Overcoming the irrational fear of people in white coats has taken me a while. I used to be completely terrified of doctors, and that didn't really help my healing process. The fear was rational in a way, because the doctor's assessment of my condition - and the words he or she used to describe it, would inevitably lead to very real and potentially hazardous effects in my life. Which diagnosis I got could mean the difference between financial ruin, or an enormous support system (I have had both). One surgeon's decision led to seven years (from age 21-29) with intense daily pain - leaving me mostly horizontal, so I guess my fear was well founded.
It's taken me many years to realize that Doctors are people too... and that insight was the first step towards overcoming the irrational fear of people in white coats.
Also on the pilgrimage to Santiago (a life changing adventure that I promise to blog about someday) I had the opportunity to walk with a sweet lady who was a doctor working with terminal cancer patients. To see the grief in her eyes when she talked about what it was like trying to relieve the relentless suffering of her patients and see them dying one by one changed my perception of doctors forever.
Wow, they are amazingly brave people!
Today I am very selective about which doctors I work with. I see myself as a customer (Even if Norwegian health care is 90% free, I have rights!) and a partner. I choose to work actively with my doctors today, rather than blindly placing myself in their care and judging them as either good or bad based on what they do. My journey to health can be a lonely struggle, or it can be a two way street. If I work with doctors who support me on my quest to wellness, and put up with my quirks and one-woman shows, I'm building a healing team that will help me heal.