Patient Burnout: The Real Deal or Nah?
You know, the other day I cried. I didn't cry out of anger or sadness either. I just cried because I could. I was frustrated and sure, we're not in the (doctor's) office everyday from nine to five like the healthcare providers are, but the time we are feels like a lifetime and a half! Seeing doctor after doctor, specialist after specialists, decided whom you trust and who's simply not a good fit. Processing things like test results, bad news, new medications, the list goes on.
Patient burnout is real.
How do doctors know when patients are burnt out?
So how do doctor's know when their patient is burnt out? How do healthcare providers truly know when the patient just needs a break and some time to be a person? Well, frankly, they don't. Healthcare providers can't read our minds. They're good, but unfortunately they're not that good.
Me being the person I am, I try not to tell all of my issues, at least not in the doctor's office. Their jobs are hectic enough and I don't want to burden them with my longwinded fear of being on medication for the rest of my life. I don't want to interrupt their busy days with my feelings of uncertainty and downright fear of the next test, procedure or drug. I don't want anyone to look at me as ungrateful because I skip doses of my medication to feel human again.
How can you help them understand?
As scary as it can be to open up, it's necessary. Your doctor only knows what you and your labs will show and what you tell them. There's no lab that tells a doctor when the patient has had enough, but you are a person and you have your own voice. Use it.
Patient burn out is no joke.
Why do I feel unmotivated to care for my eczema?
At times I wonder why I have such a hard time taking meds, why I'm not motivated to go to appointments that could possibly help me and improve my overall wellbeing. Why I just want to run away from offices and hospitals as fast as I can without looking back. Looking back at my life, I see now, I'm not a rebel or ungrateful. I'm simply tired.
I'm tired of living with multiple conditions and seeing new doctors. I'm tired of settling for "okay" because although it's not my best, my condition doesn't have a cure yet, so essentially I just have to "live with it." I'm tired of people judging me because I'm young and ill and more than anything I am so tired of being tired.
What can you do if you feel overwhelmed?
Not all of us are in a position where we can avoid healthcare all together. Many of us aren't. Even though we've made it through one appointment, there's still the follow-up looming over our heads waiting around the corner. So no, maybe our doctor's can't give us the break we want and so desperately need, but they can help.
If you're feeling overwhelmed with your healthcare, talk to your doctor. Ask them for resources, even healthy coping mechanisms to help get you through this hard time. We all get fed up at some time or another. We are patients, but we are still human.
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