Being Understood
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Pasadena, TX

Diagnosis - a walking conundrum. As my mother's fourth child, she knew something was wrong with my frequency of illness and eventually had me diagnosed with an immune deficiency disease.

My childhood was spent with many doctors, but the fear of developing an immunity and my parents' finances supported my mom's decision to help me take care of myself with minimal medicine. I became a "tough cookie". I only go to a doctor when I absolutely am in need.

Yet, my least favorite part of going to college and moving to get my first job was meeting new doctors. I never understood why I bother to complete a chart with all my information when the doctor says,"You're young, you're healthy. I'm not running this test." After I ask if he/she felt that was right considering my disease, I always get attitude insinuating I did not put the disease information on the chart or maybe I need to get checked again like a disease can disappear. I never understood why these doctors were mad at me for the way I was born and my ability to be aware of my body enough to be one of the better cases. Then, I met Dr. Laliberte.

Dr. Laliberte is quick and to the point. She tells me exactly what I need and listens to my take on my health. I was so used to doctors having me suffer through an illness for a month before they gave me medicine in shock that I was still sick and fascinated by my illness that they already heard about three times or more. I still recall how the second time I got sick and went to Dr. Laliberte two weeks later, she questioned why I hadn't come in earlier because I knew that a certain symptom always meant a certain medicine for me. Apparently, she had studied my records from a previous doctor.
When I went to the hospital, she not only called the doctors there but called me to see how I was. The hospital had called her because I seemed healthy and young despite my disease...but the treatments weren't working. You don't get this kind of treatment in a big city, unless you go to her.

She has defended me against a pharmacist and a specialist in the last 10 years as my primary care physician. In the first instance, the pharmacist, contrary to her prescription, gave me a generic medicine. I didn't get better. I got worse and went back to her. She knew something was amiss because that medicine always worked for me, and it would be very bad if I developed an immunity to it. I showed her the bottle, and explained how when I got it, I didn't remember that being what she prescribed (she always wrote "dispense as directed" for me) and questioned the pharmacist who refused to return my prescription paper so I could check it was the right medicine and insisted he knew the right medicine to give me despite whatever disease I imagined that I had. You see, because I look healthy if on the pale side, I get a kind of reverse prejudice. Unless you have a microscope, you can't see what's wrong with me so there's nothing wrong, or the person wants to make me a research case.

She doesn't. She treats me like a normal person who just gets sick more frequently than others. She is frank, and I like frank people. She has told me to stop certain activities that would cause me great pain in a brief time. Many people would find that "thinking negatively" or "cruel". She's my doctor and knows what I need. No sugar-coating. She is there if I needed to discuss my losses because I pushed myself too hard but won't bring it up if I didn't want to since she understands my desire to be normal like my appearance.

Now, she is no longer covered under my healthcare, but I have paid the full fee to see her. I have yet to find a better doctor.

These submissions are individual opinions of patients based upon their own experiences. By submitting a story about a provider, you are acknowledging that you or a family member was or has been a patient of the provider. Once submitted, stories will be displayed publicly on our website. Since stories are individual opinions of patients, they should not be considered medical advice.

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