April 12, 2013

One thing I have learned as a patient. #HAWMC

Photo: HAWMC Day 12:

If you could go back in time and talk to yourself (or your loved one) on the day of diagnosis, what would you say? Today’s post was recommended by  Christina of  www.stickwithitsugar.com


What have you learned about being a patient/caregiver that has surprised you most?

Day 12 (April 12) – Hindsight
What have you learned about being a patient/caregiver that has surprised you most?

I have learned so much since being diagnosed almost 5 years ago.  But one thing I have learned and I think is most important is that even though our doctors are here to help us get better, we have a say in my care.  Growing up, it was Drs. orders and no questions.  Sadly, we had a doctor that would recommend eating yogurt as his medical advice.  From depression to broken bones.  I kid you not.

Five years ago, suddenly I was being diagnosed with this and that.  They were not just small issues.  These were illnesses that were going to change everything about the rest of my life.  Names, tests and numbers were being thrown around from Dr to Dr.   Until one day I had to just stop them all and ask them what the hell they were talking about.  That was the day I learned I was part of the team too.  My concerns and opinions were just as valid as theirs.  I had a voice and that was allowed.

I have been very blessed with doctors that are willing to listen to all my questions and concerns.  For the most part they are very thorough but there have been times when I have had to question them.  I made a decision not to do a test that one doctor told me I needed based on my other doctor explaining why I didn't need to do it.  Yes it caused a bit of an issue with the doctor but I have not ever regretted my decision.  And have been told more than once that it was the right choice.  What I am getting at is that your health is in your hands as much as it is in your doctors.

Make sure you do all that you need to do to understand what is happening.  Research. Familiarize yourself with your medications and their side effects.  Before you take tests, ask that your doctor explain why exactly to need them.  Let your spouse in on it all and get their opinion.  Reach out to others who are going thought the same thing as you.  Living with a chronic illness is not a one person thing.  Its a team thing.  Your doctors, you and your family.   Its not only up to your doctors to help you, you have to help yourself too!

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