Good Doctors Are Good Listeners

Good Doctors Are Good Listeners
Many years ago, I suffered through a very painful withdrawal episode that was totally preventable. The doctor who prescribed, and later discontinued, the medication in question was well-trained — but not a good listener. At our first appointment, we agreed that I would take a mood-altering medication for a short period to help me cope with a traumatic event that had just occurred in my life. The plan was to take a full-strength dosage for a month, cut it to half strength for a couple of weeks, and finally discontinue its use. When the time came to reduce the dose by half, I found that I'd had little improvement. With the doctor's consent, I maintained the original dose. But when I ran out of medication, I called the office to ask for a refill, and the doctor refused. At that point, I thought that I had misunderstood the original plan, which was not unlikely given my upset state of mind. However, even the instructions on the bottle said not to discontinue the medication abruptly, so I was concerned. By the next evening, I knew I was in trouble. I hadn’t eaten or slept, was nervous and edgy, couldn’t concentrate, and could barely sit still. The following morning, I called the office again. At that point, I’d gone 48 hours without sleep, so I continued calling until the doctor agreed to speak to me. The conversation consisted of a lecture about how I’d agreed to a reduction and a discontinuation. Rather than listen to what I had to say, the doctor told me I’d have to be tough and bear it, and that when I got tired enough I would sleep. Each time I attempted to interrupt, I was lectured about the
Subscribe or to access all post and page content.