A Letter to Health Care Providers

medical exam blood pressure reading

Too often I hear of instances of times when patients attend an appointment with a healthcare provider and attempt to discuss an issue with them and come out feeling worse than the did when they went in.

It’s sad, truly disappointing. In some cases when the patient has a rare medical condition like Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) the medical provider has never heard of it and doesn’t know how to appropriately handle (physically) the patient without causing them pain.

Please feel free to print a pdf version from the links below or copy the text from the website to modify & personalize for your own use.  There are versions without the postscript  for those of you who don’t have a rare disease like CRPS.

Dear Healthcare Provider,

I realize that due to the complexity of my health conditions I am not the easiest of patients to treat. I have a complex medical history that makes my case “interesting” which I’ve been told is never a “good” thing. As a patient, it’s my responsibility to be well informed about my conditions and to be prepared for my appointment so that I can make the best use of both our time.

I spend a significant amount of time researching the various health conditions I have. The latest treatments, reading current research studies from across the globe, participating in support groups & sharing information with others who have these conditions.

I respect and appreciate the time and dedication you have devoted to your education and career.  Please don’t be offended if / when I ask about a treatment or medication that I have heard about. It’s not a reflection of how I see or feel about you as a provider. It’s not that I think I’m smarter than you, or that I have any negative thoughts at all.

I’m asking for your opinion because I respect you. I trust you to guide me through this perilous journey I’ve found myself on and I need your help. So, please. when I ask these questions, or bring you new information. Please accept it in the spirit it’s being brought. With trust, and faith that you’re here to help me, not to make me more fearful than I already am.

I’m hoping that one of these new treatment options may be viable for me, it may give me back a part of my life, a better quality of living… it may give me back a part of ME that has been missing since the health condition(s) began to consume my life.

Thank you for taking the time to read this brief letter and for being a positive part of my health care journey.

P.S. Please don’t hurt me while you’re trying to help me.

If I am a new patient to you, and you are unfamiliar with the rare medical condition that I have, please do me the courtesy of listening to me and not being dismissive of me or treating me with disbelief simply because the condition sounds rather bizarre.  Regrettably, as I’ve come to know all too well, fact can indeed be much stranger than fiction.

Dear Healthcare Provider 1 – Original

Dear Healthcare Provider – New Patient Rare Condition

Dear Healthcare Provider – Complex Patient