Thursday, September 30, 2010

A lesson from Mom: Don't be a 'good' patient -


1. Ask lots of questions. If you don't understand something, ask for clarification, and if you still don't understand, ask again. The doctor or nurse might be visibly annoyed, but that shouldn't stop you. Remember, your health depends on your ability to comprehend what the doctor is telling you.

2. Don't worry whether your doctor likes you. If you hesitate to do anything that might upset the doctor, such as asking lots of questions, you're putting your health in jeopardy. While it's a natural inclination to want to be liked, your health comes first and your popularity second.

3. Remember that this is a business transaction. You're paying the doctor for a service; you're not in a popularity contest. Of course, you're respectful of the doctor, just as you're respectful to a waitress or your car mechanic, but you don't owe it to your doctor to be the perfect patient.

* * *

If you know you have CFS and the doctor doesn't want to prescribe anything but anti-depressants, stand up to him.  Your health is more important than his ego.

1 comment:

Kylie said...

Also remember that you are the one who knows about what you are feeling in your own body. No doctor can truly understand CFS/FMS unless they have the condition themselves, right?

I decided to change doctor when all I got was a figurative pat on the hand and "there, there, you're a working mum, of course you're tired".

I went to another doctor - on a "good" day - neatly dressed. And said that while I know working mums get tired, working friends of my age (or older) with children the same age as mine, didn't have to go to bed earlier than their children out of exhaustion!

I explained that I needed some answers that I could work with. Once we worked out what was wrong, it still took a while to improve, but at least I was a lot closer to being on the right track.

I think there needs to be respect in the doctor-patient relationship - both ways. If that's missing, time for a new doctor. Fortunately it seems that gradually there are more general practitioners who understand what CFS/FMS are and that they're not all in our heads.

Thanks for your blog!