Learning Patience as a Patient: My Health Care Story

Jun 13, 2024

I’ve been a healthy person for most of my life. 🙏🏼 Some recent mysterious health issues have me dealing with doctors, labs, scans, and insurance companies more than the mostly preventative check-ups I've been used to over the years.

Let me just say…it’s been a lot to move through!😧

With the current shortage of health care workers, there are often long waits on hold to make appointments and sometimes months to be seen by a doctor.📆📆📆

Dealing with financial concerns and navigating the billing and insurance systems can also be stressful.😟😖

Like dealing with any big organization’s customer service, it can test a person’s patience.

Recently, I was on my 6th or 7th call, juggling three organizations, just to get info on my recent claims.

The primary insurance carrier and the medical group each insisted the other was responsible for providing me with the breakdown of coverage and my part of the cost.

Before I go on, let’s rewind to my pre-PQ days. My inner micro-manager (aka controller and stickler saboteurs in Positive Intelligence terms) was always on high alert, demanding perfection and expecting people to see things the right (i.e. my) way.

Perceived incompetence, laziness, or inefficiency triggered immediate and intense stress. I would get terse. impatient, and frustrated.

Why couldn’t they just see and do the obvious right thing?! 

Enter PQ. The very simple, yet powerful exercises known as PQ Reps strengthen positive mental muscles and weaken the negative ones, which we call saboteurs (there are 9 of these troublemakers).

PQ Reps build resilience and a positive mindset to stay calm and centered.

Over time, by practicing PQ Reps and other Positive Intelligence techniques that develop empathy and patience, I reprogrammed my default responses. I became less reactive, even in triggering situations.

This insurance company situation highlighted that perfectly for me.

Back to my story...

I ended up on a 3-way call with the primary insurance carrier and the medical group. Even with them both on the phone they each insisted the other was responsible.

The old me would have been seething, but now…

…something was different.

I empathized that the people on the phone were just doing their job and didn't have any power over the procedures.

And I recognized in the moment that getting upset would only make things more unpleasant for all of us, and not likely to get me the outcome I sought.

Admittedly, after almost 2 hours on just this one call and them only offering a band-aid answer instead of long-term one, some frustration came up (I'm human after all), so I requested a supervisor.

But I stayed calm and respectful, even while questioning their procedures and challenging their “solution”.

I wish I could say there was a bright and shiny happy ending to this part of the story. Despite my best efforts, we never reached what seemed to me to be a reasonable conclusion.

The medical group gave me the info I needed verbally and the primary insurance company offered to do a manual work-around to get me the supporting documents this time, with no permanent solution going forward.

I accepted that I would have to let it play out (I’m still waiting for those documents) and it’s quite likely similar calls will be required in the future if I need more medical care.

Ultimately, I decided it did not serve me to invest any more time or energy into helping them fix their obviously broken system. 

I chose my own peace of mind over trying to make them see how unacceptable this was.

It's hard to express how huge that is for me!

This experience helped me see how far I’ve come. My controller and stickler saboteurs, while still present, no longer dictate my actions. I’m more able to see the big picture and consciously choose how I respond.

Another gift from the experience is feeling great empathy for those with ongoing health issues who must regularly deal with doctor appointments and insurance companies.

Focusing on my deep gratitude that my need to engage in that system has been minimal (and I expect that to continue) helped me soften any residual frustration from the call.

Empathy and gratitude are powerful anecdotes to frustration and stress!

Dealing with the health care system or any customer support will probably never be anyone’s favorite pastime.

But in these everyday challenges we may find the best opportunities for growth,

PQ Reps might seem simple, but their impact can be profound. Your next frustrating call could become a surprising testament to your personal growth, just as it did for me.

Want to know which saboteurs affect you the most and the techniques that can help?

Take the Free Saboteur Assessment HERE.

Learn more about PQ Reps and Positive Intelligence Mental Fitness Training HERE.