Don’t let a doctor make you feel uncomfortable

by Diana E. Lee

One member of my health care team is a migraine specialist in another state. Since we don’t have many opportunities to work together in person, we generally try to pack a lot into my periodic two-day visits.

Last time I was there I had an experience that has left me feeling guilty all these months later.

My doctor, who I respect and admire greatly, asked if I was interested in working with a craniosacral therapist who was in the clinic that day. Of course I was willing to try it because it’s noninvasive, relatively harmless and my doctor seemed quite enthusiastic about it.

Unfortunately the guy he hooked me up with gave me major heebie jeebies. He made inappropriate jokes and having him touch me was horribly uncomfortable. I fought the urge to jump off the table and run for the waiting room the entire time. But I didn’t. I remained on the examining table and let him continue his treatments until he was finished despite feeling like my heart was pounding out of my chest and my stomach was on fire. I’m surprised I didn’t have a panic attack.

As a result of that experience I never followed up on the treatment when I got home. I have no reason to think a different practitioner in my area would be creepy, but I can’t shake the association formed in my mind between this treatment and those uncomfortable feelings.

I continue to feel guilty because I feel some weird obligation to try everything my doctors suggest or risk being labeled a non-compliant patient. I guess I have people pleaser tendencies. But I can’t fathom letting that man or anyone like him come near me ever again. I know in my head I don’t have to, but I can’t shake the guilty feeling that I’m not doing my part to heal myself. I need to head there again soon, so I’ve got to find a way to let go of this.

Loolwa Khazzoom of Dancing With Pain wrote a great article about how to determine when a health care provider might not be a good fit for you: 5 Red Flags that a Healthcare Practitioner May Not Be Safe for You. Don’t be like me and suffer in silence.

Diana E. Lee is a chronic migraine patient who blogs at Somebody Heal Me.

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