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Arasim
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17 Nov 2014, 10:08 pm

This happened when I went to the Dr's. Any thoughts, suggestions on how maybe I could handle this situation better next time? Input welcome.

I had a Doctors appointment a few weeks ago . I had been avoiding making the appointment because that would mean driving somewhere I had never driven before and meeting new people. In addition, these new people would likely want to touch me. That is a lot of things outside of my comfort zone all at once. But this pain and strange buzzing sound and sensation in my ear needed to stop. So I talked on the telephone to a stranger and made an appointment and I went. I got lost. I got anxious. I was late. I got anxious. I arrived and as anticipated there was not a face I recognized. I was very close to shutting down but I made it through. I like my doctor. He talked to me like a person with an ouchy ear. He didn?t talk to me like an ouchy ear with a person attached. There was fluid in my ear. The doctor told me to take some medicine. I did. My ear still hurt. The buzzing was still there. I went back to the doctor. He said there was more fluid in my ear. He gave me stronger medicine. I took it. It made me dizzy. My ear still hurt and the buzzing was worse. I went back. I was feeling anxious that day . The lights were brighter. The noises louder. It sounded like everyone was talking at once. Why did they have to turn up the volume on the electricity? I like the coffee lady in the lobby downstairs. We had a conversation about what kinds of coffee tastes best. Her name is Joanne. She isn?t a stranger anymore. I felt a little better. I went upstairs to the doctors office. I wasn?t late. I was just on time. The tech didn?t introduce herself. I felt anxious again but too self conscious to ask her name. I should have asked anyways. She gave me a hearing test. She said there would be sound in my ears. They were high pitched beeps. They hurt my head. I wanted to scream. I didn?t. I thought of my daughter. I thought of dancing. I thought of happy purple flowers. The doctor came in. He asked me if another doctor could come in and observe. I didn?t ask who he was observing. I should have asked. I wanted to say no. I said yes. I shook her hand . She watched me. She made me feel uncomfortable. My doctor looked into my ears and asked me questions. She watched me. I looked at my doctors shoes. He had funny looking shoes on. Not the kind of shoes I would think a doctor would wear. They weren?t even shiny. I didn?t look at her shoes. I tried to pretend she wasn?t there. They left and I felt more panicky. I rocked. I covered my ears and closed my eyes. I didn?t hear them return. He put his hand on my shoulder. I retreated further into myself. I knew they wanted me to come back but I couldn?t . I heard him talking to me but I don?t know what he said. Then she spoke and every word was clear. It was like a knife slicing through my head. An intruder. I wanted her to go away. I stared at my doctors shoes. She said she ?happened to be a psychologist?. Happened to be? She was observing me wasn?t she. Why didn?t he introduce her as that? Why didn?t he tell me. Then I would have all the information. I felt vulnerable. I felt unsafe. She wanted me to breathe with her. I tried to ignore her and count in my head. 7, 7 7, 7, 7. I watched his shoes and counted seven. I felt better. I wanted her to go away, but I was feeling better. He told me that he wanted me to see an ENT specialist. He gave me a piece of paper with my instructions on them. He asked me if I wanted to stay in the room or in the waiting room until I felt better. I just wanted to go. I left. I made my appointment with the ENT doctor. I tried to to think about having to meet another new doctor. I tried not to think about the trust that disappeared with my doctor. I thought of Mozart and my daughter and of dancing and of flowers. I thought of humming and of llamas and donkeys. I thought of soft things and I counted 7. I went home and hugged my daughter.



Sibyl
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17 Nov 2014, 10:30 pm

Sounds as if you should have told the doctor up front that you're autistic. It really is his business. He is naturally going to perceive that you're different, and needs to know how, in order to treat your ear. His shoes aren't relevant to your ear. Your behavior might be.


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Arasim
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17 Nov 2014, 10:32 pm

It is in my file that I'm Autistic.



