Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Don't get on Mystery ER
…There are several cable shows in which people have weird symptoms and go back to their doctor again and again and finally get sent to a psychiatrist. HA is addicted to these. They suit her usual negative frame of mind.
…Last evening, HA saw an episode in which a woman in her 20s could not walk up a flight of stairs she was so out of breath. It took two visits to even get a chest x-ray. Then two more years passed. She went back 8 times. The same doc was stumped, just out of ideas.
…Finally, this gal sat down in another’s doc’s office and would not leave. She had a much belated second x-ray—tumor the size of a football in one lung.
..You probably heard HA yelling all the way to your house: “Catch a clue—get another doctor!”
…If you are frustrated by your doctor’s seeming lack of interest in your problems or are not getting any better, get a second opinion.
…So what if the doctor is ticked off—he or she works for you. and you would have to say—this is NOT working if the above is true.
….Obviously not all outcomes are good and so on, but you deserve a fair hearing and a diagnosis of some sort.
…If you don’t seem to have a treatment plan or a diagnosis—time for a second opinion. Other times to get one: When surgery is recommended, or a huge medical test, or you have been diagnosed with a bad illness, or if the doctor is recommending risky or experimental treatment.
…Just say, “I think you’re great, but I would like a second opinion just so I can be more informed.”
…If the two docs disagree, find out why.
…This is your only body. Don’t be so afraid of stepping on toes that you don’t do it justice.
…If you can’t breathe—don’t wait two years and put up with a bunch of nonsense before finding out what’s wrong. You might not have two years to waste.