Proper communication with your doctor is your Right!
Written by Mike from USA.
Good communication with your doctor.
I'd like to give folks an idea of just how important proper communication is with your doctor. Often, especially when we first start having symptoms from a new condition, we are in such a state of panic that we cannot think logically enough to convey what we want the doctor to know.
Our minds are racing and we're counting the days until that important 30 minutes (if we're very lucky) where we get to address the disaster that has taken over our bodies and our lives. And, yet, I have several times been driving home and remembered a question that had been driving me mad for days---and had still forgotten to bring up.
Let me make this clear to every person whose life has been damaged by illness. You may not be more important than anyone else, but you are JUST as important as anyone else. You are paying for that appointment, which makes your illness and your time important.
Plan for good Communication before you visit your doctor.
You CAN aggressively search for answers without becoming a neurotic thorn in someone's side. Don't let yourself be pressured into leaving the doctor's office because the physician seems to be in a hurry. He will get to the other patients. If he doesn't, he might have to start scheduling fewer appointments. I'm not encouraging you to be inconsiderate of others---I'm only saying that you are dealing with the quality of your life, and that is important.
One of the best things you can do is WRITE DOWN any questions you want to pose to the doctor. Be thorough.
The importance of effectively communicating with your doctor
I'd like to share a story, and although it has more to do with the levator ani syndrome that I suffer, it is a story that emphasizes the importance of communication with our doctors.
One of the main problems that my condition causes me is that my rectal muscles are unnecessarily tensed up, causing me difficulty in having a bowel movement. My colon/rectal doctor told me about some injections that would help my condition. Even though the idea of someone sticking a needle directly into my rectal muscles did not sound enticing, I am sure you all know what it is like to be desperate enough to try anything.
To be honest, it actually sounds worse than it is. It was not as painful as you might imagine, but it was still not fun. I would lie on the exam table and grit my teeth as he inserted the needle in a place I thought I would never receive one. As if the physical punishment were not enough, they were costing me 75 bucks a pop, not to mention the office fee. But I endured all of that because I was so sick of living this way and any relief would have been worth the money and the torture.
So this went on once a week. After about three sessions, he asked me "So, have these been helping with the pain?"
I could have fallen off the table. "Pain? I don't have any pain, what are you talking about?"
I was furious. Although many people with my condition seem to experience a great deal of discomfort in their rectal area, I do not. My problem is that my rectal muscles are just too tense, and make going to the bathroom a nightmare. I thought that these injections were meant to relax those muscles, but they were not. I had gone through all this for nothing.
So let me reiterate: make sure you and your physician understand each other. If you are not sure about something the doc has told you, ASK AGAIN. This is also YOUR time, not just his. It is also your money. And, most importantly, it is your quality of life.
You can contact Mike using the general "
" page, and mark your message for his attention.
(For more advice on what to expect when you visit your GP please check out Sians article
DOCTORS AND IBS
for more info).
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