Saturday, April 20, 2013

Q...If It Quacks Like a Duck, It's a Quack!

Anyone with a chronic illness has hours and hours of medical appointments and tests under their belt. Sometimes we start feeling like a science experiment. I know in the thick of my fibromyalgia flare up, which forced my doctors to finally admit I truly have a medical problem, I was sick and tired of being a patient. However, I am still grateful that my doctors were patient and understanding through the whole process. Many of the medical personnel who helped me through this journey were truly caring and wanted to help me find answers. After years of doctors that simply ignored or even discounted my complaints, I am thankful that I finally found people who would listen.

I have run across quite a few nurses and doctors that never seemed to want to listen. Anytime I would voice a concern or offer a suggestion, they would look at me like I was a child or even maybe a little insane. They had the mentality that they were the ones with the degrees and experience, so their opinion was all that mattered. I’ve even met a few doctors that I swear only became doctors because they love to talk and feel important. After experiencing some painful mistakes by the hands of arrogant doctors, I’ve learned that doctors are not infallible and they do not know everything.

Consequently, I encourage you to play an active role in your medical treatment. It is your body. You know it better than anyone. And you must live with the consequences of any medical decisions. If your doctor suggests treatment options, try to do some background research before deciding which option is best for you. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor about any alternative treatments that you may come across in your research. Come to your appointments with any questions or concerns you might have. It might be helpful to write them down in the weeks before your appointment, so you come well prepared. Finally, don’t be afraid to challenge your doctor’s opinion. If he or she is set on a treatment option that you are not comfortable with, seek a second opinion. It is your right to have a doctor who will listen to your concerns and who will do his or her best to work around those concerns.

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