Two recent blog posts got me thinking about the health care professionals who care for us. One is Peg Abernathy’s piece on the Huffington Post, “Why I Told My Diabetes Doctor to Back Off.” The other was a post on K.L. Register’s blog called, “But, I Didn’t Call You Old.” Register is a dentist and between the two blogs, you get both sides of dealing with patients.
I read both women regularly, and strongly recommend both pieces are worth reading to the end.
Abernathy, who has become a “diabetes subject matter” expert on the Huffington Post, describes seeing her endocrinologist when in the middle of the exam, she felt her blood sugar fall. She pulled out her meter and tested, recording a 177. “[M]y doctor rolled her eyes and quickly plopped back down in her chair, looking at me like I was an idiot.” Abernathy was insulted and told the doctor so, who then suggested she see a psychiatrist.
Not the medical profession’s finest moment.
Just the opposite happened in Register’s dentist office. She was seeing a patient who needed two teeth pulled. An infection had spread and nothing could save them. In their place, Register would provide a partial. The patient objects, saying that partials are for old people, hence the title. The patient ends the appointment.
A week later, the patient agrees to have one tooth removed, which results in a salty taste in her mouth. That, Register tells her, is the pus from the infection. That gives the patient pause, and she relents to have the second tooth removed as well. The matter plays out without any drama.
Register—whose blog, “The Ninth Life,” mostly covers her personal history with heavy doses of inspiration—uses the story to express how people need their own time to accept good advice. She offers a good perspective, but I finished the piece thinking Abernathy’s endo should have just a portion of the wisdom Register shows.