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Sunday I passed out and was unconscious on my bathroom floor for an undetermined period of time. My blood pressure was low and my pulse elevated. So off to the ED I went. I never like being the patient, but it’s particularly bad in the ED. The focus there is so narrow (understandably) that those of us with chronic illness often have a hard time in that setting. 

But I was pleasantly surprised.  

The doctor listened to me about my symptoms and my history. She even paid attention when I told her what has helped with this in the past. I cannot express how much I appreciate when I encounter a provider who truly knows how to listen to their patients.  

The support staff was just as good to me. They listened when I told them I’m a hard stick and that IV access is a challenge. They took their time and did things right. I got an IV with one stick. Then I got my blood drawn with one stick. They tried to get my blood off the IV to save me the second stick, but it didn’t cooperate. These might seem like small things, but they aren’t. They are magnified when you aren’t feeling well. So, I appreciated that they took the time and put in the effort to make it a little better for me. 

This was one of the good hospital visits. A time that I had to remind myself of all the baggage that I carry when I come to these appointments. It’s hard not to accumulate baggage when you have years of experience as a patient and more often then not you feel a little beaten up at appointments.  

This visit has gotten me to thinking about the idea of self fulfilling prophecies. I’m not trying to suggest that it is the patient’s fault if medical providers don’t listen or are rude. But I can’t help but wonder how my baggage effects the way that I engage with them. Does it influence the way they treat me? If so, how do we go about leaving our baggage at the door? 

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