The White Coats

Over the last year 22 different doctors provided me with care. That’s a lot of white coats. Along the way I made observations and began classifying doctors into types. Yes, these are my judgements based on my experiences. And just so you know the purpose of this post isn’t to tear down doctors. My hope is that others can learn from my experiences and find empowerment.

Peak-A-Boo

I didn’t realize the Peek a Boo doctor existed until I got really sick. This is the doctor who won’t look at you. Maybe it’s the type of rowdy and fierce cancer I had but doctors would look at their computer screen, the nurse, the floor, anywhere but me. What the hell is that about? When we are discussing life and death, I need you to look at me. Not play a game of peek-a-boo.

I do find it interesting that my female doctors will lock onto my eyes. Dr. Nancy Ann Oberheim Bush my Neuro-Oncologist looks me and Juju in the eye. So does my functional medical doctor, Maxine L. Barish-Wreden. I suspect these women are fearless advocates for their patients. And in all fairness, I do have male doctors who give me a quick glance but it’s not the same. I am not the invisible woman… yet.

The Yeller

I expect doctors to operate from a place of basic kindness. I don’t care what kind of day you are having because yelling at a patient is abusive. Three different doctors on three different occasions yelled at me because I did not agree with them. Yes, I am an independent woman who thinks for herself and that can make me “difficult”, but I was kind and respectful in my disagreement. Yelling isn’t going to change my mind, but it does leave a deep desire for me to create a voodoo doll in your image. It takes the same amount of time to be mean as it does to be kind.

The Manipulator

The manipulator is a doctor who smiles as he weaponizes the numbers game. Or as I like to call it, let’s scare the shit out of Kimba with statistics! When this journey first started, I had a .4% chance of getting a rowdy cancer and yet it happened. So, when it comes to statistics for a rare type of cancer, I don’t pay ANY attention. I am not a statistic. My goal is to stay the hell away from the bell curve. The hard truth is that some doctors manipulate statistics to scare you into treatment. In my own experience I had one doctor tell me that if I didn’t get HIS treatment, I had a 90% chance of the tumor coming back. That was scary. I didn’t get his treatment and when I’m the invisible woman, I may very well haunt him.

Dr. Evil

When you come across doctor evil you know it in every fiber of your being. They lie about your prognosis making it worse than what it is. There is no hope and nothing you can do. Everything is heavy and dark as they feed on your despair and fear. You will receive sinister reassurances that they are just being honest. But the truth is, they relish in your pain. I had a very brief encounter with a doctor evil. Once I realized what was happening, I cut off all communication without an explanation.

The best way to combat doctor evil is to educate yourself. Research your type of illness and treatment options on PubMed. A good doctor will give you recommendations, encourage you, tell you to get a second opinion and support you. And generally speaking, they won’t be serving the dark lord.

Father Knows Best

This type of doctor is always a man and they know what’s best for you. I’ve had a couple of these types of Doctors. One of these doctors told me to eat all the ice cream, cookies, chips and fast food I wanted. His reason was that the cancer treatment was going to be hard and I should have whatever I wanted. When I asked about turmeric, fish oil, vegetarian diet and cannabis for pain he told me not to worry about any of that. Just eat what I wanted. And so, I did. I took turmeric and fish oil supplements and I ate lots of veggies. I threw away his bottle of pain killers and used cannabis.

He was genuinely surprised at how well I came through treatment. He actually took the credit at a conference for my wellbeing. But I know that it was the decisions I made for myself that contributed to my brilliant recovery.

There is a BIG caveat, please research supplements before, during and after treatment. Your best bet is to visit a functional medical doctor and get help. Supplements are powerful medicine and you shouldn’t use them willy nilly.

Ghost Doctors

I had two ghost doctors. These are doctors you don’t see but they bill your insurance and you get stuck with a big co-pay. The first doctor was my hospital oncologist. She would come into my room, not say a word, pretend to listen to my heart and then walk out. The price of her ghostly presence was $750 per visit and she visited me 4 times. I don’t even know her name. The second one was responsible for my treatment. I was supposed to see him weekly. Over the 8 weeks I saw him 3 times, but I was billed for daily visits.

The Good Doctor

Finally, the good doctor. I’ve been very fortunate to have a few of these. And now I’m gonna name names. Dr. Soren Single is a skilled and kind surgeon with two growing boys. Dr. Anthony Wu is “retired” but still tenderly cares for his patients. Dr. Maxine L. Barish-Wreden puts her ear down to your soul and listens deeply. Dr. Nancy Ann Oberheim Bush makes the scans not so scary and she answers ALL of my questions. She’s like a Magic 8 Ball. Dr. Nancy Little lights up when she sees me and understands hardships. Dr. Bhagya Nakka is pure joy and at times her faith has carried us both. Dr. Richard Waters is incredibly patient with me. Dr. Ronald Duggar challenges me to do more and has faith I’m gonna be just fine.

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About The Author

Kimba Livesay

I am a creative coach, teacher and healer who helps people use creativity, coaching, energy work and Spirituality to heal their Mind, Body and Spirit.