not assertive enough!

By highlandcitygirl Latest Reply 2009-03-16 13:07:40 -0500
Started 2009-02-08 11:20:36 -0600

i have trouble being able to talk to my doctor. thought i would start a discussion on this, as i know self-esteem is involved and i had to come at it a different way! does anybody else have or had this problem? i am just now able to get the courage to admit i have a problem. it doesn't take much for someone to shoot me down. my therapist told me this, but didn't tell me how to change.

47 replies

jsd2005 2009-03-16 12:08:05 -0500 Report

You are extremely important and special and deserve attention. Demand attention. Be prepared with questions and and so the Dr's you mean what you say. Speak out and don;t ve afraid.

Pauline B
Pauline B 2009-03-16 13:07:40 -0500 Report

I think a better way of stating this is to not DEMAND ATTENTION, but to EXPECT ATTENTION. Repeat yourself over and over again, simple statement until you are heard.

MeiMei 2009-03-16 09:42:48 -0500 Report

Believe it or not as a nurse I was always afraid of doctors, but now I am not, ever since I became a nurse-practitioner. As the ladies said, you are their employer. so go in to the doctor with that in mind. Believe it or not when you change your approach they will change their behavior.

JessEli 2009-03-16 09:02:43 -0500 Report

I found that I had difficulty speaking with my doctor. He always seemed rushed and like some of my questions were so immature and unnecessary. I found another doctor that will actually sit down with me and talk to me. That makes a world of difference in how I am willing to approach a doctor!

kdroberts 2009-02-08 20:21:20 -0600 Report

A doctor is your employee. Yes they have a medical degree but you employ them, not the other way round.

GabbyPA 2009-02-09 09:09:16 -0600 Report

I think this is so true and something that doctors forget. It is good to remind them on occasion.

rbergman 2009-02-09 19:45:49 -0600 Report

very well said, but I'm pretty good at reminding them, same as the school they are there to teach our children but they also have a moral and ethical obligation. Pardon ME if my child is a burden to your schedule, that's just how it's going to be.

roshy 2009-02-09 19:50:07 -0600 Report

teachers have very little understanding of the condition!! some are completely ignorant and it used to really get on my nerves in school!!

they should be trained properly in dealing with the matter, at the end of the day it is the child who will suffer from their lack of understanding!!

kdroberts 2009-02-10 09:52:04 -0600 Report

It's a federal plan based of the Americans with disabilities act that is designed to make sure children with disabilities get the opportunity to perform at the same level as anyone else. It will spell out any accommodations they will need and allow them to do things other children can't, for instance leave class to test blood sugar or take insulin. It's a legal contract so a teacher cannot go against it.

Debe Pendice
Debe Pendice 2009-02-08 19:29:27 -0600 Report

Barb, Come on girl. You need to stand up for yourself and remember the MD is working for you. You are paying him to do his job. Without you as a patient there would be know MD. I am also like you, always happy go lucky. I love your sense of humor and you are such a joy to have as a friend. So now lets both kick butt and show them we are assertive. We might not be, but we will show them we are. keep you head up high, luv ya girl.

roshy 2009-02-08 19:35:03 -0600 Report

alot of girl power goin on here girlies!!!

the support is feckin FECKIN FANTASTIC!!!

the more you speak out; the better the outcome!!

people cant help you if they dont know whats wrong!

rbergman 2009-02-08 15:00:04 -0600 Report

I'm afraid I am at the other end of that scale, I speak my mind and tell it like it is maybe a little too much, I was ready to fight with Laura's new Ped Endo if I didn't get the answers I needed and bombarded her perhaps a little too much, but, other times depending on the situation I can be less assertive…just don't ask me when the last time was that that happened lol

2009-02-08 22:25:46 -0600 Report

Robin, I'm the same way. My Daddy taught me as a little girl that 'the squeaky door gets the oil' so I learned to speak up for myself (a wee bit much some days lol) at a young age.


Bluebutterfly 2009-02-08 14:57:10 -0600 Report

I too was like that. But i was told by a close friend that you can't be treated like a doormat unless you lay down. Made sense to me. I started saying what I had to say and I do feel better.Don't let people shoot you down.You have as much right to say or ask any question you want too. Yor are paying that Doctor so make sure you get your moneys worth.I don't like to do things that way,but if people force me I can.

GabbyPA 2009-02-08 14:48:08 -0600 Report

I always thought I was "tough" enough to confront the doctor. When I went to my first visit, I was armed and ready and the lady made me feel like crap! I stumbled and couldn't get my concerns out and the more I tried, the more she ignored, the more upset I was awful. I cried the whole way home.

My second visit I didn't have the same person (thank goodness!) and she was much more helpful. Plus, I took my husband with me. He would fight for me if I got stuck or felt like I was not being heard.

