Thursday Health Thoughts: How to be a Bad Patient Successfully {part two}

January 23, 2014

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I mentioned in my post last week three tips on how to be a bad patient successfully and today I want to share three more tips with you. 

1. Take Responsibility. As I mentioned last week this is a business deal and with keeping that in mind it is important to take responsibility. Take responsibility for the actions that you can have control over in your health situation (what you eat, how much rest that you get, taking time to take care of yourself, getting proper exercise, etc.). Take responsibility to have courage to fight for your health. Take responsibility to choose the best doctors for your team. You are worth the best doctors. Don't settle for less. Take responsibility and search for the best answers that you can find and to find the best health care team you can. At the end of the day remember though that even the best health care teams in the world will only get you to a certain point and the rest will be up to you. This might fly in the face of some doctors egos so if you have a doctor who doesn't want you researching and asking questions be a "bad patient", take responsibility, and find a new doctor. 

2. Don't Get Caught up in Emotion and Tell the Truth. The Absolute Truth. I have a sweet friend who recently shared with me that she went for a very important appointment with a specialist in her disease. There were several things that she wanted to discuss with her doctor- specifically several symptoms that were affecting her everyday life. When she arrived in the office and saw the waiting room filled with people that were much farther along in her disease then she was and were suffering, she changed her mind and informed her doctor that she was doing "exceptionally well". Her doctor was impressed and within two minutes sent her on her way. This is all very nice for her doctor, but did my friend absolutely no good. She went on to share with me that when she got home and talked with her husband he was quick to point out that this did her absolutely no good and she still didn't have answers or suggestions on how to handle her new symptoms that were affecting her life. As she told me she simply got caught up in the moment of appreciating that she is not as "bad off" as some others and decided to not tell her doctor the absolute truth. This was a hard lesson she said to learn because when she called back for another appointment she has to wait several months. Remember that this is a business transaction and that your time and health are incredibly valuable. Your experience with your illness might not seem "as bad" as someone else but that does not diminish your symptoms or issues. So be a "bad patient": don't get caught up in the emotion and tell the truth. The absolute truth.

3. Get a second opinion. And a third opinion. And if you want a fourth opinion. I could keep going but lets be honest you get the point. *smiles* While it is very acceptable to get a second opinion, I have found in this health journey that it is rare to actually have that happen. I am not sure why it occurs but it does. Recently as I was calling around to different doctors to get another opinion on something in my own health journey I admit that I felt a little guilty. Almost like I was "betraying" the doctors that have helped me so far. But honestly I realized that this is about my health and my life. I need the absolute best care that I can receive and need additional doctors on my team that might have new ideas, suggestions, and protocols that could help me along. Please understand I am not suggesting that you jump from doctor to doctor after an appointment or two just because you may not like an idea or are upset with them. I am talking about setting a realistic time frame and making sure that you are moving forward and receiving the absolute best care in your health journey. So be a "bad patient" and get a second opinion. And a third opinion. And if you want, a fourth opinion. 

What are your tips on being a "bad patient" successfully? Stay tuned - next week I will share the last three tips on being a bad patient successfully! *smiles*

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