When are you seeing your doctor? the Pathologist asked me as I followed her into the demountable Caravan that doubled as the ‘D’ block at my local hospital.
It won’t be until he has the results and calls me in for an appointment I replied. I already signed the release form to receive my results when I came in, but with Australia Post and the Easter long weekend I’ll probably be waiting well over a week.
When did you come in to have your bloodwork done?
Seemingly puzzled at why someone would want to know their own test results, she typed my surname followed by my first name into the computer to check the status of my results.
They haven’t all been done yet. They’re about 80% complete.
Is my hba1c there?
There it is. Don’t tell anyone I told you! She half joked, acting as though she had just committed a serious crime in telling someone their own test results.
Fantastic! I exclaimed, my eyes fixed at where the Pathologist had motioned on the computer display that looked like something out of the 1980s.
Five years ago, I wouldn’t have given a stuff about some stupid test results. I certainly wouldn’t have made a detour on my way home from work because I was that eager to know. I probably would have just let my doctor vaguely lecture me in 2 weeks time, rather than making my own evaluations about the condition I live and breathe 24 hours a day.
I feel like the system isn’t even designed with the patient in mind. Why aren’t we making it easier for patients to engage in their own health matters? Why aren’t we encouraging, and praising self management efforts? Why is lived experience not more highly regarded?
Where is the patient centred care here?
Now you can go home and enjoy your Easter long weekend! the Pathologist replied as I thanked her for her time.
But don’t eat too much chocolate! She exclaimed as I stepped outside into the crisp afternoon, the door slamming shut behind me.