Recently in the last few months I have been visiting with medical professionals more than usual. In March I went in for serious pain to the OBGYN. I was supposed to have surgery last September, but it got postponed for several reasons. I muddled thru the winter with ovarian and uterine pain hoping it would just go away....
In March I visited with the covering OB. He examined me, chatted with me, said we needed to do the surgery ASAP, and then left the room to check his schedule. He came back a few moments later and said he could operate in two days, there was a cancellation in his schedule. With the pain I was in, I agreed. I went home and got prepared.
I had my transvaginal hysterectomy on March 27, leaving me with one good ovary to regulate my hormones. Then I got a comfy room to recover. As I have never had surgery before but been hospitalized a few times, this was the part I really dreaded. You never know what attitude the staff are going to have with a patient who has HIV. It seems to me that if you're in the medical field, you should be properly educated and have adjusted your attitude and all that.
This couldn't be farther from the truth, I am sorry to say. Honestly every time I have an ER visit or am in the hospital I run into some "professional" who just doesn't get it! You shouldn't be in this profession if you can't treat ALL people equally. Needless to say I had a nurse who had this shortcoming, she saw bodily fluids and ran from the room! Then she found a reason to take on a different patient.
On the flip side I must share my amazing visit with my new Dentist. Dental visits have been one of those scary lands...do I tell (about my HIV status)? Should I just keep my mouth shut? Well, this was a Ryan White funded dental visit, so the option was taken care of for me.
Another medical visit, where I have waited until the pain is nearly unbearable...hmmmm I am seeing a theme here...The assistants got me settled in the chair, asked a few questions and took an X-ray. The dentist came in and introduced herself, then she looked at my particulars on the computer and said, "Wow, your CD4 is great! How is your Viral Load?”
Now my brain went nearly into shock. I looked around...making sure I wasn't dreaming and this really was an actual dental office...So I told her I was undetectable. She says "that's great, I had some exposure a while back and took some meds for a while so I can kinda relate. I'm glad you are doing so well"
Again, my poor brain...zzzzzzzoink...
I told her thank you and I'm glad you're ok. She then takes a look in my mouth and says how nice my teeth are...of course they always have conversations while they have their fingers in your mouth, so this again affirmed I'm really in an actual dentists office! She leans back and tells me my options for the naughty tooth. I take the quick extraction option as it's way in the back and I don't want another root canal. She numbs me up...I mean really numbs me up and proclaims she doesn't want any pain whatsoever. "That's not how I roll" she announces to my open mouth.
Then I'm alone, staring at the white ceiling and tears come to my eyes. I say to myself..."Noooo, we are not gonna cry..." I am so shocked and overwhelmed by her kindness and her attitude that it just swamps my emotions with unexpected gratitude, and of course, being the monster mush that I am...I get all teary eyed! So I resolve to let her know, I mean really let her know how rare she is and how much I appreciate her words of kindness and compassion.
She comes back 15 minutes later and now I can hardly talk, but I squeeze out a few squishy sentences of thanks and relate to her how rare she is and how grateful I am. She then blows my mind some more and says thank you. That if "people just took the time to get educated, it wouldn't be so rare.” Then she digs into my mouth and relieves me of my naughty tooth.
When I got home I dug out a thank you card and sent it to her. Because she touched my heart and she was my miracle for the day.
I hope that if you run into a person like this amazing dentist you will let them know they are appreciated and amazingly rare.
Bless you all... Sologirl
Wow, that was such an awesome experience, and I am so grateful and thankful it was yours. Miracles and removing the stigma still happens today!
Congrats on your rare, but positive experience with your dentist. My first experience with the doctors who told me I was HIV POSITIVE, almost made me drive off a cliff, since then I do expect everyone especially those in the medical field to be totally uncaring and to have very little knowledge of what being HIV positive really means, but I now know that there are a few people just like your dentist and every visit to her office I share with her how rare and wonderful she really is. I have not found a dentist yet, but I am still looking. Thank You for sharing. FREE
Your words flutter on the page. You are an excellent writer and I enjoyed reading a little glimpse into your world. It is wonderful when we find someone that gets it. Good luck and I hope you have healed and are no longer in pain. I look forward to reading more from you.