Because of the Thanksgiving holiday out here in the states I’m posting this a little early. Close your eyes and pretend its Friday. For my good friends all over the world….never mind. 🙂
Before I start I want to direct my attention to those who are male doctors or have close connections to male doctors. My opinions in this post are connected to my own personal experience. In no way do I feel my experience is directed to everyone. Just me.
Now that I have your attention – Here we go.
My Dang knee
One of the earliest posts I wrote was a piece about my right knee. I broke it many, many moons ago and I feared its life was coming to an end. But it didn’t. It gave me years of walking and slipping and sliding and all the goodies life has to offer.
Sadly it didn’t last. A failed operation in December of 2017 led to constant pain.
But as the pain lessoned on my right knee pain increased in my left ankle.
Yes, it’s been one of those years.
In my house we have labeled 2018 as the year of the pain. I have popped more pain pills and made friends with more ice packs than I care to admit.
For a while I was using my office chair as a makeshift wheelchair. It was kind of fun until I ran into the wall and over the cats tail.
By August the ankle improved. Turns out it all had to do with the way I was walking to protect the knee.
Think domino effect.
My Male Doctors
But the knee got worse. This time it was different. I could feel something was wrong and it was going to stay wrong.
I had two male surgeons helping me since the beginning of the year and by summer they pretty much waved the white flag. Before I knew what was happening I was being sent to Portland, Oregon to see another surgeon.
Most of my life my doctors have been men. It was never a choice, it just sort of happened. By having male doctors I grew use to my checkups being quick. The answers arrived before the questions. Listening was non-existent and before I knew if I was out the door.
I grew use to this sort of treatment, figuring all doctors were the same. What do I know, right? They went to med school, I didn’t.
But all of that changed with my visit to Portland.
Strange Happenings in Portland
I knew she had a solid reputation before we met. I researched her patient’s write-ups and all of them were positive. Fellow doctors spoke highly of her.
Our drive from Eugene to Portland is about two hours. My wife and I joked it would be a five minutes visit. That would give us time to check out Portland’s giant bookstore.
Let’s just say we were a tad off.
As you know I am big on listening. I was a poor listener growing up which led to tons of mistakes. Listening is a powerful tool which explains why my five minute prediction was off by roughly 55 minutes.
In the time we spent talking my first woman surgeon did most of the listening. When my story was complete she did the most unusual thing: She sent me home without an answer.
I was told to keep a diary of my knees performance. While doing so she would consult her team.
Three weeks later we headed back. This time it was her turn to talk. She read my daily reports and combined them with her own. She analyzed other procedures before a conclusion was made.
And her conclusion? Total knee replacement.
We mean no harm
Men mean well. We really do. We do serve a purpose and at times we can be a lot of fun. We can solve problems in minutes. Sometimes seconds. Some of us listen but most of us don’t and when it comes to analyzing – Please. It’s not our thing.
We’re just way too busy for such nonsense.
So there you have it. My first experience with a woman surgeon and because of that I will never have a male surgeon again.
I must admit, I do feel a tad bit of guilt. It’s as if I just shoved a knife through the heart of my own species. Sorry guys.
Listening is power. I tell my daughters that all the time. Now if only I could teach that to my male friends we might actually climb that hill to the valley of success.
On November 30th I place my knee in the hands of a talented surgeon. For the first time I’m not worried. Huge thanks to Dr. Schabel.