I recently saw a former doctor of mine (I’ll call him Dr. X) talking to his patient’s family in a hospital waiting area. A resentment surfaced along with a flood of memories.
In 2011, I tore my ACL and I went to Dr. X for care. First of all, he was very generous with his prescriptions. At each visit I was asked if I needed a refill of the previous 90-day supply of OxyContin. He performed my ACL reconstructive surgery along with a couple of other tears in my knee. I went to physical therapy religiously with a determination to get my knee back to “better than before “ as promised by Dr. X. In less than a year, I hit a wall and my progress came to a stop. My range of motion was limited and I was still experiencing limited mobility. Frustrated, I went back to Dr. X for answers to my limitations. He looked me in the eye and said that this was the way it was going to be. Not sure if I heard him correctly, I clarified
“So your telling me at the age of 46, this is the furthest I’ll ever bend my knee, I will continue to have trouble kneeling down, along with the other lingering pains and limitations?”
He answered “Yes”
Floored, I asked him one more time and he confirmed his answer again with another “yes”
I found his answer to be unacceptable. I promptly began looking for another orthopedic doctor and I discovered Dr. Jones. I asked him if he could help me and he looked me square in the eye and said YES!!! Hallelujah!!! Along with a new surgeon with a proactive attitude, I also found an equally proactive physical therapist. My recovery exceeded my expectations. However, I will always have some limitations and periodic pain with my knee, but they pale in comparison to where I was before discovering Dr. Jones. I’ve come so far.
Now I’m going to rewind to the year 2002 when I was struggling with an active flare up of uveitis that lasted over a year (that’s a whole other story!). I was seeing a rheumatologist, Dr. M, that was either increasing my rx dosage or adding another rx. At one appointment as he was writing a new prescription, Dr. M told me I could no longer exercise. At the time, I was fundraising and training to walk in my first half-marathon for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I had been working so hard and was receiving so much support from my family & friends for months. Baffled, I told him about my upcoming half-marathon and he let out a frustrated laugh and flatly said I couldn’t participate and left the room. I burst out in tears. This “doctor” just destroyed my plans that I had so much pride in.
I took my husband to the following appointment and with love & compassion he told me he would wait with me all night (Dr. M was consistently running hours behind schedule), but he told me to look around at all of the patients. With that, I immediately had the realization that my doctor was crippling me and making me dependent on him with prescriptions. We walked out and I never went back.
I will forever be grateful that I did not follow Dr. M’s advice, and I DID successfully participate and complete my half-marathon. It remains one of my proudest accomplishment. I will always carry the memory of my Dad proudly cheering me on. Little did I know, my father would die only 7 months later. Thank God I didn’t allow Dr. M to take that away from me.
Dr. M & Dr. X taught me a very important life lesson. I will not have ANY doctor destroy my dreams and tell me I cannot do something. I will also run from any doctor that writes unnecessary prescriptions. Dr. M did it so I’d be dependent on him. Dr. X generosity with OxyContin could have caused my dependence on it. I stockpiled it and abused it during a short time of my relapse. Thank God I flushed it all down the toilet during a moment of clarity.
So when I saw Dr. X recently in the hospital waiting room and burning a hole through him with my stare, what I wanted to do is yell “Look at me now!!! I don’t need your prescriptions or your limited thinking. I am living a healthy lifestyle that has resulted in significant weight loss, my fitness level is at its best AND I am sober!!!
There’s no greater freedom than being the best version of yourself. Trust your gut, trust your loved ones, stand up for yourself ❤️
To thine own self be true
Imagine with all your mind ~ Believe with all your heart ~ Achieve with all your might
Life With Lisa 💕