There are days and then there are days.
Yesterday wasn’t so bad in the sense that lots of bad things happened but more of a culmination of things concerning my mom’s health.
So today I want to focus on our health, yours, mine, and those we care for.
That’s why the title. That’s why I want you to read this post.
But first, let me say, I believe Scripture and common sense says we are to be the person most concerned about our health. Doctors can’t possibly know everything about every patient. In most cases, doctors prescribe medication as a first line of defense, probably not because they want to but because they know that their patients are not going to do anything proactive.
Our doctor (hubby and I have the same one) has always told us that we’re the definite exception to most of his patients. We take our health personally and do what we know is healthy. Sure, we mess up now and then but not that often anymore.
We’ve seen the number of pills people take and have decided we don’t want to be them. We’re also not afraid, (maybe I should say I’m not afraid, read yesterday’s post) to speak up. My years as a hospital chaplain taught me something very profound.
The patients that get the best care are those who have a tenacious “someone”, an advocate, staying on top of things.
To condense it all and not write an entire book, my mom’s physician (whom she hasn’t actually seen in over a year, usually it’s the nurse practitioner) had obviously not read the last lab work she had done nor the notes the nurse practitioner made and prescribed a medicine that made something worse. So, as of yesterday, she was taken off that drug.
I am extremely proactive about my mother’s health and because I ask for God’s wisdom every day where that is concerned, I have been able to catch most things. But this one I couldn’t because I wasn’t the one reading her lab results. (But apparently her then doctor didn’t either.)
In most cases, I’ve been steering the ship and might I say I’ve done a darn good job. But now I will be even more vigilant.
I love that I can communicate with the medical staff on-line because now there is a permanent record about my misgivings. It’s not a matter of “he said, she said”.
I want to encourage all of you to do your homework, to make sure lab reports are read and interpreted accurately. But how do you know that? You’re not a doctor.
But you are an intelligent person. And intelligent people always ask questions. That’s what makes them intelligent.
Are you aware that an astonishing one-third of deaths is due to doctor error?
I’m not for one minute suggesting that most doctors are inadequate, not at all. I think most doctors are very good. My husband and I have been very pleased with ours. But remember someone graduated at the bottom of the class. It’s up to us to be vigilant; no one should care more about our health than we do.
Here are some questions to ask your doctor:
- Why are you suggesting this drug?
- What are the side effects?
- How long has this drug been on ther market?
- Is there a generic version that’s just as effective?
- Would you please look at the interactions of this drug with my other medications?
- Are there alternatives to taking this prescription drug?
- What will happen if I don’t take this drug?
TESTS and PROCEDURES
- Why are you ordering this test?
- Is there a less invasive test?
- Could I wait on this?
- What will the results of this test show?
- What are the side effects and dangers of this test? (Every medical procedure has its risks.)
- Is there a recovery period and how long is it?
- What will this surgery accomplish?
- What could be the possible complications of this surgery?
- Will it solve the problem?
- Will I talk to the anesthesiologist beforehand?
- What is the realistic recovery period? (I can’t tell you how many times doctors are overly optimistic when it comes to this.)
- Is there something besides surgery we can try first?
- How often have you performed this surgery?
- Do you have special training for this surgery?
Here’s a great website to check out. It takes quite a while to get through it all but there is some great information regarding surgeries.
For example, don’t go to a surgeon first. Always start with your primary care physician first. Only makes sense when you think about it. A surgeon’s natural bent is towards surgery because that’s their specialty.
Our health should be more important to us than anyone else.
God bless and have a good day.