I collect money all day long. Every once in a while, almost everyone I speak with in a day lies about making a payment. That day was Friday.
First thing in the morning I was bullied mafia-wife-style by a real estate agent who had already lied twice about paying her bill. My next few clients were really mean. And then there was the young woman who had not paid her bill since she had become a client, had already lied about paying it three times, and still wanted her service back.
It went on and on all morning, and it started again after lunch. By mid-afternoon I was tense and grumpy. There was no doubt in my mind that the next client would try to sell me a load of shit, too. Natalie, I think, was the next client. She told me the last guy promised to credit some charges, but didn’t do it.
Yeah right, Natalie, I thought. That’s a common lie. Her account didn’t show that promise, so I assumed she was just another Friday client.
Well, I asked the guy who talked to her last, and it turns out I was wrong. Natalie wasn’t lying.
It took me half a day to throw out my basic philosophy about humans. I’m pretty committed to the fact that people are basically good, and every other day last week solidified that fact. Four hours of shitty people trying to take advantage of the system and get what they want without doing what they should have and I forgot all about the other guys.
Specialists must have heard lies, too. People lie to doctors for all different reasons: guilt, fear, stupidity and ignorance are just a few.
I bet they have days filled with lie after lie. You’d be screwed if you were the first appointment after lunch. But it’s one thing to assume a client is lying about money, something else entirely to assume a patient is lying; the stakes are much different.
So how do you cut through all of the human bullshit that even specialists can’t cure to get the treatment you need?
It’s hit or miss, truthfully. There’s no foolproof way. I know that sucks, considering we may be talking about life or death. There is one thing that may help if you can pull it off when you’re sick and dead tired.
Be prepared, but take his cues. I’ve read articles that insist writing a list of symptoms is the best way to get better. Those articles encourage you to take the list to your appointments. Some even suggest making a copy for the doctor to keep.
Here’s the thing about that approach: it works for some doctors and not for others. A doctor told me that patients who walk through the door with lists are considered hypochondriacs or liars by some.
If you run into that doctor, especially on a bad day, you’re not going to get what you need if you start your relationship by reading from a list. So, write a list, but keep it in your pocket. Concentrate on connecting with the doctor as a human.
Ask your advocate to help you remember the symptoms if you have a bad memory. Only take the list out as a last resort.