Posted by Jane D on September 11, 2001, at 1:38:24
In reply to Re: Kazoo Sar - how this feels, posted by Mair on September 9, 2001, at 22:14:22
I'm also coming in on this thread a little late. I wanted to think about my response for a while but I'm afraid I'm just going to end up rambling.
I've never had to deal with meeting outside the office but I definately feel constrained inside it. I have a friendly and casual manner with my internist and with other doctors and feel that I am on a fairly equal footing with them. I never worry that kidding around will be misinterpreted. I ask about their children and where they go on vacation just as I do with any casual business acquaintances. I feel that if I behave that way with the pdoc it will be interpreted as an attempt to become inappropriately dependant (that red flags will go up like 'I'm dealing with a disturbed person who can't be trusted to act appropriately' or 'Is this a stalker'). It's a bit insulting. It's also on ongoing reminder that this is not just like going to the internist. In short it makes me feel even sicker and even more outcast. I end up feeling that no matter what they say about this being just another illness with no more shame than diabetes it isn't, and even our doctors don't really believe that it is.
My doctor is rather formal and distant and I take my cue from that. In this I treat her differently than I do other doctors. I am afraid to try and set the tone myself. Once in a while I do wonder if she thinks that she is taking her cue from me and that this has become a ridiculous circle. I imagine that it might be frustrating for the doctor - afraid to initiate a more informal relationship and therefore cut off from the kind of social interaction on the job that everyone else takes for granted. I can't imagine feeling unable to greet someone I worked with in any capacity on the street. Or to know that even if I did a great job my clients/patients were unlikely to go around announcing it.
I know that I would have no problem with her greeting me on the street. I hope that I would also not have any problem with admitting the context in which I knew her but I'm not sure about that one. With personal friends I'd be happy to make a full introduction (with endorsement) but I think that I still need the option of keeping my illness a secret from employers, clients and coworkers.