Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Who to talk to

There is a problem that I have encountered time and again as a caregiver, and that is with the doctor's not understanding who they should be addressing when they are explaining something. I share the role of caregiver for my father with my mother. I do the physical stuff and take care of the medications, she handles any appointments and keeping track of what doctors have said, and we share responsibility on nearly everything else.

When we go to see a doctor that does not know us, however, the doctors will often place my mother on complete ignore and explain things to me, or if I am not there to whichever of my siblings is there. I am not sure why they do this, exactly, but my assumption is that they mistakenly assume my mom is only there as moral support for my dad - or something. ::shakes head::

The point is, it gets annoying to have to continually make polite redirects to my mom when the doctors will address me more than my parents. A lot of the time they address me on things that should be directed to my father. So I guess I just want to get it out there into cyberspace that doctors need to pay attention not to who they perceive is in control of things, but to who the people they are speaking to perceives as in control of things. My dad's primary doctor is one of the best I have ever meet in part because they take everyone into consideration when talking about something and realizes that my dad does understand, he's able to answer questions (a lot of the time better than I can), and that my mom is not just there because she is his wife, but because she is one of his caregivers and should be treated with respect and be included in what is going on with her husband.

The doctors that have annoyed me the most are the ones that even after I have flat out said "My mom's the one that you should be talking to, not me, I'm just in charge of medication" the doctor *still* ignores my mom and talks to me instead.

No wonder being a caregiver is so stressful.


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