Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Becoming an "Active & Proactive Patient" Educating yourself & How it can surely help when you are managing chronic illnesses and/or pain... Lupus,Heart Disease,Cancer,FM,RA,Sjogrens and so many more...

In Other Words "When Patients Manage Doctors".... or at least try to...

This is something I have practiced actively all of my adult life, and especially after have several different "ongoing chronic illnesses", and now we see a different "specialist" it seems for each and every illness, unlike when you "family doctor" did it all, done your physicals,delivered babies, done surgeries etc. I recall with my 1st son being born, my regular Family MD delivered him. Shortly thereafter, he quit delivering babies, along with many of the other family doctors. Due to the rising cost for them to have insurance being doctors, they allowed those area's to be left up to the specialists. When you have for instance my situation, heart issues, so I need a cardiologist, Lupus, RA & several autoimmune illnesses, my Rheumatologist, and my PCP also works with me on the Lupus, I now have a specialist as far as my vision, due to the double vision, I have different surgeons, from a general surgeon, to more than one orthopedic surgeon, because many of them "specialize" in different joints, surgeries and so forth

Then many of us have a Neurologist, a Pain Management specialist, and ENT, a dermatologist, dentist, sometimes even a specialized dentist, and from time to time we may encounter other specialists, such as immunologists, psychologists, oral surgeons, and so many others, as time goes on. I found if I did not take an "active" approach to let each doctor know who the others are, what role they play in my health care, what meds I am on and from which physician, and I keep a list of all of my physicians and why I see them, along with lab work, any type of radiology reports, or scans etc... I have learned that all too often one doctor, may not even send the others the information such as labs, testing, imaging and so forth. So, being involved in your own health issues, taking charge of making sure everyone is put to speed on your other health issues... all of that is so critical for all of us, especially those who deal with chronic illnesses. Now the one problem with that, is SOME physicians, are not as "accepting" when a patient comes in with information, and so forth.

I have found that a couple of my physicians, even though in the end, what I had originally thought and told them was true about a particular health problem of mine, they much prefer an "uneducated patient"... I know that is hard to believe, most of mine are thrilled that I take an active role, and I "know" my own body, and I research medications, treatments and so forth. But, I have a couple of them, especially one in particular that gets almost "mad" when i come in and tell him what I think could be wrong. He has told me before that "I was not the doctor" etc... then he had to apologize a couple of times, because what I had said in the beginning was exactly right! So, he had had to "swallow his pride" and in his own way, make amends for calling me "stupid" basically. Yet my other doctors love it when I can walk in and possibly tell them what I fell maybe going on. It allow them less time in testing etc for things that may NOT be wrong, and to concentrate on what is so we can get right on to "fix" the problem.... Times have dramatically changed in the medical world even over the past 10 years or so... and you truly need to be an "educated patient" whether your physician likes it or not... YOUR health and well-being should be #1 for you!


Here is an article from the Wall Street Journal


"When Patients Manage Doctors"

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