A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting in my therapist’s office explaining how I really needed to get to a dentist. She’d previously promised to help me find one that had knowledge on the bacteria in my mouth and she’d found a dentist! Which was fantastic. But as she was telling me, the panic set in. I’d have to schedule an appointment now. I’d have to explain everything to this dentist. AGAIN. And I hated doing any sort of explaining because each time it made me feel my trauma and then I couldn’t focus on getting the work done.
I must have looked visibly uncomfortable because she told me that she could talk to the dentist first if that was helpful. All I needed to do was sign a waiver giving her permission to legally discuss my situation, then she could.
I was shocked. I asked for the waiver right away, read it over, and signed it.
Then I set my appointment, she spoke with the dentist first, and when I arrived, everyone that needed to know my situation was prepared. Because the staff was in the know, it was much easier to talk about all of my issues, trauma, and PTSD. I wasn’t embarrassed or shutting down.
I found the communication so helpful that I asked if the dentist had a waiver as well so she could communicate on my behalf with my therapist around her treatment plan.
She said yes, and I signed that one as well.
I found the entire exchange so useful that I decided to leave the waivers open so that when I see the specialist I need to see or my regular MD, that I can put them all in touch if need be. As well as keep my therapist in the loop for all of them.
Essentially, I’ve given ALL my healthcare professionals access to one another in order for me to get the best care possible.
I think about how much better everything will be with all of them in touch, and I wonder why I never did this before. While I didn’t know my therapist could speak on my behalf or with other medical professionals about me, I did know docs could. I’ve done it before, only it was for very specific things.
The more I thought about it, the more all of it made sense. Because now, I want to be as healthy as possible. And this wasn’t always the case.
It’s taken years of therapy to get this point. Therapy and action. Therapy alone wouldn’t have been enough. I had to act. To actually face my trauma and work through it. To acknowledge what happened to me, to heal how I needed to heal, to speak my truth and use the methods that worked best for me, and it’s not been easy. But I’ve done the work and have been doing it for years.
Having done my work, I know why it’s so important for me to get all my medical professionals on board with my care plan. The bacteria in my mouth has caused me other health issue because it affects my throat and palate, which have affected my sinuses, and that constant drain on my immune system has caused issues too…
I need these people connected. Especially if I ever start disassociating again. Because I won’t remember what they tell me needs to be done if I disassociate.
I know that some of my readers might be cringing right now. I know the thought of all my healthcare professionals talking would have been a nightmare for me before I began therapy. It would have felt invasive, and threatening. Even now, I have to ask myself why that is? Why is it scary for people that can heal me to be connected and on the same page?
The only answer I can come to is that at one time I didn’t want to heal. I wanted to stay in the cycle of trauma and pain because that was all I knew. It’s what I was comfortable with. Being healthy wasn’t for someone like me…
But all of that has changed.
Submitting to D has taught me a lot about health. One of his biggest rules is to take care of myself. Which means seeing a doctor when I’m not well, or calling my therapist when I’m struggling, and giving my history to my medical professionals. The latter a thing in which I haven’t done until recently. And it’s because I haven’t always felt trust with my doctors or dentists.
Trust is a tricky thing. Submitting to D took a great amount of trust building that we both earned through honesty, integrity, and accountability. And that’s how I see healthcare too. I need to be able to trust my doc but I’ve been to doctors that don’t really care. They wanted to put a band-aid on me, to treat my symptoms but not look at the cause of my pain or ailment.
When I was complaining of this to D, he said, “These people work for you. If they aren’t intent on healing you, then you find someone that is.”
This made sense, but it wasn’t until I saw the difference between when I shared and when my therapist—as a medical professional—shared, that I understood what D meant. Because I got a completely different result.
By connecting my therapist and new dentist, they both knew I was very serious about my healing. Otherwise, I’d not have opened that door and been so vulnerable with them both. Connecting them shifted it from me going to see a therapist and a dentist separately into, my therapist and dentist are working together to make my life better…
In essence, they are working for me!
The beauty of having all my medical professionals connected is that it also offers us accountability. A thing in which I need too because there were times when I did have a good, caring doctor and I wasn’t forthcoming.
By everyone being in the know, we are all on the same page and know what needs to happen to get me as healthy as possible. Then we are all on the hook if one of us is falling short. It builds trust because of the accountability. And that trust means healing.
The healthier I’ve gotten, the less I’ve needed to keep my health issues and trauma siloed. There’s nothing to hide. No shame. No denial. Just truth and healing. It’s refreshing and freeing.
I’ve come to the understanding that when I don’t disclose everything about my health, it’s easy for me to find reasons to blame others for my lack of healing. Non-disclosure leaves room for excuses and a lack of action, and that’s not a place I choose to be.
I choose health.
Though I’m still dealing with anxiety around these appointments I’m lining up, I’m also excited. Because I know this means healing. This means less pain. It means that I value my life and want to maintain my physical health as much as my mental and emotional health.
And that is a wonderful place to be…