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These are my ramblings in an attempt try and understand my Dissociative Identity Disorder. Thank you for reading my blog and I hope that together we can come to a better understanding of the human mind. If you have any questions or comments you are more than welcome to add them to my blog, or to email me. I would love to hear from you.

27 February, 2012

Medical Letter

I had a medical appointment today with a new doctor. Any medical appointment can be scary but this one was with a Gynecologist. Yep it was time for my 2 yearly check and.....well.....you know, test women regularly have to have. Bacause of the trauma I have been through, this procedure is very traumatic and upsetting. Going to see a new doctor as well doesn't help.
Knowing that I wasn't going to enjoy the procedure and how hard it was going to be, I took advice from the book 'Got Parts?' by ATW
She recommends writing a letter to the doctor about my condition and explaining what I need, as far as limited touching and warning about procedures being performed. I was unsure if this was the right approach as I didn't want to be ostracized for having DID. I also thought that maybe I could fake it through the appointment and the Doctor would never know. The truth is I probably could fake it through the appointment without any obvious switching or dissociation, but I knew it was going to be traumatic and I hoped that if the Dr knew of my disorder, she may be able to somehow make it easier for me.
It worked, I took the letter in and gave it to the receptionist before I went in so the Doc would have time to read it before seeing me. I don't know what she would have been like had I not given her the letter, but she was very compassionate and understanding. She even took my trauma into account when it came to treating one of my medical conditions. The appointment was still traumatic, and  I have had a hard day since the appointment, but it was nice to know that I didn't have to worry about faking it through. I could be myself and she could understand. I am glad I gave the letter a try. So far I have had understanding and compassion from all the Medical staff I have told about my DID.
Below is a copy of the letter I used. It is based on the ones in the book with a few changes. I hope it can be of some help.



To Dr........... and, whom it may concern,

This letter is one which I write to all new health care providers to give then more information about my background.
I am a survivor of long term and extreme abuse. I am in a safe situation now, and am in therapy with a skilled clinician who specializes in working with trauma survivors. My diagnosis is Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID – formally Multiple Personality Disorder), and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Medical and health care appointments are often difficult and stressful, frightening and triggering for many parts. It would help me to stay present, focused and calmer if you were to call me by name from time to time, especially if I look like I am ‘spacing out’ or getting frightened. It would also be helpful if you would tell me ahead if time before you are going to touch me, or before you do anything, and explain beforehand what you are doing.
I hope you will be patient and know we are working hard to do something very difficult. In return we will always work to try to trust you and to be honest with you, and to cooperate in trying to take good care of our health.
If you have any concerns or questions, please call my therapist, ....................., at the address below. I am happy to sign a release of information if needed.
Thank you for your time and sensitivity to this matter.
Sincerely,

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