strategy guide for healthcare systems: the basic Good Patient Dance 

i figure that this is something a lot of spoonies already know or have picked up on, but also worth a thread because it's something that people not already on board might really benefit from learning

i can also only write from my own perspective - that of an upper middle class cishet white woman - so this of course gets so much more complicated for many people, and i wish i had easy answers for overcoming that.

strategy guide for healthcare systems: the basic Good Patient Dance 

this is also largely talking about the american healthcare system that is a flaming hellscape, since again i can't speak to how other places work.

but since it's a flaming hellscape, i honestly don't feel a single jot of guilt about trying to give people information even if it ends up 'being cheat codes'. of course try to use these for good not ill, but the good that is getting adequate healthcare is a major good.

strategy guide for healthcare systems: the basic Good Patient Dance 

this basic do-sie-do is mostly about... well, trying to avoid being put in the 'just another drug seeker' box. it is absolutely bullshit that this effort has to be made. but it's the bullshit we currently deal with, so. enough preamble.

when you see your doc, the first and best piece of advice is USE METRICS. especially USE METRICS OBSERVABLE TO THE OUTSIDE EYE, AND THAT CAN BE CONCRETE GOALS.

strategy guide for healthcare systems: the basic Good Patient Dance 

the pain scale is something that was created to try and fix the problem of 'how do we measure a subjective thing', and it has its weaknesses, being nebulous and wibbly.

if you think you're getting unfairly judged for reporting your pain score, step zero is to ask what scale they're using. and to ask for something more than just frowny faces as definition.

strategy guide for healthcare systems: the basic Good Patient Dance 

talking about how something impacts your life, and the goals you'd like to achieve, is a metric that doctors - and perhaps more importantly in current hellscape, insurance - love.

look at the pain scale that defines itself in terms of functionality. look at what your problems are doing limiting *your* functionality.

key in on those issues and key in on them hard.

strategy guide for healthcare systems: the basic Good Patient Dance 

talking about externally verifiable metrics instead of having it all be in your own head as 'doc, i hurt bad' will often get people to listen to you instead of dismissing you.

for example, what is the pain keeping you from doing? what do you wish you could do without it?

can you make that into a concrete goal?

part of the good patient dance is also being willing to try non-medication solutions, too.

strategy guide for healthcare systems: the basic Good Patient Dance 

of course, this is bullshit. this is just bullshit we do to convince others and it's unfair we have to do it.

but just showing that you're open to other solutions is part of convincing them that you're not jonesing for medication to abuse, you're trying to find an actual solution. one that means you can, say, keep up with your schoolwork, or keep your pain under control enough to shower more than twice a week.

strategy guide for healthcare systems: the basic Good Patient Dance 

(and sometimes it means they can actually hook you up with shit that works better than medication, like how i became a cyborg about my neuropathic pain.)

you can even mention this just in terms of things that you have tried before. "i tried to manage this on my own doing x and y. but they haven't worked, which is why i'm wondering if you can help me."

strategy guide for healthcare systems: the basic Good Patient Dance 

since we're in a capitalist hellscape nightmare, if you can show problems that are negatively impacting your ability to work (or study, etc.), these often get taken with more weight. this is complete bullshit! and i wish we didn't have to spend so much energy doing this! but... it is where we are right now.

if available, bringing in witnesses also really helps.

strategy guide for healthcare systems: the basic Good Patient Dance 

it's how to make that internal problem an external one, and one that is verifiable externally. if your roommate or family member can come with you to say, "yes, i've seen them not be able to shower more than once a week. i've seen how they can't focus and complete tasks like x and y and how it causes z problems.", that will mean you're given more weight and perhaps taken more seriously.

strategy guide for healthcare systems: the basic Good Patient Dance 

(similarly, it is your right as a patient to have someone you trust with your medical info in an appointment with you. more uptight offices might make them sign something, but it is your right. if you're having serious problems, any good doctor will understand you wanting to have a second set of ears to help remember information, too. if a doctor flatly says no, i would get suspicious.)

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strategy guide for healthcare systems: the basic Good Patient Dance 

and, well.

again, wish i didn't have to say this, but.

sometimes if the person showing up to back you up is a cis man, when you are not a cis man, it can mean you may be able to cut through a bit of the medical misogyny and other related bigotry.

i hate this too. i have had to use this on an otherwise great set of doctors and it is infuriating. i'm not going to pretend it isn't fucking aggravating.

strategy guide for healthcare systems: the basic Good Patient Dance 

ultimately the Good Patient Dance is kowtowing to bullshit.

but this is a game that none of us signed up to play and none of us wanted to play in the first place. we can at least try to know the rules to work around them, especially if the rules were put in place to have the nice fringe benefit of killing us off.

so speak their language a little bit, do the dance to assure them, and get the healthcare you need and deserve.

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