Tag Archives: doctor.

K’s comments

K commented on a blog and wrote the following:-  

Hi Jill,

My father, aged 89, who until this year has enjoyed good physical health, now has  declining cognitive capabilities. He had occasion to be in the hospital for one week and during that time, not one doctor nor nurse realized that he had no idea of what they were talking about when they had him sign consent forms for procedures to be performed – even though various family members visited with him at different times every day and also had medical power of attorney in case this situation arose.

How can doctors assess a patient of any age without asking for feedback from the family to ensure that his consent is of sound mind? I know from all the medical appointments I have accompanied him to, that when he answers a question, his answer is mostly incorrect. The medical personnel barely look up from their paperwork or put down their phones, and then move off to the next patient.  When we ask questions, my brothers and I receive different answers.

I took Dad to his G.P. today to find out what the hospital staff had reported to him. I needed details of ongoing treatment at home, so imagine my shock on hearing that the hospital had not informed my dad’s doctor that he had even been hospitalised. Can you imagine discharging him without a care plan or a treatment plan? They did not ask questions about who was going to take care of him at home either.

I am so angry, frustrated, worried, sad and ……



Doctor, do you know what it’s like to have a child that’s different?

Doctor, have you ever stopped to think what it must be like to have a child that is different from other children?

If I had been a blogger while my son were so ill, I might have sent you a link to my website which might even have helped you and your colleagues understand what was going on in our home then. The first time I came across a blog about mental illness in a family, I followed it religiously even though it was written by a mother I had never heard of nor met. There were days when her posts were difficult to read, but they were always helpful and thought provoking. That was when I realized that I was not alone. I understood for the first time how my readers could connect with me,  a total stranger simply because I was sharing a life experience that may or may not have anything to do with theirs.

I found myself changing. That blog became my life support as well as giving me a feeling of understanding, perspective and a whole lot to think about even though this was  difficult to handle. The mother whose blog I followed, knew that there was no cure for mental illness but she taught me to look on the bright side of life, to find new and interesting activities as well as a love of music. She made me aware of the fact that things do not always happen for a reason and that one does not always get what one deserves in life. Outwardly, I led an ordinary life. I tutored English, tried to give my other children the attention they deserved, and at night, discussed our son’s problem with my husband, searching for a way to help him, to help us all, a way out. I attended a creative writing group that has been my savior but a lot of the time I spent poring through information on the internet searching for a cure, a miracle cure, and then, any cure.

My blog remains the place where I can be free to write and tell my story to those who want to hear it and share my experiences the way that blogger shared her story with me.

Maybe it’s due to the stigma, but most of the comments on my blog arrive via email instead of on the blog entry, which is a pity. However, that will not stop me from blogging.

The model doctor

Doctor, please:

  • Show respect to all your patients, irrespective …
  • Try using a sense of humor.
  • As your patient walks into your surgery, observe him.
  • While keeping a respectable professional distance, showing a tiny bit of T.L.C. (tender loving care) won’t harm, you know.
  • It’s not a bad idea to consider your patient and his/her family as a team players.
  • Do inform your patient about any expected side-effects of medication.





Dear doctor, you might be a patient one day …

hospital doctor Dear Doctor,

One day you might have the misfortune to be on the other side of the medical system and become a patient. A nurse will hand you a hospital gown that does not close at the back showing your rear end to all and sundry, and suddenly, you will understand how embarrassing that can be. You will lie in a hospital bed and feel just like the rest of us. When you need a nurse’s help, she might ask you to wait because she is busy with the more seriously ill patients. When your doctor friends follow the same recommendations you have given every single one of your patients in the past, you might begin to feel awful. Things like; ‘Don’t worry, you will soon be out of here. Or, you are getting the best treatment, you know.’ But, after a few days, when your condition persists and you don’t feel that you are being treated well or not being treated at all, you will find it hard to believe that you are simply not getting better. You might consult with some of your colleagues on the outside and be amazed to discover how callous their remarks can be, no matter how well-intentioned. Didn’t you say similar things countless times to your own patients? Oh it can’t be that bad, or, it probably started a while ago and you didn’t notice the symptoms. Don’t be upset, it is rather minor, you know. You should barely be aware that you have this complaint at all. ‘But,’ you probably replied. ‘Minor or not, it is driving me crazy.’ “Oh, it can’t be that bad,’ is what they shoot back at you instead of some tea and sympathy. Maybe a colleague will even dare to say, ‘It’s so minor that it does not even fulfill the criteria for treatment in a hospital.’ But you probably replied. Minor or not, I know how I am feeling!’

