• Beth McCauley

Be a Boat Rocker

When it comes to your health, especially with an acute issue, knowing what steps to take can be challenging. When you don’t feel well, all you can think about are the symptoms you are having and what is causing them. Why am I having so much pain? It’s been ongoing for weeks now; why hasn’t it gone away yet? When I ask clients if they have called the doctor, specialist, etc., they usually reply a couple different ways: 1) “I did and am waiting for a call back”, or 2) “I did and they told me I need to be seen elsewhere” (Urgent Care, Emergency Room or a Specialist). My response to this is “call again”! Yes, your providers are busy, but what most people don’t understand is that you have to be persistent and be willing to “rock the boat” for your own health care needs.

I checked in with a client the other day to see how they were doing after talking with them a week prior. When I had spoken with them initially, they had already been having pain for at least three weeks. The client’s primary care provider (PCP) had told them they needed to be seen by a specialist. The referral was placed urgently, and I had called the specialty office explaining the situation asking for an urgent appointment. The client was left with, “they will be contacting you today to get you in for an appointment.” Everyone felt pretty good about this client getting in quickly to have the issue resolved. After checking in with them a week later, they were still having debilitating pain and had not gotten in to see the specialist as planned. The client was at a loss of what to do next and simply said, “help!” After coordinating again with the PCP, the client was able to start a new medication for pain and another referral to a different specialist was arranged.

The more I talk with my clients I find that this is a fairly typical response. People do not want to “bother” their PCP, or they were already told to wait or see someone else, which they did! Despite pain or a lingering symptom, people will wait. Having worked in healthcare for so long, I’m telling you, it’s ok NOT to wait. Be a boat rocker! After all, it’s your health. If you need someone to rock the boat, I am happy to do that for you.

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