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A Good Relationship With My Doctor Makes Life With UC Easier

Discussion in 'Gastroenterology' started by Mahmoud Abudeif, Jul 31, 2021.

  1. Mahmoud Abudeif

    Mahmoud Abudeif Golden Member

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    Living with any chronic illness can be difficult, but it’s more difficult if you don’t have a good relationship with your doctor. Fortunately, I have a great relationship with my gastroenterologist.

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    He was recommended to me by my aunt, whose son began seeing him when he developed Crohn’s disease over a decade ago. Before I was even officially my gastroenterologist’s patient, he went out of his way to see me when I was hospitalized because I hadn’t yet found a medication to manage my ulcerative colitis. I was so grateful to see him that I asked if I could hug him. Although I later realized he’s not much of a hugger, I appreciate the fact that he let me hug him anyway.

    I like my doctor because of his personable yet no-nonsense style. He tells it like it is. And after he’s done telling it like it is, he always asks me if I understand everything he’s just said and if I have any questions. If I need something explained or have questions, he provides additional information.

    He knows me well enough to know that I often wear bow ties, and I know him well enough to know that he enjoys the music of Lady Gaga.

    We even get along well enough that he’s not afraid to give me a bad time. Once, when I questioned whether I still needed to take a certain medication, he asked me if I had attended gastroenterology school since my last appointment. After I told him that I had not, he explained why he wanted me to continue taking that medication. I appreciated that he knew I could take some good-natured ribbing.

    I also have good relationships with my gastroenterologist’s nurse and his administrative staff. The nurse is often my first point of contact with the office. She always promptly responds to my messages and answers my questions.

    Over the years, she and a member of the administrative staff have also spent a considerable amount of time communicating with my insurance provider. On several occasions, they’ve helped me straighten out billing issues and reduce charges that were initially in the tens of thousands of dollars. I am so grateful for their help -- I call them my insurance warriors.

    In short, I have a great team of caregivers looking after me. I feel like they truly care about my well-being and will do whatever they can to help me successfully manage my ulcerative colitis. I’m not just a patient to them; I’m a person.

    If you’re looking for a doctor, try to find one who treats you the same way -- one who will make time for you, explain things clearly and thoroughly in a way you can understand, and patiently answer your questions. If you find a doctor like this, you’ve found a keeper. They don’t have to enjoy the music of Lady Gaga, but, in my experience, it’s a bonus if they do.

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