Here’s the letter I wrote today to my doctor, who I won’t be able to keep seeing in 2020:
Dr. ________, one note — I just did some online research and I see that chlorhexidine mouthwash is also available over the counter. It would have been good for our conversation about my care, I think, to find that out and let me know. Managing to procure prescription medication can be difficult and expensive! (Also remember that you never know when a patient will no longer have the same health insurance, or any health insurance, or health insurance that covers various cases!)
On that note, I wanted to let you know that my company is leaving MIT at the end of the month — which means I’ll also be leaving MIT Medical. Thanks for your help over the last year and a half.
I know I’ve been a difficult patient at times. I just hope you’ve heard that my difficulty is part of why I’m as healthy and able to work as I am — I’ve had to fight for overwhelmed doctors, and overwhelmed medical systems, to take my care as seriously as I do. Literally dozens of times, I’ve brought ideas, questions and facts about my care to doctors — unsolicited — which have turned out to be vitally important to my care; and the three most important improvements in my health in the last 12 years have come when I quit counting on doctors to treat me, and self-prescribed or reached out to family friends for advice (I’m referring to 1. taking CBD oil sublingually, 2. using the black market CPAP machine I used before your prescription, and 3. disregarding Dr. Ramirez’s judgment that my 102.5 fever and subdermal swelling did not need urgent attention).
I am not exaggerating when I wonder if I’d be alive today if I simply took no for an answer from doctors. I hope you find that as sobering and alarming as I do.
I both wish more doctors were as committed and attentive as you are, and I also hope you will keep an open mind to how much crucial information and even medical judgment patients can bring to the process of determining their care.
Wishing you the best,