Mike describes what he appreciates about his interaction with the specialist.
The same as with your doctors. You go, I mean, now we are going together because it’s just a bit easier to see [my doctor]. I’m just getting my blood work and she’s getting her blood work, but we work very close together. But yet, I work very closely with him. I don’t discuss my wife when I’m alone with him, or her with the doctor about me. But we go to see her specialist together and we work as a team together, the three of us, the three specialists together. Where a man can stand up and… like, we’re in the doctor’s office: “Well, have you seen any of this?” And she said, “Oh, No. Everything is fine.” I said, “Well Judy, No.” Like, “You’re not lifting your foot the way you were. You’re dragging your foot more. Your stability isn’t as good as what it used to be.” It’s right there. We just say exactly, I mean I do. I mean, maybe all men aren’t the same, but that’s what I do. I see what I see, and I say it.
We’ve found one problem that she’s having these mysterious pains and stuff that she was having, and we’ve dealt with a young doctor, very impressed with this man. I’m a person that, if you’re looking at me, you’re talking to me; if you’re not looking at me, I don’t want to talk to you. Now, I’m Judy’s caregiver. He made a decision 90% of the time when he sat—most of the time when he sat, he sat between the two of us and so he could do this back and forth. He would say something to her and then he would kind of look at me to see if I had any questions. There was no ‘back to you and talking directly to her’ or ‘talking directly to me’. He informed us both of what was going on and doubly made sure that we understood everything. And we had to have a test done before we had to go to Florida, and she mentioned, “Well, we’re leaving for Florida in December.” He said, “Oh, that’s not a problem. Okay, no problem; we need…” whatever. We got away to the hospital in [city in Maritimes] where we went to […] because that’s the hospital he works out of. You go in, and he’s getting Judy prepped for this operation, and he said, “Oh, yes. You’re going to Florida I see in December here. That’s great.” Where did that come from? How do you know that? Judy said, “How do you know that?” And he said, “Well, [First doctor] has it on your note. ‘Must have this done; they’re going away for the winter.’” I thought that is a far cry from where it was years ago to me. But all of her doctors are the same. When Judy and I are in there, it is very relaxed, he’s talking back and forth. We work together as a group.
More from: Mike
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- Interaction with professionals – MikeMike describes what he appreciates about his interaction with the specialist.
- Health system issues – MikeMike would appreciate an information service for caregivers.
- Hospitals and facilities – MikeWhen Mike’s wife was discharged, he sent her straight back to the emergency as he felt she was too sick to come home.
- Trying to find the right balance – MikeIt is not easy for Mike to speak with his wife about his needs; he doesn’t want to make her feel guilty.
- Legal issues – MikeMike’s wife started a journal and wrote about every meeting and person she dealt with. The journal was very useful later when the insurance company came to assess her situation.
- Personal growth and transformation – MikeWhen things aren’t being done correctly, Mike says you have the right to stand up and say “No, we have to find another way.”
- Support from family and friends – MikeEven though Mike’s wife has a strong family, they did not remain in contact when Judy was diagnosed with MS.
- What is it like to be a caregiver? – MikeMike is always looking to see what is going on around him to keep his wife safe.