In August of this year, after being happily married for almost three years, I once again found myself being dumped. No, it wasn’t by my husband. It was by my doctor who said he was moving to San Diego! If you ask my husband, he’ll still tell you that I would have been less upset if he left me instead of Dr. Kinkel, but that’s just crazy talk. Kinda J. I can’t explain it in a way that anybody other than a fellow MS patient can understand, hence this blog.
When I first met Doctor Kinkel over 6 years ago, I was prepared to hate him. Having been callously dismissed after spending 3 days in one of Boston’s “top ranked” hospitals with nothing more than a diagnosis of MS, a cane, and a prescription for physical therapy, I was done with all the so-called experts. I just wanted a human being to talk to me, to help me understand what was happening to my body, and maybe, just maybe, look at me like something more than a patient number. Lucky for me, I got a doctor who could do even better than that—I got a doctor who could make me laugh on one of the scariest days of my life. That’s when I knew I had found the doctor who would be my partner on this confusing, frightening, frustrating, and downright obnoxious disease.
Now I am faced with the challenge of finding a new neurologist. Last time around, I had no idea what I was doing or what I needed to look for in a doctor. But six years later, I’m a bit wiser from the journey that led me to Dr. Kinkel and all of the other physicians that I see now. Finding the right doctor is actually a lot like dating. Everybody has their own mental list of what they are looking for in mate, and we should all have a list like that when considering a new doctor (although physical attributes may not be appropriate for this list J). Some people want a doctor who is straightforward, just asks for the facts, and provides the necessary treatment regimen. For me, that could never work. I need somebody with a sense of humor, somebody who gets to know me by asking questions not just about my symptoms, but about my life. See, I know myself. I’m high-strung and always feel that the worst-case scenario is upon me. Having a more reserved and serious doctor would only add to my level of anxiety. After six years, I know what I need and I am not willing to settle for anything less. Neither should you…