VioletYoshi
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17 Nov 2014, 11:53 pm

The problem I've found with telling doctors you have Autism is they only understand sterotypical Autism. They in my experience also tend to treat you more like a stubborn child if you question their authority. Some of the most trumatic medical & dental experiences happened as a result of telling doctors you have Autism. They will watch you melting down and ignore it like they're not going to give into a child's tantrum. At least this doctor was responsible enough to consult a psychologist about it.

It's remarkable the lack of empathy some doctors have towards Autistic patients. I still feel upset because of the ear doctor I visited for an exam just sitting there pressuring me to continue after a test made me sick and dizzy. How can you sit there watching someone begging and pleading to go home, and keep after them? I don't understand it, I try so hard to fight the instinct to just give in to make the terror stop.



Kurushimi
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18 Nov 2014, 10:33 am

I am going to guess that because Autism is in your file, is why he had the psychologist come in. I think that he could sense your unease, and as a M.D., he is not equipped to handle mental issues so he got her to come in probably in case there was a melt down or maybe even to try and calm you if you needed it. Sadly it had the opposite effect. I don't think he betrayed you, and if you relly like him, keep him. Maybe next time, just explain you are more comfortable without strangers in the room. How did the ENT visit go?


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eggheadjr
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18 Nov 2014, 12:19 pm

Sounds to me like your doc saw that you where uncomfortable and knew you were autistic from your file - so he brought in the psychologist as an aid, or helper, to you to assist with the appointment.

It's great they're sending you to an ENT to get your ear checked out.

Please know that it's OK to tell your doctor, any doctor you see, that you're autistic and have troble with this / that / the other thing. I do and I find most doctors are very considerate of my being autistic. I had to have surgery a few years ago and the surgeon was so kind with me during my pre & post op appiontments and prior to surgery. He always spoke to me in a soft voice and told me what he was going to do next.

Take care :D


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LokiofSassgard
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18 Nov 2014, 1:01 pm

I would tell the ENT doctor you are autistic. My doctor knows about me being autistic, and she's super nice about it. The worst part is how hospitals tend to mistake me for not being autistic when I say I am. :/ Mostly because I have mild autism, yet I have very severe meltdowns.


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Arasim
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18 Nov 2014, 1:17 pm

I went to the ENT doctor and had a hearing test because they ask me if I am having hearing loss and it is hard to answer that question because i have difficulty processing sounds sometimes, so knowing the difference between actual hearing loss and processing troubles is sometimes very hard. When I told this to the the ENT doctor he didn't look at me like I was from another planet, instead he talked with me about how the brain processes sound and he completely understood what I was telling him. He sent me for an ultrasound to make sure everything is okay. I have to go see him again.... I missed our appointment ... I got confused with my work schedule changing and forgot to go. They are letting me reschedule it for Wednesday. He told me every time he had to touch me and explained what he was doing before he did it. And he didn't treat me like an idiot, just a person who is nervous meeting new people and doesn't like to be touched.

When I went into the hospital to have my daughter we brought a letter that explained that I had Autism and was sensitive to touch and sound, and they were all very nice about it mostly and explained everything to me first. I always get self concious though when i meet a new doctor because "What if they don't understand" , "What if they think I'm stupid" , "What if I have a meltdown" ... and I get very worked up and anxious and scared



Arasim
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18 Nov 2014, 1:20 pm

Kurushimi wrote:
I am going to guess that because Autism is in your file, is why he had the psychologist come in. I think that he could sense your unease, and as a M.D., he is not equipped to handle mental issues so he got her to come in probably in case there was a melt down or maybe even to try and calm you if you needed it. Sadly it had the opposite effect. I don't think he betrayed you, and if you relly like him, keep him. Maybe next time, just explain you are more comfortable without strangers in the room. How did the ENT visit go?


This makes sense to me. That is probably why he had her come in, I just don't know why he didn't introduce her that way. I don't like surprises much. But when you explain that he may feel he needed help to understand me that makes me feel better a little about that. I do like my doctor. I will maybe ask to know who and why is in the room. That isn't unreasonable I think. Thank you.