Name and some places has been changed for confidentiality issue. Let me know what you think about it.
A Letter to GP
Dear Dr ________,
My name is JC Greg. I am 88 years old, I was born and raised in Dunedin. I married to my late husband in the year of 1948, for 65 years. I am blessed with 2 daughters, one is living in Christchurch at the moment, and another one is in Whakatane and I also have 6 grandchildren. Despite of born in Dunedin, I went to Hamilton for 14 years, and went back in Dunedin because it feels so much homier. I worked as a librarian at the Teacher’s College in Hamilton, and did the same job at the School of Physiotherapy in Dunedin.
I enjoy arts stuffs. I like painting and still do painting even though I am here in the rest home. I help people with their painting as well. Sometimes, it’s not just about the painting, but more to the people I’ve known or encountered throughout the journey. So socializing has also been an important part of my life. I’ve become members to a few clubs in Dunedin as part of socializing. Other than that, I also have a good interest in reading, mainly in history and science. Having had a job surrounded by books, has encourage me to read. I also have my books here in the rest home, and my daughter just gave me a very expensive book on science as a gift to me.
I have quite a long medical history. I’ve had cataract and had the surgery to remove it. Other than that, I am diabetic since I was 56 and I am on insulin for that. I also have systolic hypertension and ischaemic heart disease (IHD). The IHD started as angina, and I had stent at the age of 85 but it didn’t really work. So I had the quadruple bypass operation recently. To add on that, I had spinal stenosis and had 2 operations for that, but didn’t really fix, in fact it gave me a chronic lower back pain until now. Furthermore, I have osteoporosis and depression and last but not least, I had my womb removed at the age of 42.
I was referred to Rest Home by the doctor; it was not really by choice. It happened after I had my major quadruple bypass operation; I fell down and fractured my hip. The doctor was keened that I could not take care of myself and it would be easier to be in a rest home, as there will be caregivers to ask for help. I admit that I do regret being here sometimes as it quite a good indicator of losing independence and not be able to do what I am used to do. Other than that, I found myself feeling a bit lonely despite of having other residents, caregivers, nurses et cetera. Maybe, it is due to lack of sense of belonging here in Ross Home. Sometimes I do miss my own home, and its surrounding, my neighbours and the community that know me too well.
Despite of a long medical history and treatment, I didn't find much bad interaction or relationship with my doctors and other medical staffs too. If I could point out one moment that I was unhappy about was that certain staffs didn't’ listen to me when I say something to them. I understand that these people are busy doing their jobs but sometimes, it’s nice if they could listen instead of just ignoring or dismissing of whatever things that come out from patients’ mouth. It might be something important that they could have missed out.
If I could say the ideal doctor for me is that, he/she must be able to listen to me when I say something for the reasons that I have mentioned above. It is important to do that because sometimes old people like me often have things that I worry about, or things that I need to tell and it will most likely make me feel better if somebody could listen to me and give reassurance. Other than that, I would like to be treated with dignity even though I will not be able to be in a good state of mind one day in the future. I still want the curtain to be drawn, or someone will drape me appropriately before they do any examination on me. These two things are pretty important to me.
Last but not least, before I forget to mention, I also has been diagnosed with Cluster B personality disorders that include me being antisocial, attention-seeking and narcissist. Hence, you might want to check whatever information that I gave you with my family, previous doctors or nurses as I might be a bit manipulative.