Him of what He should pay attention to when we pray to Him.

1 Samuel 16:7b says, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

As we are trying to show our true selves to others–while making (what we hope is) a good impression, it is assuring to know we don’t have to pretend when we are at our Father’s feet.

Prayer: Lord, help me not over-analyze how people perceive me or worry that they don’t understand who I really am. Send me doctors with compassion who can see the person I wish to be–one who follows You. Amen.

About the author:
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and she lives in San Diego with her husband and son. She is gradually learning how to balance motherhood, family, illness, and ministry, but she still knows it will be a lifetime lesson. You can see the books she has written, including, Why Can’t I Make People Understand? at the Rest Ministries shop.

When you get a new doctor, how do you communicate what kind of person you are, your values, and how you best cope with your disease?

You may also be interested in How Do I Get a Doctor Who Will Listen? by Lisa.

We all carry some baggage with us and this is so very true when it comes to our medical conditions. Just visiting a new doctor takes great preparations and clear thoughts–something we don’t always have. Enjoy this song, “Suitcases” by Dara Maclean. It thought it was a funky , fun song with some great lyrics about how we carry around our baggage –and God wants it! -Lisa

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2 thoughts on “When a New Doctor Doesn’t Know Who You Really Are

  1. Hello,
    I don’t like going to new doctors because I fear they won’t undrstand my health issues. Also, because I am visually impaired and hearing impaired most doctors don’t now how to handle that. I am always very upfront and inow about my conditions and what meds I tale for them
    Sharon

    • Sharon, that must be very hard. do you ever write stuff down in advance. I have discovered if I take the time to write out some points and FAX it in advance they appreciate it. My current rheumatologist has a bit of an accent and it still takes some effort some times to understand his pronunciation at times.

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