 My dear doctor – until this happens to you, you’ll probably have prided yourself on your communication skills with your patients yet here you are, being schooled on what it means to be in a hospital and worse still, without any sympathy whatsoever. And when you recover sufficiently to return to work in your clinic, will you remember that no matter how minor a condition is, it’s painful, frightening, depressing and very real to the person concerned? Have you ever wondered why after giving advice to a patient, he will probably ask; ‘Would you recommend this if your wife were suffering from the same condition, doctor?’



An addendum to; Are doctors still discriminating?

An Addendum to’ Are doctors still discriminating? ‘

On September 3, I posted the third in a series of blogs called Are Doctors Still Discriminating? And, after receiving a few comments, I feel the need to add an explanation and apologize for putting all physicians in the same basket. It was thoughtless of me and I feel the need to apologize.

When a doctor asks a question and his patient doesn’t describe his symptoms lucidly, or, if the patient has an odd way of speaking or strange mannerisms, the doctor often puts it down to the fact that  this patient was diagnosed as once suffering from a mental illness.

When our son was ill, we searched high and low for the ‘right psychiatrist’ for him. Then we searched for someone who would explain paranoid schizophrenia to us in a way we could understand, as well as give us coping tools, as we needed lots of them.

When searching for any therapist, one has to find someone who is compatible with one’s needs, so if a person with a mental illness needs a physician, it takes a bit longer as he/she has to do the rounds, ask questions, and then find one who does not discriminate. He/she needs to find a physician who knows how to put questions to this particular patient, but I realize that there are many obstacles in the doctor’s way, so, remaining open-minded is not always easy.

Of course NOT ALL doctors discriminate against people with a mental illness.

Yet, quite recently, a young woman called to confide in me and said that she never visits a doctor on her own as she knows that she’ll lose all credibility of being a professional as soon as she mentions her psychiatric history to many health care professionals. Having someone with her gives her status somehow. She went on to add that it was a sad reality. ‘It’s dehumanizing, when the patient has to figure out which doctor to talk to – or not,’ she went on to tell me. 

While listening to her, it brought back the time I’d read that a dark-skinned person had visited a fair-skinned doctor and did not receive the treatment he should have received.

I know that it’s difficult for doctors, especially when a patient does not respond to his/her current meds.

Of course this blog is not directed at the doctors who are able to empathize and who really listen and hear what their patient is trying to tell them.

 Don’t lose faith in humanity as humanity is an ocean. If a few drops in the ocean are dirty, the ocean dos not become dirty. Mahatma Ghandi.

Have a good day.

Are doctors still discriminating?

Are doctors still discriminating?         

 This is the second in a series of ‘mentally ill people visiting doctor’ stories.

On another occasion, a man with a mental illness was lying on the examining table when a gastroenterologist he was visiting for the first time looked at his list of drugs, then shook his finger at his patient saying; “Get yourself together psychologically or your stomach will never come right.” Now nobody who meets this young man would guess that he had a mental illness as his meds worked well.

At the support group I ran I met many people with mentally ill children and one of them had managed to get through her adult life without anybody finding out that she suffered from Bipolar disorder. But, as soon as she had to reveal it to a doctor, everything changed, wiping clean the rest of her resume; her education, her accomplishments, reducing her to a diagnosis of mental illness.