An open letter to the doctor who told me to smile it’s not that bad,
Flustered as always you entered the room, immediately questioning the pale blank expression on my face. I told you the pain was horrendous. It was making me dizzy and nauseated. You smiled at me telling me to smile it’s not that bad. It will pass with time. It is moments like these that I wish I could allow you to feel the intensity of the pain. Not to be mean but to allow you to understand that it is real. Furthermore, when I say it is terrible, I am not stretching the truth for sympathy.
You see me for fifteen minutes if that. You merely see me as a patient, perhaps even just a case number. On the other hand, there is much more to my identity than illness. I am trapped inside my body every second of every day. Each day I fabricate a smile. I focus nonstop on the beauty in my life. However, I should be able to be transparent with you. Expressing when I am in excruciating pain without obtaining a foolishly uneducated response. We should be able to discuss my symptoms and pain without me feeling guilty. Additionally, to construct a more efficient treatment plan.
A bit of compassion brings you the extra mile. Sadly, many medical professionals lack this fundamental quality. Listening to your patients not just hearing them makes a difference.Offer support when we are facing a flare. Smile it’s not that bad or someone you know is worse does not help. Additionally, it is not comforting.