…Don’t you love those commercials that say, “Is this right for you? Ask your doctor.”
…Like it’s so easy to ask the doctor.
…HA is old school enough to think the doctor ought to ask US about these things. But we all know this relationship is more interactive now.
…Anyhow, along these lines, Pamela F. Gallin, MD, writes about some tests you might want to suggest to your doctor. Her story appears in the February Reader’s Digest.
…If you have back or joint pain, Gallin recommends asking: “Besides arthritis or injury, what could be causing this?” Possibilities are prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, or kidney stones. Osteoporosis could also be the culprit. Or Lyme Disease, lupus, or bone cancer.
…If you are suddenly having horrible headaches or even just one that is the worst of your life, ask your doctor: “Could this be an aneurysm?” If this headache is accompanied by nausea, vomiting or seizures, rush to the ER.
…If you had the flu and still feel lousy, how do you know if you really had the flu?
Ask the doctor about pneumonia, lung cancer, mono, strep, staph or Lyme’s.
…If you find a lump and get a mammo and are told you’re fine, ask for an ultrasound. The combo of mammo and ultrasound is pretty powerful.
…Chest pain down the left arm, cold, clammy, nauseated? It could be a heart attack. But in women, these classic symptoms can be modified into a crappy feeling, an aching chest, shortness of breath, or indigestion. Say, “Am I having a heart attack? Let’s draw enzymes.” A heart attack releases enzymes from the damaged heart muscle into the blood.
…If you have a stroke, you have 3 hrs to get some anticlotting medicine into you. Symptoms are a sudden difficulty speaking, inability to use an arm or leg, or facial paralysis. Sometimes symptoms aren’t even this dramatic. If you have a doubt, call 911 and say “What about giving clot-busting drugs right now?”
…If your abdomen hurts or you are shaky and the ER tries to sort of blow it off, ask for an abdominal CT scan. Every year, 250,000 people get appendicitis, yet many are misdiagnosed.
…If your child is weak or has abnormal pupil responses, might he or she have fallen and clunked their head? You can’t be around all the time. Suggest the possibility to the doctor.
…In an ideal world, every doctor would think of every ailment from every symptom. But it’s your body. Speak up!