Next week is my frist meeting with my actual Doctor...the others were nurse practitioners. So I have my list of questions written down with space so I can write down his answers.
I will take all my tools and my husband for back up, incase he is a jerk too. Geez I hope not.

So when you go, take someone with you who will stand up for you and help you with your confidence when you can't seem to get out what you want. It might not be your husband, it might better to be a close friend or a parent. It helps a lot.

highlandcitygirl 2009-02-08 14:57:08 -0600 Report

i am 60 years old. i wish i could get my mom up to come with me. who i wish i had is my daughter, who lives to far away to be with me!

GabbyPA 2009-02-08 15:10:22 -0600 Report

Do you have a friend to take with you? Just someone there helps a lot. Someone from a church or a group you belong to?

GabbyPA 2009-02-08 15:27:43 -0600 Report

We need to get you off the computer and out in the real world girlie. That breaks my heart to hear that. Not even a neighbor?

2009-02-08 15:30:31 -0600 Report

Barbara, I come near Webb, AL just about every week on my way to my parents at Orange Beach! I would love to stop and see you. You'll have to ride in my Jeep! LOL

highlandcitygirl 2009-02-08 15:40:32 -0600 Report

due to something that happen over three years ago, my life has been more or less ruined, i'm not doing so great! i tried talking to the leaders at my church and they just didn't get it. i was accused of complaning against GOD,but what i was doing was pouring out my problems before HIM. this left me lower than low and to scared to say boo! the computer is fairly new to me and without it there would be no contact at all! it will be alright some day, today i have had stress poured on me, my son is so sressed out that he is telling me his troubles, i cannot turn him away,that is what i felt was done to me. my "friends" are none. they were like clouds with no rain! i can't turn my back on my son. his wife is leaving him! it is one cripple trying to help another. i really feel bad. i know this has nothing to do with the doctor, but to tell you the truth i feel just a touch "crazy" today! forgive my ramblings please!

Pauline B
Pauline B 2009-02-08 17:18:28 -0600 Report

Your ramblings to us are what's keeping you alive, so don't worry how you appear to us. Sorry to hear about your son's life's upsets, too. What a mess. Good luck at the doc, and take a deep breathe. And, maybe, there's a different church with a more compassionate view of what being a Christian is? Don't mean to criticize… but it sounds like you could use a real person rather than we in cyberland.

highlandcitygirl 2009-02-08 19:41:54 -0600 Report

a real person! hard to find a for sure REALLY REAL person, know what i mean! i don't have any rose colored glasses anymore, somebody squashed them. i can't stay mad long enough to help myself and if you ever saw me mad, it would be more than what a person can stand. i got one heck of a nasty temper and i have spent so much time trying to control it, that i don't know how to speak up for myself anymore! whoeeee!!!

roshy 2009-02-08 19:46:47 -0600 Report

i think what pauline is trying to say is that there are proffessionals out there that are trained to help in suituations like this!! they can help put perspective on suituations like this!

highlandcitygirl 2009-02-08 19:50:32 -0600 Report

yep! i understand that! i went to one for a little while, i don't know about ireland, but here in the good ol' u.s.of a. insurance is tight with the money when it comes to that kind of problem. not being a smart alec, i'd rather eat!

roshy 2009-02-08 19:54:43 -0600 Report

well yeah eating is kinda important too!! lol

did you find that when you went to speak to someone it helped?!! just curious, ya dont have to answer!

roshy 2009-02-08 20:09:03 -0600 Report

holy god. its terrible thet way so many people like you do that in the states. We live in a completelty different world al together.
Over here, the goverment funds for organisations to set up mental health centers where the CLIENTS are paid to attend programmes to help rehabilitate them into the community or join the work force The programmes inculde, self awaeness stress management, wholistic therapy such as yoga, art, music meditation and other things like group work and support. They get a certificate awarded at the end of the programme. NOT only this but special councilors and key workers are always there to talk to the clients.

i never realised how different the services are to people in the states

roshy 2009-02-08 20:24:11 -0600 Report

yeah !! it actualy sounds like a joke! but its true! Once the clients are signed onto the programme, they are referred to as "Trainees". its considered as a working day once they attend the classes. They start around 10: 30 and finish at 3:30 they learn all sorts like computer skills and interview skills and are sent on work experience to buld up self esteem and confidence.

