31 August 2010

Conversations with the Medical Community

Some of you may have wondered when I was going to get called out for my harsh treatment (on-going tirade) of the medical community. Well, it has happened. And from a physicians assistant.

I was at an appointment because I am having some problems after a colonoscopy and being told that we were done for this meeting and she was already on the way to the door, she turned and quietly said, when are you going to be nice to the medical community and the medical pros. Since these are words I use with consistency, I knew that she had been reading. Being this was not an office I visit but once in a few years and not related to diabetes, I almost muffed it.

Then she said, we all can make mistakes. I finally got my tongue untied and asked if she thought I was referring to this office. No, she said, mainly to the people working with diabetes. Okay, but since I had just made a mistake which is forgetting to list all the medications and the one I missed was causing the problem I was having, her comment was well placed. We talked a couple of minutes more and we both went on to other things.

On the way home, I got to thinking about her comment and realized that it is not only the patients of diabetes that have problems with some medical pros. All patients with chronic diseases have these problems, whether it is in diagnosis or treatment after the diagnosis.

I know cancer patients have these problems. If any of you have seen the advertisements for The Cancer Treatment Centers, you will agree. My first wife had a doctor who basically threw up his hands and said he could do no more after giving her the news of uterine and cervical cancer, not even a referral to an oncologist.

In talking to a friend who has a grandson with autism, he expressed how little the local doctors were able to help and basically told them to find help from other sources. My friend expressed how much information he and his family have been able to find on the internet. His grandson has shown steady improvement after they found a doctor that was right for them. He will not be ready to start school this fall, but they are hoping that in a year, he may be able to attend school. They feel fortunate that they have this additional year to get him ready to start school.

So if you are a person with diabetes, do not take comfort from this information. It is up to you to become as educated as possible about your chronic disease and find support on the internet and where ever possible. Some of you will have a good doctor and some will need to change doctors to get one that fits your needs.

While it is not always possible to be your own advocate, you do need to learn as much as possible about your disease. If you need assistance, hopefully you have a family member that can also act as your advocate and if not a good friend that can assist you.

If you need a reason to be be more of an advocate or more proactive in your care, then take time to read the following blogs or articles as they are good examples of what you should do. They are part of the reason I am such a pain in the backside to some of my doctors and especially with the hospitals as they can make more mistakes that should be made. And I am not looking for reasons like some people to file a lawsuit, I just what things done correctly the first time and my way if I have any control.

No, I am not a doctor, nor do I pretend to be one, I just am a very proactive patient and advocate for myself, and I have a wife that is proactive as well and makes an excellent advocate for me if I become incapable of communication.

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