Who’s In Charge? You Or The Doctor?
When you are chronically ill with something like fibromyalgia and other similar invisible diseases, your doctor can be your best friend or worse nightmare. Your health is like a roller coaster and the doctor is like the operator of the roller coaster. He can control the ride and make it a pleasant one, or if he is thoughtless or careless he can make the ride a nightmare.
You need the best doctor(s) you can find. You are the manager of your team of doctors. Seldom, can a fibro patient get by with one doctor. You need other doctors even if you only see them once or twice a year. There are so many contradictory side affects that you occasionally need to see other doctors so you know that your symptoms haven’t turned into some more than a fibro symptom.
A good example would be the pain in the area of your ribs and sternum. The pain during a big flare up can make you think you are having a heart attack. You need to see a cardiologist on a regular basis like every six months or every twelve months depending on the counsel of your cardiologist.
This way if your EKG, blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels are known to be good then you can have some confidence when you have a flare up in the sternum area. If migraines are a chronic problem then you should have a neurologist on your team of doctors. You get the point. You need to look at your symptoms every so often to make sure they are still related to fibromyalgia and not anything else.
It is so easy to blame everything on a fibro symptom. But that is bad fibro management.
Since you are the manager of a team of doctors, that makes you the boss. This answers the question “who’s in charge? You or the doctor?” Since you are the manager you are the boss. You can hire or fire your doctor which is one way to can exert your power over them.
I know that there are likely many fibro patients who live in remote areas and may not have easy access to a full team of doctors but you still need to play an active role in your health care and not just take what the doctor says at face value, and this goes for everyone.
A doctor goes to medical school and then specializes in a type of medicine then he goes to work. He keeps up some of his education by annual training classes and by reading medical journals.
But that doesn’t always keep your doctor up to speed on the every changing world of fibromyalgia.
Your own personal education is part of the responsibility of being in charge.
Some people might take issue with my point of the patient being in charge and not the doctor. After all, the doctor is highly educated and trained. Your doctor controls your access to medication and therapies. This alone would make people think the doctor is in charge. But that just isn’t always the case.
How to be in charge of your health and team of doctors.
Seven ways to be in control of your medical health.
1. Come to the appointment prepared. Write down all your questions and review them in the waiting room and be well prepared with those questions.
3. When the doctor prescribes medicine ask if the new drug will react negatively with the meds you are already on. They should know, but they can still overlook your prescription medication history. Over the years I have asked that question and there have been four or five times that a doctor stopped and looked at my list of medication and actually changed the medicine. It doesn’t seem like they would overlook that aspect of your visit but they are human and they make mistakes.
4. Don’t be afraid of them, speak out and tell them what you think. Don’t be intimidated by their advanced degrees. This is your body and your life. Ask questions and tell them what your thinking. If this is a problem with your doctor and he doesn’t like it, go to another doctor.
5. Remember that in spite of their advance degrees and training they are human and they make mistakes.
6. Don’t let doctors push you around. I’ve waited as long as six hours for one doctor and I quit seeing him after the post op check up. I’ve waited for hours to see doctors before only to hear them say at the end of the anointment, “I’m running late and I need to get to my patients.” I held my ground and told him I’m not through. I have also made statements such as “I waited for two hours and now it is my turn.”
7. If your doctor is a jerk, fire him or her and get another doctor. Your life and your health are too important to be blocked at every turn by an uncaring doctor.
You are the manager of your health care team and your client (you) is very important. Be the boss and act like the boss because you are the only one who can really manage your health.
Troy Wagstaff ©
Filed under: Fibromyalgia - Fbro Awareness | Tagged: doctor, fibro awareness, fibromyalgia, invisable illness, Seven ways to be in control of your medical health., who is in charge you or your doctor |