Monday, May 10, 2004
An Open Letter to My Doctors
I know that a lot of the questions I ask are really stupid. They're questions that nobody who knew anything about medicine would ask. The dimmest first-year medical student would know better than to ask my questions. My questions just reveal my ignorance and my inferiority to you.
But here's the thing. I'm going to ask them anyway. I'm not going to let you do anything to me until I understand what it is, why you're doing it, what the alternatives are, and how confident you are that it's going to work. I may look like an idiot in the process, but that's ok. I'm just not willing to defer to your expertise until I understand what's going on. This may be your job, but it's my body, my future, and my life. You can answer my questions right away, and we'll all go home sooner, or you can imply that I'm a neurotic bitch who doesn't know her place, in which case I'll keep asking and the whole thing will take a lot longer. But I'm not leaving until I have the answers I need. The stakes are too damn high.
I crossed some sort of threshold today. I'm done being a nice girl. From here on out, I'm viewing you as people whom I pay to provide me with a service, and I'm going to find a way to get the service I need. I'm sorry that bothers you. It shouldn't. But I don't really care. And I don't care what you think of me, as long as I get what I need from you.
Anyway, thanks very much for being so condescending and obnoxious today. I think I needed to get angry. I think it will provide the impetus to stop being such a wimp and start demanding things. Honestly, I'm pretty sure you did me a favor.
Yours in struggle,