I love effective communication, whether it is in a large group or one on one. Yet I rarely experience it. I’ll get on someone’s case for talking over, around, or through me. I end up feeling objectified or discounted. It can happen in the doctor’s office, when speaking with a rep from a utility service, or in the produce section of the grocery store.
The other day had an experience of feeling as if I wasn’t listened to. It was time for another colonoscopy exam. Those of you under fifty may not know the joys of preparing for this exam, but I assure you it’s worthwhile to get screening for cancer of the colon. This time around the doctor found a polyp in the large intestine. Not a big deal and I was grateful to have it removed.
But when I woke up from the exam my left eye was cloudy and felt rough. The doctor was concerned and told me to see an eye specialist. That’s when one thing led to the next!
The eye doctor didn’t seem to hear me when I complained about my cloudy vision. Instead he carefully examined my retinas after dilating my pupils. He was alerted by a change in my distance vision. As he looked through a magnifying glass he discovered a swelling of my optic nerves called papilledema. I was irritated because he still hadn’t address my cloudy vision issue and I had already been in his office for two long hours waiting to see him, without having had a meal in almost a day.
To my surprise he sent me for an immediate MRI scan of my brain. My imagination went wild since I had already had a benign brain tumor removed. Much later the next day I got the diagnosis from my primary care physician. I have “benign cranial hypertension” caused by too much brain fluid. Something is keeping it from draining properly. The optic nerve issue was a symptom, but also serious because it causes my eyesight to degrade.
So the lesson for is that my expectations of good communication are not always the best. Sometimes I need to surrender myself to the circumstances and let the experts figure things out. I am seeing a neurologist soon and I hope that he’ll tell me that I’ll be okay. So talk to me, but make sure you’re making sense and the topic is relevant to what’s really going on!