Navigating Medical Distress
Healthcare can be a minefield, but it shouldn’t be.
The idea of going to the doctor can elicit a wide variety of reactions. Some folks are fine while others start to sweat right out of the gate. Over time, though, negative experiences can chip away at your trust in receiving safe and supportive care.
Start with over-scheduled providers and a healthcare system that disappoints…
Pour in red tape and structures that don’t make space for nuanced cases, and sprinkle the situation with holes in understanding. Current systems simply don’t make room for diverse and stigmatized experiences, identities, and body types.
The whole experience can look like:
- Telephone runaround, weeks to get on the schedule, and taking whole days off work to accommodate what you know will be a long wait once you’re in the office.
- Worries about urgent and painful symptoms, and the effort you expend to manage them while waiting for appointment day to come.
- Provider’s reflections back to you about your lived experiences, efforts, perceptions, and needs that land with skepticism and apathy.
- Trivialization of your symptoms, blame placed at your feet, or harmful stereotypes about your culture, heritage, physical appearance, or identity that derail your care.
- Dismissal of your hard work at logging symptoms and researching to make sense of what’s going on in your body. It all leads to hopelessness and angst.
And then there are the major medical traumas.
Some experiences within hospitals and other medical settings leave a lasting mark on our overall sense of safety in the world, our relationship with self-care, and the way we navigate caring for ourselves and our loved ones. Some major examples include major surgical and wound healing complications, traumatic birthing experiences, and anesthesia gone wrong. Or even experiencing procedures to which you did not consent and with which you were not prepared to cope.
Those who experience major traumas within medical settings must manage the physical injuries, changes in day-to-day life, loss of safety and trust within hospitals and other medical environments, and the grief over how it should have been… plus everything listed above!
At a certain point, you hit battle fatigue. It can feel like a pipedream to find respectful, supportive, and effective healthcare.
While we can’t promise to single-handedly fix the healthcare system or any of the obstacles therein, we can support you in moving forward in more empowered ways that could improve your experiences in healthcare, including:
- Where to find compassionate and affirming clinicians and community.
- How to find care that preserves and restores your dignity and hope.
- How to present confidently and invite respect and collaboration.
- Ways to deepen connection with and acceptance of your body.
- When to self-advocate and when to self-care through the situation.
- How to make sense of all the options and discern your best path forward.
- How to build endurance to keep searching for answers when you’ve hit walls.
A future where things feel better is within your reach.
The tailored experience of individual therapy, the guided collaboration of family and couple’s therapy, or the camaraderie and space for healing in group therapy are available here at Recourse Counseling. And we get it – it can be hard to build trust, find hope, and put even more precious energy toward perusing relief.
You deserve support and an ally who hears and understands you. Settle for nothing less on your journey through life and healthcare. Difficult experiences can feel insurmountable, but with a blend of supportive healing approaches for your nervous system, your confidence, and the other pieces of you, change can happen and hope can return.