When I went on the pilgrimage to Santiago, serendipity would have it that I met a German pain specialist who was doing the pilgrimage at a turning point in his career. The two of us meeting and sharing part of our pilgrimage together turned out to be a blessing in disguise for both of us. Him seeing life through the eyes of a chronic pain patient for a few days, being able to observe what all his patients had explained to him in real life, gave him new meaning in his practice. For me it was a true eye opener to be given an understanding of a doctor's professional thoughts and struggles, and it really helped me to see that doctors are people too! Walking together through the hills of Valencia, we shared our stories and thoughts on chronic pain. I learned more about pain from him than any of my doctors at home in Norway, and the meeting changed my attitude completely.
I realized that my Doctors were really just people who had chosen a challenging profession and were doing the very best they could. When a computer engineer has a bad day and makes a slip up at work, no-one dies because of that. But oh my God, what about the neurosurgeons? Just because someone has completed a medical degree doesn't mean that person stops being human! Today, I trust and respect the doctors I meet. If one of them acts really weird or says something I feel is wrong, I put it down to a bad day, and get a second opinion. I don't take it personally. I don't have to like all the doctors I meet, I can take their advice or leave it. But I can do my best to be a good patient to ensure that we're both doing the best we can.