Is there nothing like this over there!!

highlandcitygirl 2009-02-08 20:30:20 -0600 Report

there are some self help programs for some people. i not sure there for someone that is having life issues that has got them on a downward sprial. i think it is more for people that are underpriveleged, that need a helping hand up with education and job training! old girls like me don't fit into that catergory!

roshy 2009-02-08 20:37:38 -0600 Report

well thats a shame because ive worked with these clients and they benefit great with the help they get from the organisations. And they would have all kinds of backrounds, from failing marrages, broken up families to severe depression, low self esteem, drug and drink mis use or simply poor confidence!!

well hun, all i can say is speak out and make your doctor do his job!! otherwise its more wasted money, time, effort on your behalf! in the mean time i think the support and advice yoy can recieve from this support site is amazing so keep seeking and asking for answersa and you shall recieve!! x x

highlandcitygirl 2009-02-08 13:58:50 -0600 Report

well, i guess i'll have to bite the bullet, write some things down and hope i don't sutter to bad when i go to talking! thanks for all the advice!

roshy 2009-02-08 13:02:47 -0600 Report

now here is something i have something to say about!!! DOCTORS!!

i remember when i was first diagnosed- dealing with the needles, highs and lows was fine. But being only 16 at the time i had this terrible feeling of resentment, shame and guilt when i ate something i wasnt supposed to !!

in anyways, i would sit and cry in his office and instead of trying to empathise or even slightly try to understand he would stand up and say "right then, time for your phyiscal!!" i hated going to see him, and every time i did go back to the hospital it would be a different doc and they wouldnt have a clue who you were!!

my diatition became my doctor!! she would look into everything for me and fight for what i needed!! i think once you have one good proffesional, who knows you well, understands you and someone who you can talk to it helps a great deal for when you need good advice- after all they are there to serve you and your health needs, so make them count!

2009-02-08 12:46:03 -0600 Report

I can totally understand. I have the bad habit of being a "yes girl" and accepting what a doctor tells me as fact. If I had opened my mouth several months ago and ask questions before starting a new medicine, I'm convinced I would not be in this boat today with my health. I have gone back to him since and I did ask questions and he was cold. I don't care, there are many other doctors out there I can see. I've realized it's your life and health and you have to take control of it. I had to grow a back bone as my grandma would say, lol, but it's working for me! Hope you feel better Barbara! Angie

2009-02-08 11:55:05 -0600 Report

Now that you have admitted it to yourself, the next step would be to admit it to your doctor. I know that it is a hard hurdle to get over, but it would be a burden off your shoulders. I know this from experience. When I was finally able to open up, it became easier to talk on following visits. Just take it one step at a time. On your next visit, admit this problem to your doctor and if that is as far as you can go with it at that time, ok. Next visit, you maybe able to open up a little more. Bits and pieces at a time, take it slow. It worked for me, and maybe it will help you. I hope so.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-02-08 13:24:46 -0600 Report

I agree. Just take it one step at a time. Imagine in your mind the relieve at having overcome that first step! Step out of your comfort zone & just "Do it!".
Each time you go you'll find it easier. You may find (hopefully) that he's more than willing to answer your questions and talk openly with you. You really have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Worrying and having unanswered questions, etc., is unhealthy in and of itself. As a diabetic you know stress and depression effect the BS readings.

So jot down your most important question or 2, take a deep breath and go at i! It is your life we're talking about, and you have a right to the answers and the doctor's care and treatment. You paid for that time, he's not just being nice and giving it to you.

Come on, we're all pulling for you! We know you can do it, and we'll be waiting to hear that you did it and lived through it (LOL).



Robert C. H.
Robert C. H. 2009-02-08 11:54:13 -0600 Report

Yes I was like that most of my life. except my Dr. called it door-mat syndrome In my couple of relationships I was always dependent on them,to my regret.even in the medical field, I had never had anything done till I was 49 yrsand they would say you have this and we have to do this, I would meekly say your the Dr.after ten differn't operations, and all kinds of problems like infections that went on for over a year did I wake up and start to question what they were saying and investagate the differn't options available to me, I have learned to live alone for 20 yrs, no one to depend on but myself, and regretfully a little late now take responsibility for my health.I don't know that anyone can tell you how to shange, sometimes something just happens to make you just stand up for yourself. I hope you find it soon. God Bless robert

Pauline B
Pauline B 2009-02-08 11:52:41 -0600 Report

I've been there myself, and with the help of 6 years therapy (I'm a slow learner), and a divorce, I finally got my mouth. I suggest writing down what goals you want to achieve at the doctor, and then what questions you have to ask to achieve these goals. It's a kind of a business plan. By thinking ahead and being prepared it won't be so frightening. You don't have to have all the papers in front of you when you are in the exam room, but just a few notes to keep you on track. I usually plan my appointment this way so I don't forget anything, and remember that the doc is no different than I… he just made different (better) choices when in high school and college. It helps level the playing field.

gma 2009-02-08 11:51:52 -0600 Report

First off you are a beautiful person dont let people do that to you.You are intitled to your opion on everything and as for your dr you pay him so dont be afraid to talk to them the question you need to ask may save your life I use to be like you but as I got older I look at life this way I love people but cant make everyone like me so just be my self if I ask something stupid then I guess I have made people laugh so it was worth it and as far as my dr I write down what I want to ask her and I wont leave till she has answered them all and with that I will shut up for Iam sure I made alot of people laugh